Monday, May 25, 2020

Fourth Pyramid Loop

A trail and bushwhack loop over Tripyramid's Scaur Peak (once known as the "Fourth Pyramid") with a side trip to the bottom of the North Slide. An interesting day with great variety and wildflowers a' plenty.

Several patches of Wood Anenome graced the edge of the Livermore Trail.

Also found some Dutchman's Breeches that WVAIA President Dan Newton had told me about.

Spring greens along the Livermore Trail.

First hobblebush blooms of the season.

A large artifact at the site of Avalanche Camp, used in the 1930s and 1940s by Parker-Young Co. Almost looks like part of a vehicle.

Old apple tree at the camp location.

A carpet of Bellworts lining the trail.

Spring Beauties.

Above the Scaur Ridge Trail junction, Livermore Trail is less traveled.

I left Livermore Trail and bushwhacked up onto the SW ridge of Scaur Peak, following a network of parallel logging sled roads used in the 1940s or 1950s.

Nice high elevation hardwood stand.

Trout lilies abounded on this route.

Plenty of Red Trilliums, too.

These sled roads are remarkably preserved. The Scaur Ridge Trail follows one of the lower roads in the network.

Forest monarch.

Above 3000 ft. spruces start to take over the road.

Found an opening with a head-on look at Tripyramid's North Slide.

I sat here for a while and with binoculars watched a couple of hikers work their way up.

Up on the crest of the ridge I wandered through some open glades that would be fern gardens in summer.

A unique area.

Moose wander here, too.

A glimpse of Mt. Tecumseh.

Trout lilies at 3300 ft.

I hadn't planned to climb Scaur Peak, which I'd been to several times before, but the open, snow-free woods lured me upward.

A moose path was going my way for a short distance.

Still mostly snow-free at 3400 ft. on this south-facing slope. Had to navigate through snow only for the last 0.2 mile.

An old antler emerging from the snow.

Deep drift on the wooded summit of Scaur Peak (3605 ft.).

The saddle between Scaur Peak and the Pine Bend Brook Trail is home to some remarkable gnarled yellow birches.

One of several small mountain meadows along the saddle.

The creature of Scaur Ridge.

Monorail art on Pine Bend Brook Trail.

The trail signs have come up for air.

I ventured out onto deep but fairly firm spring snow for views on the north side of the ridge.

Mt. Carrigain, the Nancy Range, and the Presidentials.

Marbled Mt. Washington.

This snowpack will be here for a while.

A third of a mile of monorail on the upper Scaur Ridge Trail was enough for me.

End of the rail line.

North Tripyramid from Scaur Ridge Trail.

I bushwhacked down from the trail into the tributary valley below.

Idyllic. Felt like I was in the Catskills.

A lovely nameless stream flows down through the valley.

From the bottom of the tributary I bushwhacked up along Avalanche Brook, beyond where the Mount Tripyramid Trail turns up to the North Slide, and continued to the base of the slide's eastern fork, where a spring snowmelt cascade slipped into a coldwater pool.

Closer look.

I still had time to go a little way up the lower part of the North Slide, below where the climbing (and especially descending) gets sketchy.

Looking up the slide. The trail follows alongside this section in the woods.

Here is where the trail becomes more difficult on slippery slabs.

I scooted out to the side for a backlit look at the ridge I ascended in the morning, with Mt. Osceola in the distance.

Old yellow birches guard the Mount Tripyramid Trail at the entrance to Avalanche Ravine.

Evening on the Livermore Trail.

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