The Hancocks

Date:  1/8/2012
Route:  Standard route from the Kanc on the Hancock Loop Trail (North then South)
Conditions:  The fastest conditions on this trail ever.  Packed snow w/ ice underneath, some icy spots.  In microspikes we could go as fast as we were physically able, not slowed down by trail conditions.  Water crossings were easy (mostly frozen over).
Dogs:  had two experienced winter climbing dogs - plenty of water down low.  No problems for the dogs.
Specs:  9.8-ish miles, 2,650-ish feet of gain.

Mutha's Trip report:  tMail, Dogman, Trudy, Spanky and I ran the loop.  tMail disappeared, returning around 2:20 or so but credited for the waiting around he did for me and Dogman, he pulled off a sub-two-hr run.  What an animal!  Dogman, the dogs and I hit the cars at exactly 2:40.  I doubt we'll ever have conditions this fast in there.  We spent so little time out there that I didn't eat or drink anything.  Got back to the car with a full liter of water.

Afterwards, hit the Cascade Cafe in Woodstock for portabella wraps, grilled ham sandwiches, cookies and lattes.

Fastest.  Conditions.  Ever.

If you're thinking of doing this loop in the next few days, now's the time.

Pictures here.

tMail's Trip Report:  This was a fascinating trip on a couple of fronts.

The trail conditions have been ideal for these "speed" hikes.  Its a weird concept "winter hiking" with running gear.  I actually took a pack this trip that had two jackets a Patagonia Nano Puff, MH Effusion Hood Jacket, Brooks Fleece Mittens and HH Hat.

I had a 26oz of water and two gels.  The conditions are fast and with spikes you get excellent traction, thanks also to Mutha who sharpened mine.  Even on hard ice I got purchase to push off.  The day was fast all day, we pushed hard.

DogMan was cursing in the parking lot, Mutha and I poisoned him, pulling stuff out of his bag, "am I allowed to bring this?" was uttered at one point, answer was "No".  The rule in all of this is you have to keep moving there is NO stopping, but if that is what you want to do that day, then that is acceptable.

I think we all enjoyed it and fought our own discomforts all day, mine was going up Hancock, brutal and the last 1.5 miles out cramp city and the ice was hard on the feet with micro-spikes.

After all was said and done we were all laughing at the parking lot about the battle, the dogs were still barking and jumping up and down.  We didn't talk much during the day BUT we had an awesome lunch at DogMan's Cafe find that serves excellent food, link here.

We caught up on the week, talked about card games, I am learning Mah Jong, business in the Northeast Kingdom, the pros and cons, upcoming trips, 2012 presidential election.  It was actually awesome, it was casual in a way after the track meet we had on the Hancocks, something we rarely get to do.

DogMan wanted to be home before dinner, that was his request.  If we didn't go to lunch he could have been home for lunch.

Great Day, missed the rest of you guys!!!! 

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