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About


Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak), Mt. Tripyramid (Middle 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 Scaur Ridge Trail on the way to the North Peak
Looking up the Scaur Ridge Trail on the way to the North Peak

Route: Livermore Road/Trail, Scaur Ridge Trail, bushwhack, Scaur Ridge Trail, bushwhack, Pine Bend Brook Trail, (Mt. Tripyramid North Peak), Mt. Tripyramid Trail, (Mt. Tripyramid Middle Peak), Mt. Tripyramid Trail, (Mt. Tripyramid North Peak), Pine Bend Brook Trail, Scaur Ridge Trail, bushwhack, Scaur Ridge Trail, Livermore Road/Trail

A late start in the snow on soon to be unbroken trail. Fun.

Starting near the end of a mild snowstorm, I quickly set off on the Livermore Trail. While the first 2 miles were nicely groomed for cross country skiing, I was breaking trail just as soon as the track split off. Fortunately, I had maintained a good pace up to that point, giving me a little bit extra daylight time.

I ended up breaking out nearly two miles of the Livermore Trail, up to the Scaur Ridge Trail junction. I had sort of expected this stretch to be at least recently used, however the only tracks were skis, which I tried to avoid.

The Scaur Ridge Trail looked like it hadn't been used at all in quite awhile. Not only was there not an established footbed visible under the foot or so of powder, but branches and brush were growing into the trail. Sparsely blazed, a few times I worried I had perhaps stayed on the roadbed too long, only to see another faded yellow blaze a few minutes later.

After crossing a brook and entering a birch glade, I lost the trail altogether. At first, I tried to follow what seemed to be perhaps a trail (looking for broken off branches, etc.), but without luck. Knowing I could probably ascend to the Pine Bend Brook Trail, I started bushwhacking uphill. Reaching some thicker spruce and steeper terrain, I turned back, checked the last known blaze, and tried to go straight across the ridge a bit. Again, no sign of a trail or blazes.

My third attempt was to go downhill, as the AMC map showed a bit of a dip in the trail at this point. After dropping a decent amount, I again reached some steep terrain with thicker spruce - and no sign of the trail.

Realizing I had perhaps only one more chance to find the way before bumping into my turnaround time, I backtracked a bit, then headed up a slightly more open area. A few minutes later, I found a blaze and let out a Les Stroud 'ya!' Continuing up, I soon lost the trail again - no sign of any blazes or anything. Since I knew I was on the ascending portion of the trail up to this point, I had more confidence in bushwhacking straight up the ridge, knowing I'd hit the Pine Bend Brook Trail. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I hit the trail about 50-100 feet below the Scaur Ridge junction.

This portion of the Pine Bend Brook Trail was a bit windblown, despite having been broken out a day earlier. As I reached the steeper portion of the trail, I was definitely starting to feel a little bit of fatigue from the trailbreaking and bushwhacking. Nonetheless, I was able to climb up the steeps and was soon at the summit of North Tripyramid. A quick check of the viewpoint showed me that I was up in the clouds.

Though I was about 15 minutes past my turnaround time for North Tripyramid, I decided I had enough gas left to make an attempt at Middle Tripyramid. Though a little bit tired (and having not stopped for a break yet), I was able to make halfway decent time to the middle peak, trailbreaking and all.

Middle Tripyramid was also in the clouds, a bit of a letdown since it's otherwise quite a scenic place.

Stuffing a sandwich in my mouth, I made my way back to North Tripyramid, just in time to see some blue sky overhead. Pushing through the spruce to the viewpoint again, I had some vague views...until all of a sudden the clouds started to push away. Soon, I was looking at the Moats, Pleasant Mountain in Maine, and Chocorua with tremendous visibility. A few minutes later, I could see most of Carrigain and even some glimpses toward the Presidentials. Not bad!

I ended up doing a bunch of snowshoe slides down the steeps Pine Bend Brook Trail, which certainly helped get me closer to my original turnaround timeframe. Back at the Scaur Ridge Trail junction, I attempted to follow the trail down. With no blazes visible and lots of snowcovered spruce, I bushwhacked back to my ascending path and worked my way back down. By the time I reached the birch glade, the late day sun was creating some dramatic colors in the woods.

The sun set while I was on the Livermore Trail - it looked like a great sunset, however I didn't have a clear view of it at anypoint. The trail dragged on and on in the dark - the moonrise had yet to happen. Nonetheless, the trail was obvious enough that I didn't need my headlamp to get out.

At the beginning of the drive back, the moon rose over the Sandwich Range in dramatic fashion.


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


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, January 11, 2009
Hike Commenced: 10:01 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,560'
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak)
Ascent Commenced: 10:01 AM
Summit Reached: 1:48 PM
Time Elapsed: 03:47
Trailhead Elevation: 1,560'
Summit Elevation: 4,180'
Vertical Gain: 3,100'
Destination: Mt. Tripyramid (Middle Peak)
Ascent Commenced: 1:50 PM
Summit Reached: 2:19 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:29
Trailhead Elevation: 4,180'
Summit Elevation: 4,140'
Distance: .8 mile
Vertical Gain: 320'
Hike Ended: 5:44 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 07:43
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,860'


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

Looking at the Moats, Pleasant Mountain, the Three Sisters, and Mt. Chocorua from the viewpoint near the summit of Mt. Tripryamid's north peak - Click to enlarge
Looking at the Moats, Pleasant Mountain, the Three Sisters, and Mt. Chocorua from the viewpoint near the summit of Mt. Tripryamid's north peak

The wind drifted Tripyramid Trail to the Middle Peak
The wind drifted Tripyramid Trail to the Middle Peak

Looking at clouds from the Middle Tripyramid summit - Click to enlarge
Looking at clouds from the Middle Tripyramid summit

Looking down the Scaur Ridge Trail just before sunset
Looking down the Scaur Ridge Trail just before sunset

Topographic map of Mt. Tripyramid (North Peak), Mt. Tripyramid (Middle 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




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