Friday, July 15, 2011

#18, #19 Mt. Hancock, North and South Peaks June 13, 2009.

#18 and #19 Mt. Hancock, North(4420') and South (4319')  Peaks via Hancock Notch, Cedar Brook, and Hancock Loop trails, June 13, 2009. 

Mileage: 9.8 miles RT
Elevation gain: 2,650'

Trailhead:  Parking lot is a past the major hairpin curve on the Kancamagus  Highway (NH Rt 112) 4.7 miles east of Lincoln Woods. The trail starts at the downhill end of the lot.

Lesson learned:  Erosion has new meaning.
Hiked with Rich and Myron.  It was a beautiful day with blue skies, temp in the 60s. We chose this hike over Mt. Jefferson because thunderstorms were predicted and the Hancock trails are not exposed.  
The hike went relatively quickly.  There were many brook crossings - which can be a problem early in the season,  and part of the trail was confusing.  

Blazes were sporadic in some spots on the Hancock Notch and Cedar Brook trails.  I would describe the climb as moderate until we got to the Hancock Loop, which dipped down and then climbed very steeply and roughly.  We were warned about the erosion; there were worn scunned roots and trees just barely hanging on. It was in terrible shape! Trail maintenance crews must have been working on the trail as I hit branches that had recently been cut to clear the trail, bruising my right arm and leg. 
We arrived at North Peak first; the views were great.  The summit was crowded and we jockeyed for a space on the boulder on the view point.

Gray Jay takes a break on a very busy summit.
 Myron was in a hurry so we did not spend much time on the summit.  We had lunch and then started off toward South Hancock.   The col was very muddy and the South Peak was anticlimactic.  

Rock on South Hancock.

It was buggy so after a quick photo, we headed down from the South Peak. We got back to the car about .  Always a good day in the woods!

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