With Covid-19 forcing me to remotely work and the restrictions reduced in New Hampshire, I jumped at the chance to return to the White Mountains once again. I arranged to stay at The Notch Hostel for the comfort of living and access to their wifi. I had stayed there for one night on my Southbound hike of the Appalachian Trail in July. One of my fellow hikers from that journey rented out an apartment downstairs, so it only seemed fitting.
In between distance learning, I set out to tackle the New Hampshire 48. This is a peak bagging list that involves summiting 48, 4,000 across the White Mountain National Forest. Not an easy task to begin especially coming from the flatlands of South Jersey.
A majority of these peaks are picked off traversing the AT but some are just a stones throw away from the trail itself. I regret not venturing off to grab the peaks as for some I was so close to grabbing if I would have just walked the extra mileage. I already had a handful of them completed but still needed 22 (about half the list). I didn’t have an exact goal in mind but just figured I would chip away at the list when I could.
Upon my arrival at the notch, I seeked advice from veteran hikers of the Whites, who had completed the 48 several times or were working on their Grid. The Grid is hiking all 48 peaks every month for a total of 576 summits.
The first full hiking day I set out to tackle the Tripyramids. According to Alltrails, it was a 10.2 mile loop that allowed you to grab North Tripyramid and Middle Tripyramid. https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/new-hampshire/mount-tripyramid-loop-trail?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map&ref=sidebar-view-full-map The trail begins on Livermore Road, which is a relatively flat and gradual 2.6 mile walk to the trail junction on an old forest road. Then headed to the North Tripyramid, you cross a stream and meander through the woods and wildflowers as you start to ascend.
You begin to gain elevation climbing what almost looks like a riverbed of loose rocks.https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js
Before I had fully realized what I had committed myself to… it was too late to turn back. I’m not one to backdown from a challenge. If you are looking for a less thrilling climb, I would suggest taking the Scaur Ridge trail. This trail is listed under the Terrifying 25 list in NH dedicated to listing out the scariest New Hampshire Trails.
According to the list, here is the description for the North Slide, “lengthy sections of extremely steep slab scrambling; this trail gains 1,200 feet in 0.5 mile, making it one of the steepest and most challenging hiking trails in New England; do not attempt when wet or icy, and do not use this trail for descent; most hikers will make their hike a loop by descending down the nearby South Slide (Greg Parsons, http://www.newenglandwaterfalls.com/terrifying25.php).”
My legs felt like jello and I wasn’t even near the top yet. I had to scramble like Spider woman and essentially rock climb other steep sections. I had to stop often to catch my breath. My body needed to acclimate to the elevation and drinking lots of water helped with this. It also didn’t help there were black flies attacking during the climb. There had never been a time then before that I was worried about not finishing a hike. The views pushed me forward and I eventually re-entered into the woods to grab the summit.
To the next summit, it is a relatively easy woods walk. In June, I experienced a few patches of monorail still left behind.
You get another view towards leaving Middle Try and views on the way down the slide. This slide is not as intense as the first but still has loose scree. I fell a few times on the way down. It also makes the Terrifying 25 list.
There was a slight chance of rain with dark clouds rolling it. I did not want to get caught on either slide in wet conditions. Thankfully, I made it down the exposed South slide and was back in the tree coverage. Basically when I had reached Livermore Road for the 2.6 walk back to the car… the sky opened up with a serious downpour. Knowing I was close to the car, I didn’t bother putting on my rain gear and soon began to jog down the road. I was soaked. Distant thunder could be heard as the rain lightened up. Eventually I caught up to some young guys who had said they hadn’t seen rain in the forecast. I, of course, asked them about not seeing that chance when I caught up to them. It poured one more time as I reached the car.
I celebrated the hike the only way I know how on a hot day…..