Ascent of South Hancock on 2014-03-25

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:South Hancock
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4319 ft / 1316 m

Ascent Trip Report

What a beautiful day to bag two more 4Ks! There was almost no wind, even on the summits, clear skies, and it wasn't too cold either!

I arrived at the Hancock Overlook parking area (fee required) at 6:30 AM, geared up, and set out on the Hancock Notch Trail at 6:45 AM. I debated with myself as to whether or not I should wear snowshoes, but I eventually wore them the whole time, as I needed more "seat time," so to speak.

The Hancock Notch Trail was nearly level, but it was slow-going because my legs started to hurt a bit, and I didn't want to have to turn back due to the pain. After 45 minutes, I reached the junction with the Cedar Brook Trail after paralleling a nice brook. The Hancock Notch Trail continued to Hancock Notch and Sawyer River Rd., but it wasn't broken out any farther than this junction.

The Cedar Brook Trail went by quickly; the brook crossings were completely ice bridged and the trail had a very low grade. After about 20 minutes, I arrived at the junction with the Hancock Loop Trail. Like the HNT, the Cedar Brook Trail wasn't broken any farther than this junction. Eager to see what lay ahead, I turned right onto the Hancock Loop Trail.

I made another crossing of the North Branch of the Hancock Branch, and after that, the trail kept a mostly easy grade until the loop junction. I could go left for North Peak or right for South Peak; since the left fork dropped off about 100 feet and the right fork didn't drop off and was a tad shorter, I went to South Hancock first.

This part of the loop trail started out moderately, but soon became extremely steep, and I began taking frequent rest breaks. Luckily, the trail was covered in snow and broken out, so I didn't have to traverse the rough corridor that normally shows in summer. After what felt like ages, I reached the summit of South Hancock, #30 on the NH 4,000 footers list for me. On the top, I met a kind gentleman and his very friendly and affectionate German Shepherd dog. We talked for a little while, and then he headed toward Middle and North Hancock, with myself close behind.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2200 ft / 670 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2200 ft / 670 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:Hancock Notch Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Hancock Lo
    Start Trailhead:Hancock Overlook  2119 ft / 645 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Hancocks

Complete Trip Sequence:
1South Hancock2014-03-252200 ft / 671 m
2Mount Hancock-Middle Peak2014-03-25100 ft / 30 m
3Mount Hancock2014-03-25400 ft / 122 m
Total Trip Gain: 2700 ft / 823 m    Total Trip Loss: 100 ft / 30 m

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