Ascent of Mount Hancock on 2012-04-01

Climber: Kirk Kauffman

Others in Party:Rufus (dog)
Date:Sunday, April 1, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Hancock
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4400 ft / 1341 m

Ascent Trip Report

Rufus (dog) and I left from the Hancock Notch Trailhead at the hairpin turn in the Kancamungus Highway at 10:00 am.

We made pretty good time and covered the 1.8 miles to Cedar Brook Trail in 40 minutes. This part of the trail was very flat and the trail was extremely easy to follow.

We covered the next 0.7 miles on the Cedar Brook trail in 20 minutes to where the Cedar Brook Trail meets the Hancock Loop Trail. We stuck to the right on the loop trail and started to head toward the mountains.

As of this point I had been bare booting the entire way as there was a mix of dry ground, snow and a little ice. There was no real need for traction, yet, though.

We got to where the loop breaks off in the two directions to head toward North and South Hancock. I figured that since it was probably icy, it would be easier to go up the steeper side. So I threw on my microspikes and we took the trail left to go up North Hancock first. With 3.6 miles of flat trail behind us, we were ready for some climbing. It turns out that climbing an entire mountain within 0.7 miles is hard work! It was very steep and slow going. Where it had taken about 20 minutes to cover 0.7 miles before, this section took 1 hour to complete. But finally, we made it to the top of North Hancock.

At the summit we took a few minutes to eat and enjoy the views. But it was chilly so we didn't linger long. Within 45 minutes we had covered the 1.4 miles over to South Hancock. Again, stopped for a quick snack (Nilla Wafers) and to enjoy the view.

This is where it got really tricky. The Southern section of the trail is only 0.5 miles but it had a thin layer of snow covering a sheet of ice. I wish I had had crampons with me as I could have used more traction than my spikes were providing. It took us 35 minutes to slowly climb down.

Once we made it back to the bottom it was a straight shot back to the trailhead. We covered the 3.6 miles in 1 hour and 25 minutes. It was a great hike but it was a killer!

In all we did 9.8 miles in about 5 hours and 15 minutes. Rufus and I both slept very well that night.

After this trip I now have 11 of my 48 and Rufus has 10. We're getting there!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2212 ft / 675 m
    Trailhead:Hancock Trailhead  2188 ft / 666 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Nights Spent:0 nights away from roads
Ascent Part of Trip: Hancock Loop

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Hancock2012-04-01
2South Hancock2012-04-01

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