Date Hiked: Saturday June 8, 2002
Trails Hiked: Hancock Notch, Cedar Brook, and Hancock Loop Trails
Total Distance: 10 Miles
Conditions: Mostly dry with some muddy areas
Special Required Equipment: Bug Spray
Saw less than 10 people on this 10 miler. 1 PPM (person per mile) is a great ratio for any 4000 footer! Trail follows an old railroad grade until reaching the Hancock Loop Trail. This section is very flat and long at a slight uphill incline. Water crossings were a piece of cake, but could be difficult in high water.
The Hancock Loop itself was in good shape. I opted for Clockwise direction, ascending North Hancock first. Ascent was steep and footing not so good near the top. Slippery small rocks making this steep ascent a work out near the summit. North Hancock summit has no views, but does have an Outlook about 100 feet from the summit. A 200 degree vista from Carigain to Moosilauke. Holy Crap What A View!!!
The col between North and South Hancock was a fun hike. Lots of twists, turns, ups, and downs to keep things interesting, but no views. There's a huge 15 foot long path of ugly looking mud that was hard to cross, but I did so high and dry. South Hancock summit also has no views, but also has a short trail to an Outlook with views from Carigain to Passaconaway. Not as jaw dropping as North Hancock Outlook, but still a decent summit view.
Descent from South Hancock no problem. Trail was equally as steep as North Hancock ascent, but footing much much easier making the quick descent one of the more fun ones I've had. The journey back to the trailhead was boring and uneventful except that I discovered I had lost my hat along the way. Six years of good memories with that hat, and it wore those memories not so well. May it RIP where ever it is.
AWESOME day on the trails! It was a perfect day out, and I never would have expected The Hancocks to be that much fun. Finished the trail in about 7.5 Hours, but that was with a ton of long breaks to soak in my surroundings and delay my return to civilization. It's amazing how far this trail gets you away from everything so quickly.
My server won't allow Pictures to post to other servers unfortunately, so you'll need to follow the below link to the HTML if you wish to view the pictures I took.
Pictures and Full Trip Report Here
TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs
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