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Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks North Hancock, South Hancock, NH
Trails
Trails: Hancock Notch Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Hancock Loop Trail, herd path, Arrow Slide, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, August 28, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the Hancock lot at the hairpin turn between 6:30 and 6:45am and there were plenty of spots. I think there were still a few when we returned shortly before noon.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All crossings were easily rock hopable.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The trails, if they’re marked, are blazed in yellow. I don’t recall there being any blowdowns but that doesn’t say much two days later. Even on the herd path to the start of Arrow Slide there were just a few little ones.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Saw at least one. Some may struggle with how steep it is up/down the Hancocks.  
Bugs
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
 
Comments
Comments: My 16th and 17th grid peaks this month out of 20 needed. Cool temps and a cloudy day. Even rained a few drops on us while on the slide lol.

After the quick walk in to the loop jct, we took a left to ascend North Hancock, dropped into the drainage then took a left and looked for a herd path to the drainage/debris of Arrow Slide. It’s very easy to find and no distance at all. Walked by a tent site or two in that open area. We followed the drainage, which was dry, to the base of the slide. Not hard at all as it was dry and all jumbled rock, not slab. Significantly easier than the other slide approaches I’ve done lately.

Then we reached the slide which, on the other hand, was more difficult than other slides I’ve been on recently. It was wet and there didn’t seem to be a great way to go up except to the left. So we went left and stuck to scree rather than slab. Once we were partway up, it did seem like there may be a way up the middle between the wet slabs that we hadn’t seen at the bottom... or perhaps that’s because there was a wet slab at the bottom that wouldn’t have been safe to ascend. Something to look out for next time. Sticking to the left worked for a short while and then we hit slab on the left. My friend took to the woods on the left here. I made it a short way up but soon took to the woods too. We stayed in the woods until we came to the cairn that makes where the slide splits. We knew that it’s advised to take the right branch of the slide. So we made our way over, clinging to the edge of some trees to the right branch and made our way up. This was easier than the lower part of the slide. After a short ways the slide has a very minor split again. To the right you can go a tiny bit further and then you hit woods. This looked less intimidating than what lied ahead (more wet slab) so I scoped that out. No herd path so I came back and we went up on the “bank of the woods” to avoid the wet slab. Of course there was wet ledge and a drop to the left of us but this offered generally good footing and enough limbs to hold on to. There was one spot that was a little tricky and didn’t offer a lot of stability.

Now above the slab, we came down of the edge of the trees and onto scree again. From there, we climbed up the very short distance to the top of the slide to an opening at the top. I’d heard that the woods would be awful at the top but I guess enough people have done it (or maybe it’s been cut?) that it wasn’t bad at all. Not quite a herd path beyond the obvious way people travel at first but certainly not bad. We came out on the trail shortly before the spot where you have above some short trees and the trail levels out a bit. It took us 1.5hrs from the loop jct to get to the summit.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. Met many others on the trail. My friend went ahead of me once we reached South Hancock as he was going to do Owls Head after. This gave me the opportunity to meet and walk down the trail with Wayne :)  
Name
Name: Liam Cooney 
E-Mail
E-Mail: liamcooney96@gmail.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-08-30 
Link
Link: http:// 
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