Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks North Hancock, South Hancock, NH
Trails: Hancock Notch Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Hancock Loop Trail, Arrow Slide, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Lot mostly empty 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All easy rock hops 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Couple walk arounds that are starting to cause erosion and need to get clean up on the ridge. Can't comment on North summit segment of loop but the South summit segment is starting to get badly eroded in the middle. Tram side of Kinsman ridge on Cannon bad levels, wow badly needs work 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: N/A 
Bugs: Minimal due to prime spring conditions, cool and windy 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: N/A 
Comments: Standard loop is uneventful and boring, not much to say about it other than notes above on water crossings, all cakewalks, and trail work. Flowers are really starting to bloom at mid elevations and got treated to a trillium and violet show on Cedar Brook trail. First time doing this loop in non-winter conditions since 2019, and forgot how obnoxious the amount of roots on the bottom mile of Hancock Loop Trail. First time doing Arrow Slide and I enjoyed it tho it was definitely challenging and had some serious exposure in places.

Arrow slide is easy to find, with the bottom of the slide outwash marked by a cairn less than 50 yards left of where the North Branch of Hancock Loop trail drops into the dry stream outwash low spot to begin the climb up to North Hancock. The bottom section of the slide is pretty mellow with lots of stable medium sized boulders and easy footholds then quickly starts gaining elevation and increases in pitch up to the bottom section of slabs, here I put the poles away in my pack until topping out at the viewpoint. The first pitch of slabs is wicked wet and slimy so I angled up to the left on semi stable scree and boulders before traversing around the top edge, in places there is lots of vegetation growing out from the middle of slide include shrub trees and blooming flowers. The second pitch kinda cliffed in from the sides and had the most dry sections and best footholds by angling up and into the middle of the slab, this was the only stretch where the slab in the middle was dry. I angled up left on a spine of scree and boulders from here to the large cairn marking the spit fork where the slide branches in two.

While I've heard that the right side is more popular, it appeared to have considerable more wet slab and woulda been a treacherous traverse across loss steep angled scree, rock, and dirt to get up into from the cairn. The left fork involved about 100 yards of very steep loose scree, dirt, and occasional stable boulders and I hopped into the trees for 50 yards to get around one awkward spot. From here it was more stable medium sized rocks before hitting some dreamy dry slabs with large supportive hand/footholds. At the top there is a pretty easy and narrow herd path to follow thru semi open and semi thick conifers that pops out at the viewpoint by the summit. Mostly Class 2+/3- with the large slabs in the middle 3+/4. I would strongly recommend having some experience on other slides before tackling this one as it has a large variety of rock sizes and is steep, loose, slimy, and unstable in the main several steep pitches with a respectable amount of exposure  
Name: Heat Lightning 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-06-06 
Link: https:// 
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