Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks North Hancock, South Hancock, NH
Trails: Hancock Notch Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Hancock Loop Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 11, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Arrived at Hancock Overlook parking area around 8:30, and the lot was already full. Only room for 8-10 cars with the size of the snowbanks. Ended up parking just outside the lot on the side of the Kanc.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All easy to step over or bridged.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Lots and lots of duck-unders. One particularly awkward one heading up to North. Easily 3-4’ of snow on the ridge between the peaks, which led to a lot of branches/trees coming into play when they normally wouldn’t.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: All that we saw today looked to be having a grand time! 
Bugs: Snowfleas! 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: N/A 
Comments: The winter of “This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things” continues :(

I wore snowshoes car-to-car, my partner put hers on about 1.7 miles in and kept them on for the rest of the day. Temp was about 28 when we started, 38 when we finished. Why do I mention that? Because it means the snow is soft. Very soft. And what works the best in soft snow? Snowshoes. It’s almost like that’s what they were made for…

Unfortunately, that was lost on the vast majority of people we encountered today. Turns out a group of 4 barebooted (3 with spikes, 1 with literal bareboots) up North, and must have had a hell of a time kicking those steps into the trail. We caught the first two just below the summit, and I remarked how I admired their work ethic. They clearly did not get my joke, and one of them even said to me “you mean it’s easier with those? I didn’t use mine because the trail was already broken”. Before you ask, yes, her snowshoes were strapped to her pack. Snow going up North was perfect…grippy, but not soft.

Continued on the ridge between the peaks where we were standing on anywhere between 3-5’ of snowpack. Snow was considerably softer here, but easy to follow the track. Between South and Middle, we encountered 3 guys barebooting in the opposite direction. Boy, did they do a number on that section.

But wait…there’s more! We headed down South, and said Three Amigos kick-stepped the absolute shit out of that trail. We tried to smooth it out, but every time I stepped in one of theirs, my ankles did a 90 degree turn. As if we hadn’t had enough fun already, two more barebooters were coming up South, adding to the carnage.

Folks…it’s mid March. The days are warmer, the nights aren’t as cool, the sun is stronger. If you have snowshoes, please please please do the responsible thing and wear them. There’s a ton of snow up there right now, and we can make the trails great for the rest of the season. Godspeed to anyone heading up there tomorrow.  
Name: Chef 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-03-11 
Link: https:// 
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