Friday, May 17, 2013

Tripyramids 5/16/13

Working title: A Tale of Two Slides (really)

Peaks: North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, South Tripyramid

Trails: Livermore Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Trail

Mileage/time: 11.1 miles, 3214 feet of gain, book time of 7:10, actual time of 7:39

Tripyramids, how many times have I hiked you? This makes four, the third via the "infamous" North Slide. Conditions made for a rickety ascent at first, but we'll get to that. Mike was leading this hike for the Meetup group, Random Group of Hikers, and we had a crew of six heading up. Mike and I were joined by Karen, Debra, Brad, and Radley. This would be a Grid only day, as there would be no redlining, and no new peaks... and I seriously resisted the urge to do something on my ride home! We all met around 8am, and started up the Livermore Trail/Road shortly thereafter.

Photographic treats abound on the Livermore Trail, with fresh leaves, wildflowers, and the rushing of Avalanche Brook. We moved quickly, but stopped to take in some scenes along the way.

Making quick time (thanks to Karen) to the upper junction, we took a break before heading into the wilderness, and the slides. We started to see patchy snow in the woods while heading toward the slide, and by the time we reached the bottom, we had to contend with a foot or two of unstable snow, and damp, slippery slabs.

After some slips, and questionable footing, the rocks became drier, and the snow disappeared. The slabs became more grippy, and some fun was had! That, and some pesky views.


Like anything good, the climb was over too fast, and we all regrouped at the top of the slide, taking a break in the sun.

Long way down!
Pressing on, through some lingering snow and ice, we shortly reached the summit of North Tripyramid, and took in some views from the viewpoint. Hint: hop over the summit rock onto the herd path to the north.

Chocorua and Passaconaway
Another short break later, and we were off again, towards Middle peak. Some patchy snow and ice remains in the col and on some shadier areas, but the trail was in pretty good shape. In what felt like no time, we stood on Middle.

South Tripyramid and Sandwich Dome
A quick geography lesson, and we were on our way, steeply down, then up and over South peak. Here comes the second slide of the day, the less well known, and less challenging, South Slide. More scree and gravel, but with some slabby bits, it was a great descent back to the woods below, with far reaching views to the south and west.

Soon, we were back in the woods, on a soft footbed, next to Slide Brook. There were several nice trailside scenes, including an impressive cascade, known as Black Cascade. Not sure if I got a picture of it!

Along this section, we saw the only other hiker we'd see all day, a lady named Sandy. She's working on her grid, is 92% done, and that's just since she turned 60!!! Way to go, and nice to meet you! Shortly, we reached the lower junction, not before I just walked through the last crossing... felt so good on the feet. The roadwalk went quickly, and we rolled into the lot about 10 minutes before 4.

A post-hike celebration was had at the Mad River Tavern, where Mike and I imbibed on some delicious Switchback Ale. Thanks to all of you for an awesome day, one of the best Meetups thus far!


  1. Nice report, and super photos. Particularly liked the fantastic shot looking down the North Slide. It can be challenging to capture that view. You nailed it! It provides the perspective of what it's like looking downward from high up on the slide.


    1. Cheers John, thanks! I wish there was a perspective that would allow you to look down more of the length of the slide, but that's nature for you, never making it easy. It's definitely one of my favorite sections of trail in the Whites. I'm looking forward to tackling it next winter on skis!