Ascent of Mount Hancock on 2009-07-25

Climber: Michael Petcher

Date:Saturday, July 25, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Hancock
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4400 ft / 1341 m

Ascent Trip Report

North Herbie Hancock, South Herbie Hancock- Herbie Hancock Notch Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Herbie Hancock Loop Trail

Participants: Petch and Crazy Bob

Trail Conditions: After Friday nights rain......boot-sucking mud. Stream crossings all rock-hoppable with a couple inches over the rocks.

Equipment: Poles helpful during water crossings. Bugs were ok.

Commentary: I remember growing up when MTV first came on the scene. Some of the first music videos I saw left a lasting impression. I remember the Peter Gabriel video- Sledgehammer, and another bizarre video by Herbie Hancock which I do not recall the name for. It had a lot of electro-mechanical techno action going on and specific use of mannequin parts. Strange stuff. Anyway, I couldn't get that darn song out of my head for the entire hike.....
It rained on parts of the drive up Rt302 from Maine, but once we hit NH the skies lightened up some. We knew things were going to be wet. We left the Herbie Hancock Notch trailhead parking lot about 7:45. The first part of the Herbie Hancock Notch trail starts off fairly dry but further up the boot-sucking mud starts. Crazy Bob's trail runners never had a chance. Then we started up the Cedar Brook Trail and got up to one of the many stream crossings. It looked like the trail went across, but we found another trail going up to an adjacent illegal camp site, then headed off a side trail that wasn't a trail. So, we back tracked back down to the prior trail junction then hiked back up again and found the error of our ways. Added an extra mile of "extra credit" hiking. Up to this point, there was very little elevation gain. But, my heels were starting to get hot. I'm quite disappointed in my feet and/or my boots. ( I got back into hiking last December, and bought a new pair of Vasque's. Since then, I've hit about 20 4k's. But I'm still having heal blister issues. I've tried a lot of things. I've got the Superfeet inserts, use liner socks, use moleskin......some hikes I'm ok, others I blister.....
Anyway, we started up the Herbie Hancock Loop Trail and I needed to pull over to do some heel maintenance. Off again we went and hit the junction where the loop trail gives you the option to do the loop clockwise or counter. We went clockwise. You know you are in for trouble when you can see the North Peak slides through the trees, and this part of the trail goes down into the ravine a few hundred feet first, then starts climbing. This branch of the trail to North Herbie Hancock is only .7mi, but from the bottom of the ravine, it must be 1300+ of elevation gain. Up on North Herbie Hancock peak, we went to the outlook, and got some glimpses into the Pemi. I thought about BigEarl and Trailtrotter doing the Zealand Bonds traverse, and where they might be. At this point of the day, the clouds hadn't burned off completely yet and views were limited. Kept hiking over Middle Herbie Hancock over to South Herbie Hancock. Again, limited views due to clouds and trees. But, you got the feeling that if you hung around a couple hours, the views would improve. We started down the very steep section coming down from South Herbie Hancock. Erosion control in this area must be near impossible. We continued our descent for aways then we were overtaken by a familiar face. We had met an avid hiker on our last hike on Carrigain 2 weeks ago. It was good to see Jim again. The three of us hammered out the remaining 2-3 miles and were back at the car by 2:15pm. The parking lot was mobbed.

Well, I was a little discouraged to find out that I hadn't met the 1/2 way to 48 point prior to this hike like I had thought. It seems like after taking Calc A,B,C, Diff Eq's...etc, I still can't add. Actually, it was the discovery of one of the many 4K imposter's- Mt Webster. So, back to 23, then add 2 from this hike. So, I'm up to 25.
Consumption note: D&D medium coffee, multigrain bagel sand(sausage,egg,cheese), 2 power bars, 2 Expresso Love Gu's, 2 liters water, 1 liter gatorade, 2 sugar free Red Bulls (still watching my figure), 1 PB&J sandwich. Again, no Little Debbie snacks this trip.......

Stats: 9.8 mile hike, 10.8 miles- with the "extra credit", 6 1/2 hours on the trail, about 5 3/4 hours hiking.

An Ok hike, but I never got into that techno music anyway.........

"The beatings will continue until morale improves..."
NH 4k's: 26/48
Summary Total Data

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