Thursday, November 9, 2023

Tripyramid West Side Wander: 11/8/23

I wanted to do some hardwood bushwhacking on this cold, windy day, in an area where there would likely be no hunters on the opening day of deer rifle season. The western slope of Mount Tripyramid, with its vast acreage of hardwood forest, is one of my favorite locales for hardwood whacking. Its remoteness limits its appeal for deer hunting, so off I went once again on the easygoing Livermore Trail.

As usual, checking in at White Cascade on Slide Brook.

Artifact from the first Avalanche Camp (early 1900s-1920s).

Heading off-trail across Avalanche Brook.

Theme of the day - open hardwoods - on the broad floor of the Avalanche Brook valley.

Mossy boulders.

One of five old traversing logging roads I crossed while ascending this slope. These date back to the 1930s-1950s. A route to the North Slide using these logging roads was described in the 1955 edition of the AMC White Mountain Guide. This entire slope is now within the Sandwich Range Wilderness.

Another traversing road.

Hardwoods for miles.

This road was really clear.

Great whacking, though a film of new snow atop a deep leaf cover made for spongy walking.

A well-used bear tree.

Pileated woodpecker excavation with North Tripyramid looming ahead.

Passing over a flat shoulder at 2600 ft., which shows up on topo maps.

Sugar maples reaching for the sky.

A gnarled duo.

At 2800 ft. I reached a high logging road, which I followed for a half mile to a point near the North Slide.

The road was partly overgrown with beech saplings and small conifers.

This intersecting road invited me to head south to the sun, but I was not going that way.

Staying ahead on this sunless and chilly road, approaching 3000 ft.

At a hairpin turn the road swings SW and continues as the highest road traversing this slope.

This Lidar hillshade image from the NH Granit website shows some of the old logging roads on the west and NW slopes of North Tripyramid. The hairpin turn on the highest road is clearly shown to the right of center. 

I bushwhacked across the slope to reach the North Slide in about 100 yards.

I emerged on a narrow part of the slide at about 3030 ft., not quite 1/3 of the way up from the bottom. It's a cold, shaded place in November. The thin coating of powder made for treacherous footing.

Nevertheless, there was evidence that someone was ascending the slide this day.

Looking down.

I carefully scooted down a short distance, with the butt coming into play, for a nice view of the snow-dusted Osceolas beyond the sunlit slope of Scaur Ridge.

A bit more crab walking down to a slightly more open vantage.

Mount Osceola, Breadtray Ridge, and cloud-capped Mount Moosilauke.

From here I angled down and across through the woods to the East Fork of the North Slide, which had an ice-coated stream running down its strip of ledge.

I picked my way carefully down to the pool at the base of the East Fork, where I took a long overdue lunch break.

Mid-afternoon (which is late afternoon in November) sun in Avalanche Ravine.

A glimpse of the upper North Slide.

A beautiful valley.

Following yet another old logging road along the north side of Avalanche Brook.

The mossy tributary that drains "Scaur Ravine," the valley on the south side of Scaur Peak.

Really fine hardwood forest out here.

Golden hour.

After 2 1/2 miles of bushwhacking, walking into the lowering sun along the Livermore Trail.

I took a quick tour through the clearing marking the site of the second Avalanche Camp, used by the Parker-Young Company in the 1930s and 1940s.

This small brook was a water source for the camp.

The forest has not yet gotten a foothold here. Tripyramid in the distance.

Bed frames that were unceremoniously dumped over a bank when the camp ceased operations. These are now historic artifacts! From here it was an easy three mile stroll back to the trailhead.


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