I was unsure of whether to count this as a single trip or multiple trips. Technically I hiked between the two trailheads (even if it was along a road), so it sort of was a single hike. But for the usefulness of the information and tracks, it’s probably only useful separately. So I’ll do it in a single post, but separated out into sections.
I’ve been trying to cut up the rest of my 4000 footers into as few days as possible. Given my young baby daughter, it’s not the easiest to get into the Whites to hike or to have multiple days when I do. Last time I was here I noted that the trailhead for the Hancocks and the trailhead for the Kanc approach to the Osceolas was really close. So why not make a single day out of them?
I bought a lunch from Lincoln and left it hidden by the parking area at the Hancock Trailhead. It was nice to have a real lunch and not have to carry it up the mountain. I’m not a big fan of hanging out or eating on peaks anyway, I usually prefer the gentle glade next to the running water.
I started off with the Hancocks and then did the Osceolas after my stop for lunch. The Hancocks were a longer hike so I wanted to knock them off while my legs were fresh.
The Hancock Loop
Elevation Gain: 2650 ft
Peaks: South Hancock, Mount Hancock
Water Consumed: 1.5L total
People Seen: 4-6 groups – 1, pairs – 6, solo – 3
|Super flat on the bottom Hancock
This climb is a classic White mountain climb in my opinion. You start off on the Hancock Notch Trailhead. It’s a very pleasant, gentle climb along the water. Then you take a right onto the Cedar Brook Trail and the trail gets slightly more rugged as it crosses the brook back and forth. The trail suddenly got very squishy and well-marked and I became concerned that I was going down a wrong trail. I eventually realized that it was probably a detour and I went back and took a picture of the the split in the trail. It used to cross the brook, but now it follows the right side for a while.
|The detour leads away from the water,
up and to the right
Finally, when you reach the junction of the trails to the North and South Hancocks, that’s when the real fun begins. I chose to go to the smaller peak first but both paths are very steep to the summit, though not too much distance. The top of the South peak is unforgettable without a real clear view.
Then you walk along a ridge between the two peaks. It’s a pleasant ridge walk without too much terrain. According to peakbagger.com, there’s also a smaller peak in the middle, but I barely remember this as a false peak that I knew couldn’t be the main peak. The main peak itself has a sign pointing to an outlook with a decent view to the north.
|View from the outlook on the main peak|
On the way down, I realized I was going to be close to doing it in 3 hours, so I even tried to run the bottom part but didn’t quite make it. Still a pretty easy trail if I could do it in less than half the book time.
Elevation Gain: 2650 ft
After having a quick lunch, I marched down the Kanc to the Greeley Ponds trailhead. There I taped up one of my toes that was getting hot and walked a small ways in to the stream running across the trail and filled up on water. As I was walking away my Garmin watch beeped that it had disconnected from my phone. My phone had fallen out of my belt pouch and was sitting by the stream. I kissed my watch and determined that I would never turn off my Bluetooth connection again. 🙂
|Cute scramble between the peaks|