Ascent of North Tripyramid on 2010-02-06

Climber: Michael Petcher

Date:Saturday, February 6, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:North Tripyramid
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4160 ft / 1267 m

Ascent Trip Report

Peaks/Trails: North and Middle Tripyramids via Pine Bend Brook and Mt Tripyramid trails

Trail Date: 02/06/2010

Participants: CrazyBob and Petch

Trail Conditions: Hard packed trail down low, some ice on the steeper sections, a couple inches over hard packed trail up on the peaks. Snowshoes or crampons recommended on steeper sections. Stream crossings were either bridged or rock hoppable. Poles very useful for the crossings and for stability on the steep stuff

Commentary: Well, on February 2nd, Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter. Not such a bad thing if you enjoy winter hiking, I guess. Can you believe that PETA is trying to replace Phil with a robotic groundhog? There are so many "real" issues in the world........and so much mis-directed energy being spent. The more I hear, the less I understand.
In any event, time for a good winter hike up on the pyramids and perhaps cap it off with a thick juicy steak!

The Pine Bend Brook trail has a nice warm up with little elevation gain for sometime. Then, it's all uphill from there. We bare booted in for a while on a hard packed trail. Then as we hit the beginning of the steeper sections, we put on our snowshoes for traction and for the use of the televators. If you are a non-televator like I was, you will quickly be converted once you start using them. It was a classic battle: MSR vs Tubbs, Lightning's vs Flex ALP's, oh the drama!. But today, both shoes performed well with no issues.
As CrazyBob and I ascended the steep stuff, I began to question my decision about leaving my G10 crampons back in the trunk of the car. Yeah, I was carrying microspikes. But, the steeps weren't microspike conditions. There was a lot of ice hidden under the snow. I began to worry about the hike down.........

“Ice, Ice, Baby”

Onward we went gaining elevation, and gaining views as well. There were high thin clouds to the East and things looked clearer towards the West. Conditions looked like they would improve as the day went on. Nice views out to Carrigain and Big George. We waved over towards Bob and Geri and company up on Carrigain, but no one waved back...In their defense - I doubt they could see us.

“Big George in the distance”

We continued our ascent and then began seeing North Tripyramid through the trees and its infamous slide. Then we made our final push and on top we were. We decided to keep pushing and grab lunch after bagging the Middle peak. Down into the col and up again to Middle Tripyramid. The views towards Waterville Valley were great. You could actually see the half-pipe on the lower ski trail. Great shots looking at Moosilauke as well and Chocorua off the other side look out. Good stuff.

“CrazyBob looking into Waterville Valley”

Disassembly is reverse of assembly, so we began our journey back and grabbed some chow between the 2 peaks. We ran into a few folks (I think one of them was Damselfly), who had parked behind us down on the Kanc. We also met Georg, an accomplished hiker who is working on the grid. We chatted with him again on the other side of North Tripyramid. He seemed to know quite a few folks in the hiking community.
We then began our descent down the steep stuff. Although CrazyBob had crampons with him, he opted to stay in snowshoes. Maybe he felt bad for me, I don't know. I must say that even in steep, icy terrain, the Tubbs and the MSR's did a great job. Coming down, it's really a matter of taking shorter steps and keeping your weight on top of the shoes allowing the crampons underneath to bite. That combined with some side stepping and the descent of the steep stuff went pretty well. I would not have tried this with my older 15 yr old Tubbs, but the Flex ALP's really grip.
We made short order of the remaining hike down and were back at the car by 1:45pm. Not bad for a couple hiking hacks. I guess I should just speak for myself.

Gear related news: Bob's 2nd trip in his new plastic boots went well. I "threw a rod" (broke a hiking pole). Other than that, nothing else to report.

A great day out in the mountains and another 2 off the list……

Hiking Stats: 9.6 miles, elev gain 3450ft total, 5 hrs 50min
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