July 8, 2006
The Tripyramids - White Mountains, NH 48-4K Series
Our group of 5 arrived at The Depot Camp Parking area and hit the trail at about 9:30 on a picture perfect day. The usual road walk of 3.6 miles to the turn off for the North Slide was extended to probably 4.6 miles. One of the things I have learned from hiking the Whites is to never take Yogi Berra's advice which is when you come to a fork in the road, you take it! When will I learn that the Forrest Service makes the most confusing trail signs possible! We began, along with another group of hikers, to take the trip in reverse simply because the sign said North Tripyramid with an arrow on it without thinking about the mileage as marked on it. It was the extreme non-recommended reverse loop of our trip. Hats off to Dave I for catching it before we went too far. The other group of three generations of look alike fathers and sons decided to keep on and do the reverse loop. We went back and added the mile or so to the original 11, a good move. The slide was everything people said it was: steep and a serious scramble for much of its length. We were fortunate in that it was quite dry, even at the bottom, so we had good traction on those slabs. Glad I brought the low boy Merrells on this trip for added Spider Man traction.
I found this slide definitely in the category with classic scrambles in the Whites. I've done Huntington many times and I think the North Slide of Tripyramid is different, but every bit as tough and longer. It's like many repeated instances of the first part of the Huntington headwall where you have to scramble up those steep slabs.
At the top of the North Slide we stopped and enjoyed lunch and the views of Waterville Valley. The North peak is wooded and non-spectacular, so we headed on towards the South peak and ran into our 3 Amigos. They were tired as the trip up the South Slides loose gravel was, I am sure, a great challenge. I hope they went down the North OK. I agree with the experts. The north is not a recommended descent.
Coming down the South Slide was also exciting, with its steepness and tons of loose rock. Came upon several groups going up this way. They were doing o.k. It was a bit nerve wracking . I also did my Yogi Berra interpretation of sliding into home plate. SAFE!!! just a bruised ego. After this and the slide down Flume 2 weeks ago I, I am fully aware of why they are called Slides.
Once the slide ended, it was a long walk back to the Livermore parking area, both on the trail and road, which was a welcome relief form tip toeing on loose sliding gravel.
It was a marvelous day in The Whites. We were tired and hungry and I decided to get us lost one more time looking for a great restaurant we at after the Franconia Ridge trip last year. Didn't find it, but found a decent replacement in Lincoln.