Kearsarge North - Solo Hike
Shaka from the summit of Kearsarge North!
Kearsarge North (3,268 ft)
Elevation Gain: 2,600 ft
Miles: 6.2 roundtrip
Duration: 4 hrs, 15 min (includes stops along the trail and at the summit for 30 minutes)
NH 52 With A View
Difficulty: Easy to moderately strenuous
I checked the weather report and today was the best out of the weekend for hiking. But I totally didn’t check the humidity levels! :( Having EIA (exercise-induced asthma) I really should pay close attention to the air quality index. But I was all gung-ho to get out and hike something short and easy (or so I thought) after last Saturday’s epic hike to the summit of Mt.Katahdin.
It started off easy enough but after about 35 minutes into the hike, I realized that it was more humid than I was thought it would be. I stopped to get a quick drink and thought about turning back….maybe head over to Mt. Stanton for shorter hike? But I was already here and figured so long as I kept pace, kept *nasal breathing and kept hydrated, I should be fine. On the other hand, if the humidity worsened, then I’d definitely turn back.
*I started "nasal-breathing-only" during exercise while on my Colorado trip and it does help. For starters it helps me relax and when I'm relaxed, I can keep a better breathing pace. I also find that I don't feel like I'm gasping for air or hyperventilating when nasal breathing. 1995 Study.
A couple came up behind me and we chatted for a bit. Found out we both have asthma but he forgot to bring his inhaler. I prodded along at my pace and the both of them would run past me, then stop and sit so he could catch his breath. I would walk past them as they sat resting and then they’d catch up and run past me again…then stop and sit so he could catch his breath. I passed them once more and quickened my pace and breathing as fast as I could comfortably endure. I wanted to get higher as fast as I could for cooler air. I finally made the summit in just under 2 hours and it was so much easier to breath! There were 3 other people there and tons of dragonflies! The air was still, not even a tiny breeze. But thanks to all those dragonflies, not one mosquito! Another hiker checked the temps for me…..80 degrees at the summit, it was 95 at the parking lot. I quickly took some photos, signed the log book and ate my lunch and chocolate zucchini bread. Only spent 30 minutes at the summit.
There were more folks coming up, but that couple never showed. After asking around, a couple of guys said they saw the couple headed back down to the trailhead. I hope he’s alright. Overheard the other 6 hikers that had come up behind me - it took them to 2 hours to ascend due to the humidity as well.
I’m calling this “easy to moderately strenuous” because I had a tough time breathing in this humidity.
Enjoy some photos I took on my hike!
My favorite parts of trails are slabs of granite!
More photos along the trail
Fire tower & log book
Chocolate Zucchini Bread