Hancocks via Hancock Notch, Cedar Brook and Hancock Loop Trails - 3/21/2015


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Nov 15, 2010
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Lexington, MA
Trail Conditions: The trail was packed powder with a soft surface, solid enough early for bare boots and microspikes, but vulnerable to postholing as the sun came out later in the morning. At the day’s warmest point, there were some annoying snow bolling issues, where after every few steps we needed to clear 2-3” of bolled snow from our snowshoes and microspikes. Except for a couple of skooch/limbo-unders, the route was free of blowdowns. The snowpack is still in excess of 6’, esp at altitude, putting our eyes at frequent risk of contact with branches.

Gear needed: Snowshoes! If your forecast calls for temps >30 and/or lots of sun, please remember these in order to avoid post holing the trail! They’re also a big help in traveling a trail that’s been chopped up by folks not using snowshoes and then subsequently frozen.

Comments: Part way up Cedar Brook, we enjoyed running into Chris, who’d gotten an early start and was already scooting down, planning to cap his day with the Tripyramids. After summitting North and making it to a final shoulder of South, we ran into a couple, one of whom plummeted into a trailside spruce trap right before our eyes, shoulder-deep. No snowshoes... Fantastic butt ride down from South to the loop junction. The trail down from there was badly chopped up – not enough folks using snowshoes during the warm part of the day. We took a little extra time and energy to fill in the worst of the post holes. It was interesting to encounter one post hole that was at least 8’ deep (essentially a punctured snow bridge over a rock crevasse) – I hope the person was OK.

alexmtn - alex [at] nedzel [dot] com