Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Hike to North and Middle Tripyramids

After a busy week at work I was feeling pretty tired but wanted to get a hike in on what was to be the best weather day of the weekend. Today's hike would start on the Kancamagus Highway and follow the Pine Bend Brook Trail to North Tripyramid (4,180') and across the Mount Tripyramid Trail to Middle Tripyramid (4,140').

 Sunrise from Bartlett

 View from Bear Notch Road


 Leaves are changing color

When I got to Bartlett the sun was just coming up through the fog and mountains. As I drove across the Bear Notch Road there was some beautiful early morning views with scattered fog in the valleys, a partly cloudy sky and the rising sun giving some color to the clouds.

 Pine Bend Brook

There is a lot of work going on along the Kancamagus Highway including new pavement. One stretch was completely torn up and down to a dirt road. I drove by Sabbaday Falls parking lot and there were very few cars there. Trailead parking for the Pine Bend Brook trail is along the edge of the road on the Kancamagus Highway.

 Lots of mushrooms today

I parked in front of one other car that was already there. There was a lady sitting in the car and I asked her if she had enough room to get out, she said she did. Moments later a car came along and picked her up. I figured they were going to the Sabbaday Brook Trail and doing the loop. I was right, I later met them on the summit of North Tripyramid.

 Large mushroom growing straight up sideways from the ground

I was soon on my way up the Pine Bend Brook Trail. It wasn't long before a hiker came up behind me. I thought I recognized him from his posts on the Facebook page The 4,000 Footer Club-Climbing and Hiking in New Hampshire. Sure enough, it was Brian and I went on ahead while he stopped and took some photos.

 First view from the trail

 View from the summit of North Tripyramid

It was getting warm and I stopped to change to shorts and short-sleeves. Brian caught up and we started talking. We had the same pace and ended up talking and hiking to both summits together. It was nice to meet him and have some company on the trail.

North Tripyramid #40

While this trail has some small boulder and ledge scrambles along with a few steep sections it was not particularly difficult. As the trail reached the ridgeline to the summit of North Tripyramid there was a cool breeze blowing and we added a layer. A final steep stretch and we were at the summit.

 Mount Tecumseh (Waterville Valley) in the distance

The views on North Tripyramid are limited with only one clear outlook to the northeast. A few photos and we moved on to Middle Tripyramid. The views from this summit were a little bit better with a nice outlook to the west looking directly at Mount Tecumseh (Waterville Valley) and the Osceolas. The summit was getting crowded with many hikers starting to show up. We had a bite to eat, took some more photos and started our descent.

 South Peak of the Tripyramids

 Middle Tripyramid #41

We reached the Sabbaday Brook Trail junction. Brian would be making his descent here to complete a loop hike and I would be returning to the Pine Bend Brook Trail. I had a great time hiking with him and it seemed to make the hike go faster. We parted ways and it would be a solo hike back to the Kancamagus.

 Mount Chocorua and the Sisters

 North Tripyramid

So it was back up to North Trypyramid. The sun was a little brighter this time on the summit and I took some more photos. Just below the summit the Mount Tripyramid Trail comes up from the North Slide. As I looked down the trail I saw two hikers that I knew ahead of time would be hiking here today, Steven and Nancy. I follow their hikes on the Facebook hiking page. It was great to meet them and we took some photos together. They confirmed that a short hike down the trail they just came up would take me to the top of the slide.

 Brian ready to make his descent on Sabbaday Brook Trail

Steven and Nancy coming up from the North Slide

The top of North Slide

I decided to check out the slide and made my way down the steep trail knowing I would have to climb back up again. Arriving at the slide provided confirmation that I had made the right choice. The view was fantastic! Some day I'll have to return and do both North and South slides. A few photos and I was climbing up again.

 Mount Tecumseh (Waterville Valley)

 The Osceolas

When I arrived back at the trail junction it would be all downhill from here. I passed many hikers on the trail, some going down and some coming up. I had forgotten how many water crossings and blowdowns there were but no problems with any of them.

 Climbing back up from the North Slide

 Mount Washington in the distance

Back at the trailhead there were several vehicles parked along the road. I had a little gift on the hood of my vehicle, someone's Dunkin Donuts bag of trash so I added it to mine for proper disposal. I figured if that was the worse thing that happened today then it was a great day!

While this was a nice hike in the woods and fun climb to the summits the limited views are a little disappointing. The views that are visible are very nice! North Tripyramid was #40 and Middle Tripyramid was #41. I now have seven more summits to complete my 48 4,000 footers!

View from North Tripyramid

View from Middle Tripyramid

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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