Hancock Slide, NH (February 19,2012)

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  1. #1

    Camera Hancock Slide, NH (February 19,2012)

    My first attempt at this backcountry spot almost ended before it began.

    http://nebackcountry.blogspot.com/20...ount.html#more


  2. #2
    The slide does actually come pretty close to the low point on the north branch of the Hancock Loop - at that low point, head downhill a few dozen yards, then climb up over a little ridge and you'll be in the drainage.

    It's a steep slide and can be quite dangerous. It's heavily loaded with blue ice this year too.

    Here it is from April two years ago:


    Shortly after taking that photo, we almost got taken out by a sizeable boulder that fell from far above.

  3. #3
    I set out to ski Arrow Slide on North Hancock this weekend and I failed. I wish I could say my failure was due to some profound lesson about backcountry skiing that I had to learn. But in reality, it all stemmed from being an idiot.

    Quote Originally Posted by threecy View Post
    It's a steep slide and can be quite dangerous. It's heavily loaded with blue ice this year too.*** ....we almost got taken out by a sizeable boulder that fell from far above.
    After a beautiful pine glen Arrow Slide came into view on my left and its steepness nearly took my breath away. I had skied most of North Twin Slide, and some of Osceola Slide last year and neither of these two came close to touching the steepness of Arrow....believe me, it is Holy F###! steep....The steepness was unnerving and the prospect of skiing it alone- without someone to remove my dead body if something went wrong- was beginning to get to me.

    So you failed because you took the wrong route? In that case, Columbus was a failure.
    You went in alone and got out of there alive and in one piece- I'd call that a success. To me it sounds like your guardian angel was keeping you out of any further trouble.
    Last edited by legalskier; Feb 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM.

  4. #4
    snowmonster's Avatar
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    It will only be sweeter when you finally get to ski it. In my book, if you get to ski if only for a hundred yards, then that's a fine ski day.

    I'd like to echo your thought about solo-ing. I usually travel solo and when I get into hairy situations, I get scared and think that no one's here to find me. Yeah, that gnaws at me sometimes, especially when it's dark and I'm miles from my car.
    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - H. D. Thoreau

  5. #5
    Abubob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by threecy View Post
    Too steep for me thanks!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by threecy View Post
    The slide does actually come pretty close to the low point on the north branch of the Hancock Loop - at that low point, head downhill a few dozen yards, then climb up over a little ridge and you'll be in the drainage.
    Thanks for posting that photo. It looks steep... and you know that it never looks as steep in a picture as it actually looks in person. I'm also struck by how wide it looks in your photo. That is promising.

    I wondered if the bottom approach would be the best way or if it would be better to climb up a little then skirt over from the trail. I'm guessing the brush is thicker on the sides of the slide than on the bottom approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by threecy View Post
    It's a steep slide and can be quite dangerous. It's heavily loaded with blue ice this year too.
    Yeah, and I imagine with that southeast facing aspect things heat up quickly on sunny spring mornings making it a bowling alley during the afternoon.

    Quote Originally Posted by threecy View Post
    Shortly after taking that photo, we almost got taken out by a sizeable boulder that fell from far above.


    Snowmonster- How does that saying go..? The summit is optional, returning in one piece is mandatory...

    Legalskier- You're right, Columbus wasn't a failure. After all he did get that city in Ohio named after him... oh wait...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by noreasterbackcountry View Post
    Thanks for posting that photo. It looks steep... and you know that it never looks as steep in a picture as it actually looks in person. I'm also struck by how wide it looks in your photo. That is promising.
    Here's a summer photo looking up, below the split:


    and with snow:



    Quote Originally Posted by noreasterbackcountry View Post
    I wondered if the bottom approach would be the best way or if it would be better to climb up a little then skirt over from the trail. I'm guessing the brush is thicker on the sides of the slide than on the bottom approach.
    I suspect starting from the bottom may be wiser, so that you can get an idea of avy risk before diving in. I've only been up it twice...both times I've gone up the right finger, climbed maybe another 100-200 feet in the woods (initially chest high spruce), then slabbed over to the trail (not wide open, but not terribly bad if you hit it perfectly. There is a fir wave on the left side of the trail, not far above said slab elevation.

  8. #8
    mentioned in an earlier post that I hiked the Hancock loop this weekend and wanted to see the prevalence of the slide(s) on North Hancock's slope pre-Irene. Found a TR from Riveroil in 2002 - from his excellent documentation doesn't look like things have grown significantly

    http://theway.stormloader.com/pictur...ck/hancock.htm

    My search also yielded this thread and I'd concur from visual inspection, it is very steep and something I would not be keen to ski alone and without first having gone up to check on snow stability. I'm pretty sure the orientation is S, SE so the slide must get icey between storms. Although I did not hike on them beyond their turn off points, the Cedar Brook and Hancock Notch trails both seem to be good candidates for a good day of back country XC skiing/snowshoeing.

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