Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tripyramids revisited

In 2005 I hiked up Tripyramids with Matt, John, Angelika and their son, Parker.

The hike was up the North Peak along the Livermore trail which takes you up this impressive scree slope.

The scree eventually becomes a massive slide of huge slabs which you have to scramble up - apparently treacherous when wet. I took some photographs of the hike at the time which you can see in a slideshow here.

This week I hiked up again, this time with John and Bruce.  We following a different route which went up to a col (saddle) from where we were able to walk along the ridge to take in the Middle, South and North peaks.  John sent a GPS map of the trail we took.

We met early and stopped at the Sabbaday Falls parking lot on the Kancamangus Highway.  We saw some of the early activity of the Highland Games which is held at Loon Mountain over this weekend as we drove past.

The Sabbaway Falls are on the left of the trail, only 0.3mi from the parking lot.  I didn't have my tripod, but there was a good wooden railing with a lookout over the falls so I was able to take a long exposure of the water cascading  down.

The Kancamangus Highway was opened again this past weekend after being closed for flooding that washed out sections of the highway from hurricane Irene.  Our choice to hike up the stream bed past Sabbaday Falls took us through broken and washed out sections of the trail.  At several places along the stream we have to search for the trail, sometimes at places where it had been washed away just before a crossing.  The water was low enough for us to cross fairly easily, though.

The total hike was 12mi (19 km) from an elevation of around 1000 ft to over 4000 ft.

It was amazing to me how different the character of the hike was from this trail.  The large slabs are a very scary prospect and, considering that it was raining lightly when we drove out there (and snowed lightly a few times during the hike) we were glad that we didn't go up that way.  The few rocky slabs that we did have to go up were just wet enough to be dangerous and we had to move carefully up them.

Of the three summits, only North and Middle count for the 48  4000ft high peaks but once you are on the ridge it is an easy hike to reach all three.  Middle has a good view of the valley and we stopped twice there - once when we reached it from the col and then again when we came back from South peak and stopped for lunch.

Another hiker was there with his Jack Russel - a sweet dog who thought we were all going to feed him and came forward eagerly when I bent down to take a picture of him.

The walk out was longer than I expected it to be and the mile along the road back to the parking lot was a little painful - my joints were complaining by then.  We took 7 and a half hours to do the 12 miles which isn't a bad rate (1.6mi/h) for hiking in these mountains.

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