|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||East Huntington, South Huntington, Mt. Huntington, West Huntington, NH|
||Bushwhack, Hancock Notch Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, June 26, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||We met at 5:30am at the Hancock Overlook. Plenty of parking that time of morning ;) Then we drove east over to the horseshoe bend in the Kanc and parked at a grassy pulloff on the eastern end of the bend at about 2550ft. No other cars here. Hancock Overlook had way overflowed by the time we returned at about 1:30pm. |
||Dry Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||We had one with us that did well but they’re very experienced. There was VERY little water between the peaks. We only crossed one drainage between west and south where there was water. |
||Yup. Not bad in the morning but got worse throughout the day to the point that they were bothersome even when moving. Black flies and other flies. Didn’t see any mosquitos. |
|Lost and Found:
||I lost a crucifix earring :( It was given to me by my mother. I would be both incredibly impressed and utterly astounded if anyone found it, haha. ||
||Day 238, Peaks 228-231. All 4 Huntington’s on a very hot day. Luckily we started around 5:45 and were done by 1:30pm though. The 5 Hitchcocks two days ago were much easier (though longer) than this. While I’ve seen worse woods than I did today, the fact that the woods were so persistently thick or semi-thick may make this the hardest whack I’ve done. |
From the horseshoe bend on the Kanc at about 2550ft we took a bearing toward east peak and entered the woods. Thick at first and opening slightly as we went on but never opened up like I hoped they would. Grade was moderate-steep for the first part as we climbed up (moderate) then out (steep) of the drainage. The rest of the way was gently slabbing up toward the col/peak. At 3000-3050ft we made the call go head right to col rather than continue slabbing to the peak as it seemed more open on the ridge. Thus far I’d stayed on bearing but now I headed up the drainage to the col and almost started up toward south peak rather than toward east…yikes! Luckily my friends corrected me before I was too far gone, lol. From the col, we took a fairly straight line to the peak. Wasn’t opened like we hoped though. Go over a false summit before the true highpoint. Not hard to find the canister. We signed in and headed toward south peak. So far, nothing terrible but not pleasant either.
We carefully route planned to south peak. There’s appear to be two ways to get there. 1) head W/NW from East Peak back to the col, then head up a southern ridge of south peak, or 2) head N/NW from east peak to hit the eastern ridge of south peak. Only one report on here that did all 4 peaks and they chose 1) and said it was awful. So we chose 2). We did what we wanted to and basically kept the line but it wasn’t open or pleasant at all. Certainly wasn’t awful like the person described heading south of South Peak though. More specifically, we headed due west off the summit of east back toward the col for 0.1mi, then slabbed N/NW off the peak in what low scrub (a bit too tall to be considered krumholtz but similar). Very thick obviously but there was actually a herd path for a bit before descending back into the woods. We crossed the drainage a little below 3000ft. There was a dry but slick brook bed nearby that we followed up briefly. The other side of the drainage was very evergreen-y and thus thick though again nothing terrible. We finally hit the ridge at 3400ft and followed it west toward south peak. The ridge was semi-open at times but would then thicken up again. All in all, this was probably some of the better walking we had of the day. First place we really saw moose signs of the day too. We found a small canister on the small NE bump inside the 2nd highest contour of Huntington but it was waterlogged. There appeared to be another canister but only with a new log inside of it on the SW bump which is the true highpoint. We left the other register we found there with it.
From south to main I thought was supposed to be easy but it wasn’t. This could’ve been because I headed more W than NW into the col but the woods didn’t seem any more open to our north. That said, the col was relatively open with young trees but then thickened back up as we ascended main peak. I’d believe that this was more open years back. From main to west was perhaps the worst of the day. Again, I’ve seen thicker woods, but the fact that there was no reprieve from them and we were already fatigued and got made this hard. We kept a relatively straight line but we’re always on the north side of the ridge between the two peaks. Not sure if following the ridge more truly or on the south side would’ve been any better but if I were doing it again I’d certainly try it. Short but steep and thick ascent up West Peak.
We followed the ridge and walked to the SW bump of West Peak. We didn’t visit the cliffs but stayed close enough to the south side of he ridge that we got some views. The ridge was semi-thick/thick. We would’ve thought it would be a bit more open and show more signs of humans. We followed the winding western ridge of the mountain down. Still relatively thick up high but it gradually got better as we descended though was never truly open. We hit the Hancock Notch Trail 0.1mi from the trailhead and followed it out. Phew!!
Gaia had us at 6.25mi with about 1900ft of gain, taking us a little less than 8hrs to complete. For comparison, our day on the Hitchcocks was about twice as long distance was (granted a portion of that was on trail unlike this hike) but took us only 2hrs more. 127 more days and 134 more peaks to go…
||Liam Cooney |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.