Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Hancock Valley Ramble: 3/5/19

I had hoped to climb North Hancock and soak in the sun and deep-snowpack views, but a home maintenance issue intervened. A 1:30 pm start was too late for this slowpoke to do the peak climb, so I substituted some snowshoe wandering around the base of the mountain.

Nice 'shoeing on the Hancock Notch Trail.

Even in the valley, the depth is above the pole handle.

Wild woods abound in Hancock country.

View down the North Fork of Hancock Branch to a southern spur of Mt. Hitchcock.

A junction well-known to peakbaggers.

Fine open spruce woods along the Cedar Brook Trail.

 I made a careful crossing of the North Fork on a former route of the trail.

 Open terrain.

Bushwhacking through open spruces en route to a bog with views.

Arriving at the bog. Deep, firm snowpack made this an ideal time for a visit. At other times of year the bog is too wet and fragile.

The wild spread of North Hancock, South Hancock and Juno Peak.

 The two 4000-footers.

North Hancock is a fine-looking peak.

The Arrow Slide. With binoculars I could see a pair of ski tracks.

Looking east to Hancock Notch, the broad gap between Juno Peak and Mt. Huntington.

Talus slopes on Huntington. Unique views of the Hancocks from up there.

Mt. Huntington.

On the way back I made a side trip partway up to Hancock Notch. Eric "Barbarossa" had gone up to the notch last weekend, following and then losing the trail and bushwhacking the rest of the way. I followed his tracks through the new snow along the trail.... a six-foot deep brook crevasse he had told me about.

I followed his tracks around to a crossing where the gap was not quite as deep.

I left his tracks and tried to follow the trail. Could this be it?

This sure looks like the trail.

At this point I figured I was off it. I whacked up to about 2700 ft., not too far from the height-of-land, but reached my turn-around time.

A peek up at the Huntington talus.

Heading back in low slanting sunlight.

Beautiful open woods on the west side of the notch. A very wild area in winter.

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