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About


Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak), Mt. Tripyramid (Middle Peak), Mt. Tripyramid (South Peak)
Waterville Valley, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the slide on the Mt. Tripyramid trail on the way to the North Peak
Looking up the slide on the Mt. Tripyramid trail on the way to the North Peak

Route: Livermore Road/Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Trail, (Mt. Tripyramid North Peak), Mt. Tripyramid Trail, (Mt. Tripyramid Middle Peak), Mt. Tripyramid Trail, (Mt. Tripyramid South Peak), Mt. Tripyramid Trail, Livermore Road/Trail

With a good fall weather forecast, it was time to try the Tripyramids.

I started out at the Livermore parking lot a bit later than I had hoped, but still a bit before 8:00. The Livermore Road/Trail is pretty easy going - very gradual, excellent footing. Add in morning sunshine, fall foliage, and Moby's Hotel Ambient album and you end up with a pretty good time.

Forunately I had read up on this hike a bit before, so I knew enough to go straight at the Mt. Tripyramid Trail junction, rather than follow it's arrow for the North Peak. I'm not sure if this was a typo or if they did this to keep people away from the north slide, but regardless I see how it could be a bit vexing.

Continuing up the Livermore Road/Trail, things started to steepen a bit, but never too much. Before I knew it, I was at the trailhead for the north slide portion of the Mt. Tripyramid Trail.

This part of the trail slowly creeps up alongside a brook, before cutting for the mountain and climbing progressively steeper up a very narrow portion of the slide. I found this part to have the worst footing, as it was somewhat protected by the trees, resulting in some moisture and moss.

Soon after, I was at the bottom of the visible portion of the slide - this was also a bit tricky, as it was mostly just steep ledge. I had my first 'oh crap' moment here when I slide downhill a little ways, but fortunately found a crack to grab onto.

Finally seeing a blaze, I tried to follow the so called trail. Soon, it looked like I was at the top of the slide - wha? This seemed like the biggest bust since Howard Dean '04 (or New York Yankees '04, your choice). Then I realized the direction of the blazes somehow led me to some herd path in the woods - I quickly bushwacked through a tree island back to the main slide and saw the more familiar scene in front of me - lots of loose rock, very wide, somewhat steep. Fun times!

I didn't make great time up this, mostly because I kept looking back and taking photos. Though the slide is not as steep/challenging as I had imagined, it's certainly not for anyone who has a fear of heights. I sort of zigzagged my way up, alternating between following blazes and cairns, before arriving at the very top of the slide. The views were great - Mt. Washington, the Franconia Ridge, the Osceolas, Tecumseh - excellent visibility, great fall colour.

Taking a left into the woods at the top of the slide (apparently a lot of people miss this turn in the trail as the blaze is worn out), I continued up the steep woods trail before arriving at the true summit about 5 minutes later. No views up here, but the views from the slide certainly make up for that.

Wasting no time, I continued on to the Middle Peak. Though there is a nice flat area between the two, the descent/ascent are both a bit steep. Nothing bad compared to a few minutes earlier, though!

Arriving at the Middle Peak's summit, I was greeted by great views on both sides - looking out toward Passaconaway and also out towards Tecumseh. Up until this point, I hadn't seen a person yet this entire hike!

After checking out the views for a few minutes, I was on my way down the very steep descent off Middle Tripyramid (the trail drops down a series of rock scrambles of sorts before becoming much more tame). South Tripyramid was in view pretty quickly after - and after another short, steep ascent, I was on it too.

There was nothing to see on South Tripyramid. Some very faint views through the trees, but nothing remotely worthwhile. That was enough to keep me going - time for the other slide!

After the steep descent to the top of the slide, I stopped for some photos and a snack - again, excellent views (though, not quite as good as the north peak's slide). Though this slide has more gravel, it also has much better footing, as traverses have been worn into it nearly the entire way down. There were a few sandy slips, but nothing scary. After taking my time heading down (pausing every minute or so to take more photos, as the Lake Winnipesaukee and the Waterville Valley Ski Area were in plain view), I was at the flat at the bottom. From here, I launched back into a faster walking speed, listening to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Weezer's Pinkerton.

Arriving back on the Livermore Trail/Road, I noticed a lot more traffic - "mountain" bikers were out enjoying the fall day.

A great fall day of hiking!


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak)
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (Middle Peak)
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (South Peak)
Length: Difficult
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Minimal
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, September 23, 2007
Hike Commenced: 7:42 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,560'
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak)
Ascent Commenced: 7:43 AM
Summit Reached: 10:00 AM
Time Elapsed: 02:17
Trailhead Elevation: 1,560'
Summit Elevation: 4,180'
Distance: 4.8 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,680'
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (Middle Peak)
Ascent Commenced: 10:00 AM
Summit Reached: 10:25 AM
Time Elapsed: 00:25
Trailhead Elevation: 4,180'
Summit Elevation: 4,140'
Distance: .8 mile
Vertical Gain: 320'
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (South Peak)
Ascent Commenced: 10:30 AM
Summit Reached: 10:42 AM
Time Elapsed: 00:12
Trailhead Elevation: 4,140'
Summit Elevation: 4,080'
Distance: .4 mile
Vertical Gain: 130'
Hike Ended: 1:13 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 05:31
Hike Distance: 11 miles
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,215'


The Livermore Road/Trail trailhead at the Livermore parking area
The Livermore Road/Trail trailhead at the Livermore parking area

Mt. Osceola and the Franconia Ridge as seen from the top of the north slide near the North Peak of Mt. Tripryamid - Click to enlarge
Mt. Osceola and the Franconia Ridge as seen from the top of the north slide near the North Peak of Mt. Tripryamid

The Tripyramid Trail to the Middle Peak
The Tripyramid Trail to the Middle Peak

Mt. Tecumseh and Mt. Osceola as seen from one of the view points on the Middle Peak of Mt. Tripyramid - Click to enlarge
Mt. Tecumseh and Mt. Osceola as seen from one of the view points on the Middle Peak of Mt. Tripyramid

Looking down the slide on The Mt. Tripyramid Trail below the South Peak
Looking down the slide on The Mt. Tripyramid Trail below the South Peak

The non existant view from Mt. Tripyramid's South Peak (go downhill a few hundred vertical feet for a view from the slide) - Click to enlarge
The non existant view from Mt. Tripyramid's South Peak (go downhill a few hundred vertical feet for a view from the slide)

Topographic map of Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak), Mt. Tripyramid (Middle Peak), Mt. Tripyramid (South Peak) - Click to enlarge


Directions to trailhead: Take Tripoli Road from the Waterville Valley ski area entrance to Livermore Road. The Livermore WMNF fee parking lot and trailhead are on the left (the rest/bulk of Livermore Road is closed to auto traffic).

Back to Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak) Profile
Back to Mt. Tripyramid (Middle Peak) Profile
Back to Mt. Tripyramid (South Peak) Profile




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