Well, we made it to the top, but it took us 3 1/2 hours. It was a beautiful clear October day so the views were fantastic. It took us almost two hours to descend, so the whole hike, including a half hour on the peak, took 6 hours. Plan accordingly! We brought water but no food, which was a mistake we won't repeat. We are inexperienced hikers who had never tackled a hike this high or this long before, so we really had to take our time going up with lots of short rests. We can certainly attest that this trail was much more strenuous that the Black Cap trail we did last year. It's rated as moderate, but from our perspective as amateur 60ish hikers it was much more difficult than we expected.
Great winter hike. Can be done with simple traction devices. Well travelled and packed down. Fire tower at the top gives a full 360 view of the whites and a great look at Mount Washington. Done it in summer too and it's good hike then as well.
Jessica S. on Mount Kearsarge North
Fairly difficult, but the views from the fire tower at the top were worth it.
Most tiring "moderate" we've done. Steady climb with some steeper rocky parts as well as some nice open area slabs to cross about 1/2 way. Little buggy at the top but amazing view on such a clear sunny afternoon. One lonely lady slipper right at trailside to look for!