The Arrow Slide

Date of Hike: 9/6/10

Hancock Notch/Cedar Brook Trail: 2.5 miles  / Hancock Loop Trail: 1.1. miles  /  Arrow Slide .7 miles  /  Hancock Loop Trail: 2.0 miles  /  Hancock Notch/Cedar Brook Trail: 2.5 miles
Total Miles: 9.8 (2,650 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- After hiking 38 miles over two days I decided to take it easy and do a short hike in order to beat the Labor Day traffic back home to RI.
- I figured doing the Hancock's was a great idea for a quick hike but to make the normally not too exciting hike more interesting and fun I decided to venture up the steep Arrow Slide up to the summit of North Hancock.
- On Trail at 7:15am, foot of slide 8:30am, North Hancock summit 9:45am, South Hancock summit 10:15am, finished at 11:45am.  Clear skies with temps starting in the mid 40's rising to low 50's on the slide to high 60's back at the car.
- There was nothing out of the ordinary for the hike along Hancock Notch/Cedar Brook Trails.  Saw a couple of tents set up across Cedar Brook but it was early so no one was out.
- Once I arrived at the split on the Hancock Loop Trail I headed to North Hancock and dropped down to a flat area where there were signs of recent camping and a fire pit.  From the campsite I ventured into the woods and within a few minutes I arrived at the foot of the slide.
- The Arrow Slide starts off over small rocks and loose gravel through a narrow area then it starts to open up.  The slide turns into a mix of rocks and boulders as the the grade steepens. Views start to open up as the middle of the slide is reached and this is where the real fun starts!
- From here the slide is excessively steep with a mix of polished slab with decent handholds to wet slimy rock slabs which are difficult and possibly dangerous.  There are also some areas of soft gravels/sand and loose rocks mixed in, mostly to the side of the slide.
- I first went left up over a short dry section followed by a gravel/sand section and then angled my way back into the middle of the slide.
- From here I started to go left up dry polished rock slabs but after about fifty feet I got a little nervous and decided to head back down from where I was. If I was with people I would have scrambled up this part but hiking solo I take extra caution to avoid getting myself caught in a real bad jam.
- After backtracking down I decided to go up the middle and quickly cross a tricky short slimy section over to rock slabs and into a crack with loose rocks and gravel where I ascended diagonally left towards a big cairn at the top section where the slide splits.
- The Views while hiking the middle and upper part of the slide of the Osceola and Scar Ridge were great and looking down into the bowl of the Hancock's while on the slide gave a real sense of just how steep this slide was.
- At the cairn you can go left or right, I decided to go left where the slide becomes narrow until ending at a dense section of fern trees.
- From here I would be bushwhacking 0.1 miles to the summit of North Hancock through nasty dense fern trees with awful footing.  It was the thickest and toughest bushwhack I've done so far.  I headed at a an angle of one o'clock and after about ten minutes I popped out right at the outlook for the North Hancock summit!
- I took a break to relax and refuel before heading over to South Hancock and booking it back to the car all the while thinking of other slides to hike...Passaconway, Lincoln, South Twin!

Pictures: Click here for all Pictures

Looking Down the Arrow Slide
Up the Steep Arrow Slide
My Route up the Arrow Slide
Upper Section of the Slide
The Arrow Slide (photo shopped)

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