My alarm went off at 5 am and I let the kids sleep a bit more while I finished packing our packs. I picked Tecumseh as the 2nd 4000 footer for the boys as it appears on most “easiest 4k hike” lists and is technically the lowest in elevation (4,003). Leaving Conway at 5:40 we enjoyed a clear sunrise while we crossed the Kancamagus highway and after picking up some breakfast from the Lincoln D&D we headed down to Campton, NH and up into Waterville Valley on Rt 49.
We started up the Mt. Tecumseh trail at 7:22 and were soon passed by a dad and a charging young hiker. This trail is so well maintained with stonework and steps I think it is definitely a better choice for a “first 4000 footer” then Mount Jackson. At 9:52 we reached the Sosman trail and turned right on the flat ridge towards the summit.
We opted to take the left fork (Sosman Trail) to the summit and arrived at the summit at 10:07 (2hr 45min, avg. munter rate 3.7). After a 15 minute break we made our way down the Mt. Tecumseh Trail down and around the summit cone to complete that small loop and headed towards the summit of the ski area via the Sosman trail.
After checking out the cool towers on the summit we started down the ski slopes at 11:05, arriving at the base at 12:40. While I’ve seen multiple online trip reports suggest hiking down the ski slopes as an alternative return route I’m going to throw out my opinion on this and say it’s really not a great idea… we wished we returned via the hiking trail for a few reasons:
- The direct ski trail descent is often at an angle that is awkward to make good time.
- While the views are nice there is no shade (the entire hiking trail is shaded)
- Footing is MUCH better on the well designed hiking trail allowing for a faster descent.
- Seeing the bottom the whole 1.5 hour descent is a bit disheartening… is it getting closer?
- More water for the dog… there are multiple stream crossings on the hiking trail and zero water on the ski slope descent!
We all felt we would have gotten down the hiking trail faster then the ski trails, so I’d highly recommend just heading back down the hiking trail for your descent!
I decided to take Tripoli Rd back towards Thorton and while scenic it’s definitely a pot-hole bumpy road. I couldn’t believe how many cars were parked at the Osceola lot! On our trail we only came across two parties of 2 and one party of 5 on our entire hike! Mid-week hiking FTW!
Back on the other side of the Kanc the kids enjoyed a post hike ice cream at Freeze Louise.
Alex & Alden are now 2/48 with plans to get a few more in this season.
Thanks for following their adventure!
See you in the mountains,
Northeast Alpine Start
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