Peaks: North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid
Trails: Livermore Trail (from the Kanc), Mt. Tripyramid Trail, Pine Bend Brook Trail
Mileage/time: 10.9 miles, 3300 feet of gain, book time of 7:09, actual time of 6:18
Sitting here (rather half laying) today, looking back on this hike, my body doesn't like me. Since I first hiked with Mike back in September, we've been talking about doing the North Slide on the Tripyramids, the second most difficult regular hiking trail in the White Mountains. The most difficult being Huntington Ravine, which we slayed our first time out. Finally, after waiting out shitty weather, and a bunch of waffling on my part, we finally had a solid window to make an attempt.
I've been up the slide before, a bit more than two years ago. Now, there's something to be said for experience, and likewise, there's something to be said for being properly equipped. Those were two things I was NOT when I was first on this trail. Having hiked 119 peaks since then, and to put it mildly, having seen some shit, I was more than ready to tackle this again. Last time, the biggest factor, was the dusting of snow, and the light snow that kept falling from the sky. It made for a harrowing ascent of the slide, sticking mostly to the edges, hauling ourselves up by tree branches. This time would prove to be different.
Mike decided on an 8am meet time at Pine Bend Brook, the gentleman Wayne who we met on the Hancocks a few weeks back, was going to be joining us. He was there before I was! Mike arrived, and since he was the last, we piled into his truck for the short ride up to the Livermore trailhead across from Lily Pond.
|Mt. Kancamagus (?) from the road|
We quickly reached the northern end of the Mt. Tripyramid Trail, and made the turn, hitting the Sandwich Range Wilderness boundary at 10. Up to this point, we'd been dealing with dry (frozen) trail, some minor mud, and blowdowns. The section I was most worried about, the base of the slide, was coming up. After a small section of gravely outwash, the slide began, and as I feared, there was a healthy glaze of ice!
|The icy base of the slide|
Compared to last time, this climb was a breeze. Views opened up the higher we climbed, the slabs were dry and grippy, with only minimal (and very avoidable) ice in some isolated cracks. In all honesty, it went by too quickly, and before we knew it, we were at the top of the slide, and headed back into the woods to hit the summit.
I finally found the "viewpoint" on North Tripyramid, after being up here twice before. It wasn't bad, a short little herd path just behind the summit rock to the left. The views were pretty obstructed, but they ranged from Washington to the north to Passaconway to the east. We didn't linger here for long, and made our way quickly over to Middle Tripyramid, where the views are better, and we took a break for lunch.
|West from Middle Tripyramid (Camel's Hump is in the center on the horizon)|
|Chocorua and Passaconaway from Middle Tripyramid|
We popped out on the Kanc at 2:33, just after my predicted end time of 2:30. After a brief rest, we decided to drive to Lincoln and get coffee. Wayne followed Mike and I, as I dropped him at his truck, then continued on to the coffee shop. There, we hashed out plans for next Thursday (it's looking like a full Franconia Ridge Traverse if the weather holds), and reminisced about the day. I soon took my leave, and wound my way back along the Kanc. The sunset was brilliant, and I stopped at one of the overlooks to take some pictures. Thanks to Mike and Wayne for an awesome day!