Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Tripyramids - Summer Hiking

North Tripyramid (4,180 ft)
Middle Tripyramid (4, 140 ft)
South Peak (4,100 ft)
Elevation Gain: 3,000ft
Trails: Livermore, Mt. Tripyramid Loop, (includes the North Slide & South Slide)
Distance: 11 miles roundtrip
Duration: 9 hours (includes stops for breaks along the trail, lookouts and at summit) 
My 4000+ Peaks #23 & #24 
Listed 4000+: #32 & #35
Difficulty: Strenuous 
Danger: Medium to High (the Slide sections requires rock scrambling, exposed/steep sections with loose terrain surface)
Rock Scrambles: North Slide - Class III

Ascent of the gnarly North Slide

3 weeks ago I experienced The Standard Route (5.5) on The Slabs of Whitehorse Ledge. It took 9 hours to rock climb (Trad) 1,080 feet. Ascending the North Slide reminded me of climbing The Standard Route, but it was longer and wicked intense. The North Slide is the last portion of the Mt. Tripyramid Trail towards the North Tripyramid summit. The last half a mile (2,640 feet) is with 1,200 feet of elevation gain! If you have a fear of heights and/or aren’t comfortable hiking very steep terrain and need to summit the North Tripyramid, take the Scaur Ridge Trail instead. Of course we took the trail up to the North Side! It was Rick’s 14th time on this route, but this was virgin for Sue and I. Didn’t matter though, I was stoked to be rock scrambling this distance. And although Sue doesn’t rock climb, she totally rocked on the North Slide! Perfect day for a hike indeed, it was clear and sunny and views from the Slide were AMAZING! 

Livermore Trail is flat and easy…it’s a mellow stroll through the woods, either direction. At the junction of the Mt. Tripyramid Loop we rested a bit and ate some snacks before heading up the steep Mt. Tripyramid trail. In no time we were at the base of the North Slide. Sorry for the blurry iPhone photos!!


Whoooooa, lot’s of rock slab!(2)


And on and on! (6)

 
 




Whose calf is Rick massaging?! Why, mine of course! 
Wouldn’t you know it, half way up the Slide my right calf cramps up
(flashback to Seek The Peak from the week prior!). <swear word inserted here>
I quickly drink more electrolytes, manage to shake it off and continue. Then 10
minutes latter my left calf cramps up, excruciating pain! <another swear word inserted here>
From then on I just kept taking in as much electrolytes as I could and
we’d stop after a few minutes to try to get my calf muscles to relax. 


We climbed hand-over-foot until we got to the last cairn


 Enjoying the view as we lunched!


The trail then continues into the trees on the right of the last cairn
 
The summit of North Tripyramid is wooded
 At the summit of Middle Tripyramid – Yay #24!! Half way there!


Going down the South Slide, annoying scree! Couple times I’d step on a rock
thinking it was stable, then it would give out from under me, freaking me out.
 A short break on the South Slide
 Some bright orange fungi

Back on the Livermore Trail headed back to the trailhead
 Tired and soaking wet, but happy feet!

**Climbing the North Slide was truly a rush and such a wonderful experience. And I got to share it with two other hikers that I felt like I knew all my life even though this was the first time I had hiked with either one! As I ascended the slide, I'd turn around to look at the view and each time I was in awe! I felt privileged to be able to see what lay below me. Thank you to Sue and Rick for making this such a memorable day for me! 


 

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