Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks South Hancock, North Hancock, Northwest Hancock, NH
Trails: Hancock Notch Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Hancock Loop Trail, bushwhack, Cedar Brook Slide
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: USFS fee lot. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Water is low, so crossings were very easy. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Would not personally take a pooch on Cedar Brook Slide due to its precariousness! 
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: In the thickest part of the bushwhack over to NW Hancock, I found a Diet Coke bottle (and carried it out, so I made 5 cents today). A bit later I came across a red bandanna. If the owner wants it back, it's tied to the summit tree. ;p 
Comments: Went up South Hancock, then North, via the regular trail. Put on long pants and bushwhacked over to NW Hancock, my 3rd visit but first time in nonwinter. There is a faint herd path at times but usually not. To say, it is a real bushwhack; there is no path to follow save for a herd path the final ~0.1 mile before the true summit.

Leaving the summit, I followed the herd path back before contouring SW to about the 3800 foot level and roughly (had to backtrack in a couple cliffy spots) staying there until GPS guided me to the very top of Cedar Brook Slide. Views were phenomenal toward Franconia Ridge, Owls Head, and the Hitchcocks; this vantage point was one I'd not seen before!

The slide itself conjured up that old line from Arlo Guthrie's 'Alice's Restaurant': it was the "meanest, nastiest, ugliest" I've ever been on! Very, very sketchy, unstable and loose. I went back and forth thinking "this isn't the smartest thing I've ever done" to "I'm glad no one is with me" because it took extreme care to not knock any rocks loose, so I was happy there was no one above/behind. I picked my way almost to the bottom of the slide, mostly staying on the left/south edge so as to avoid the massive troughs, and got a little below where a spring comes bubbling out of the rock. (I did not hit any slimy/slick rocks that others have reported.) At that point I took a bearing SW and angled more directly toward Cedar Brook Trail, 'whacking through thick baby spruce. Hit CBT about a mile below/north of the height of land, changed back into shorts (it was warm!), and cruised back to the trailhead.

The CBT is always wet and boggy near the height of land, and today was no exception even given the dry conditions everywhere. I was able to keep my feet dry in trailrunners.

From the summit of North Hancock until I hit CBT, GPS clocked 2.86 miles... and 3 hours!  
Name: Snowflea 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-08-10 
Link: https:// 
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