Friday, January 19, 2018


 I enjoyed sunny skies and fresh powder for a snowshoe ramble up Slide Brook on the Livermore and Mount Tripyramid Trails, then some great hardwood bushwhacking on the west slope of South Tripyramid. I tried but failed to find a small cliff up there that I had spotted from other summits.

Mt. Osceola was looking good in the morning. Later in the day the summit was socked in.

Flume Peak rising above Depot Camp on the Livermore Trail.

The fresh snow on Livermore was beautifully groomed by Waterville Valley XC.

White Cascade on Slide Brook was running strong.

Livermore Trail past the grooming, showing an old postholed track.

Heading onto the Mount Tripyramid Trail.

The immediate challenge was the crossing of Avalanche Brook.

I used this island of ice to fashion the crossing. It required several steps in the water, which of course led to massive snow clumping on my snowshoes.

I was pleased to see evidence of an old snowshoe track under the new snow.

Moose tracks and a mini ground blizzard from snow falling off overhead branches.

There's a nice backcountry feel out here.

A small cascade on Slide Brook.

I was pleased to be making first tracks in the 4-5" of new snow.

Several sections of the trail were minefields of frozen moose postholes. C'mon, Bullwinkle, wear your snowshoes!

 Trail crossing of Cold Brook. Wet snowshoes again.

Looking down Black Cascade, named for its dark gabbro bedrock.

Slide Brook above the cascade.

Nice brookside lunch spot.

I left the trail above Black Cascade and bushwhacked east up the slope through acres and acres of open second-growth hardwoods.

This area was heavily logged in the 1930s, as shown on this photo from Mt. Tecumseh that I found on ebay.

Looking back at a winding snowshoe track.

The hardwoods go ever on.

Looking back towards Mt. Tecumseh.

At 2800 ft. the slope steepened and conifers mixed in.

I was hoping to find what appeared to be a ledge or small cliff band, seen as a small white streak directly under Middle Tripyramid in this photo taken from Dickey Mountain. I had an estimated waypoint for this, but after 45 minutes of weaving up through gnarly spruce terrain, I saw no sign of a cliff. Maybe it was still higher up, but the snowshoeing was getting sketchy.

So I retreated to the friendly, sunny hardwoods and headed down.

I wandered across the slope to cross Cold Brook well above the trail. This stream flows from a high basin enclosed by the three Tripyramids. According to an early Waterville Valley guidebook by A.L. Goodrich, a good part of this stream flows underground.

This old logging road parallels Cold Brook on the north side. It's shown on the 1958 USGS Mt. Chocorua quadrangle.

A weathered stump from the old logging days.

Late afternoon sun.

Leaving a favorite corner of the Sandwich Range Wilderness.

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