Osceola's & Hancock's

Breaking out the Osceola's for Breakfast....Hanging in the Hancock's for Lunch...Dinner time dismantling of Denver by the Patriots!

Date of Hike: 1/14/12

Greeley Ponds Trail / Mount Osceola Trail: 7.6 miles (3,300 elevation gain)
Hancock Notch / Cedar Brook / Hancock Loop Trail: 9.8 miles (2,700 elevation gain)
Click here for trail descriptions

Trip Report:
- Perfect day to stay well below treeline with the cold temperatures and wind gusts. Had to break out Greeley Ponds and Mount Osceola Trail but other than some gnarly snow drifts between Osceola East Peak and Osceola Main Peak it wasn't to bad and was fun, especially being the first to go up the small slide.  Snowshoes the whole way, ran into two other guys on the ridge in snowshoes, one with a cool looking dog.  Once coming down back off East Peak passed nine hikers all in microspikes having fun.
- Finished around 11:30am, changed, warmed up, refueled and headed right up the road to the hairpin turn to jump on the Hancock Notch Trail.  All the trails were broken out perfectly by snowshoes so it was pretty easy going until the steep section up to North Peak drained me pretty good.
- As I hiked along the ridge from North to South Hancock the weather was probably around zero and the wind in places came zooming through so I just kept chugging along to stay as warm as I could.  Views from both summit outlooks were excellent with high cloud formations hovering above the White Mountains.
- The best part of the hike was the steep 0.6 miles from South Hancock's Summit to the loop junction sign.  It was perfect butt sliding snow where and easy to stay in control.  As I was sliding down I came across one random snowshoe and then another.  I picked them up as I slid by and kept going until I reached their righful owner who was with his two kids taking a break before the long walk out to the trailhead.
- The last two miles was a gutcheck, my hand-warmers that I broke out at 7am at the Greeley Ponds Trailhead finally stopped working and my hands froze up badly trying to get the next pair of hand-warmers to start working.
- Made it back to the car around four and blasted the heat on high for a good fifteen minutes to thaw out while taking in the views from the Hairpin Turn Outlook on the Kancamagus Highway.

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

 Greeley Ponds Trailhead Parking off the Kanc
 Breaking out the Greeley Ponds Trail
 Looking up the small slide on the Mount Osceola Trail
 Top of small slide
 Snow drifts along the Mount Osceola Trail
 Above the "Chimney" in the col between East Peak Osceola and Osceola Main Peak
 Mount Osceola
 Hancock Mountain Range
 Slide now broken up by a few hikers
 Arrow Slide from the North Link of the Hancock Loop Trail
 View over to Loon Mountain from North Hancock
 South Hancock
 View from South Hancock Summit
 Hancock Notch Trail
Hairpin Turn Outlook (Hancock Notch Trailhead) off the Kanc

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