Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Tripyramids for Sunrise & Tom, Field, Willey - 6/21/14

Way back at the end of June, I did a fun double-hit-and-run of a couple of hikes for my 6th round.  The Tripyramids and Tom, Field, and Willey.  It just so happened that one of the Tripyramids would be the completion of my 3rd solo round of the 4,000-footers, AND it was the day of the summer solstice - an exciting day to hike!  I was shooting for sunrise, but I had not decided which route of ascent until I was at the Livermore Trail head.  I then decided to go North first, but didn't decide whether to take Scaur Trail or the North Slide. As I approached the junction for the North loop, which is right near the Scaur, I took a look at the time, and decided that my best chance to make it up for sunrise is if I take the direct climb up the slide.  It would be slowly getting lighter as sunrise approached, so I went for it.
Mt. Tripyramid Trail, North
Looking down into the night on the slide
On the way in, I past a tent set-up along the road. There are big construction vehicles around from the current work going on.  The campers had placed a very large branch across the road as if a bear would trip over it and alert them something was near.  The slide was almost completely dry except for a few small spots of no concern.  I had only been up here once in winter, during my first round.  It was nice to be back to check it out.  The temperature, I recall, was about perfect, it was a beautiful clear sky, and I smoothly and comfortably ascended the North Slide under some stars.  About 3/4 of the way up, the orange glow of sunrise crept above the easterly mountains to my left.
Start of summer from the North Slide

I made pretty good time up the slide, moved to the left to connect with the trail, and in minutes, I was on North Tripyramid.  I looked at the time, and I still had 30 minutes to sunrise.  Instead of hanging out, I had just enough time to test myself for sunset on Middle.
A cool look from North Tripyramid, half hour before sunrise
Just enough indeed as I busted out the eight-tenths of a mile, reaching the summit of Middle Tripyramid with about 5 minutes until the sun came up.  From a peak I have not given too much attention, sunrise for my 3rd solo round was pretty amazing.  The sun reflected a pink color off the sky, and the moon added some punch to the scene.  It was just awesome, and I took it all in, by myself, with not a sound or soul around. I bundled up a little because it was chilly, but I didn't miss a second of it.
Mt. Passaconaway, pink clouds, and the moon 
Sunrise from Middle Triptramid 
Summit panorama 
Summit selfie for 3rd solo round   

I lingered until the sun was well over the mountaintops before moving on.  I was really impressed and surprised by the sunrise I was afforded, and happy to have made a nice moment to associate with the Tripyramids.  I was feeling pretty motivated, ready to move on.  The glow of the sun lit up the mountainside and trail in a striking way as I head towards South peak.  Entering the south slide, the crisp morning view provided was just about the best I've seen from that spot.  I completed this 11.1 mile hike with a swift pace, especially for early morning, in just 4:45.  I passed the campers with a smile, as they had just started walking up the Livermore. :)  I had other mountains to tend to on this first day of summer.
Mt. Tripyramid Trail between Middle and South peak
Morning view from South Slide (Snows Mountain, I think)
Next up, I drove directly to Crawford Notch, stopping only at the Irving. I pulled into the depot, and sure enough, I was the last one that wouldn't fit, which meant I had to go down by the Jackson Trail head.  Just as I did, cars were literally pulling in behind me, alongside the road, in almost caravan style.  I was hoping to chillout in the car for a few minutes before starting but it was like there were scores of people about to attack the Avalon Trail, I decided the hell with it, I barely did any re-arrangement of my bag, no rest, nothing, I was off up the trail, and it was 8:45am.

Avalon Trail
A dip in the trail along the way
Mt. Tom Spur
It was a beautiful day as the morning's cues indicated it would be.  Temps were tame, as I remember, and the hike was nice and smooth.  Despite the hoards of people I noticed below making dashes to various trail heads, overall, the hike was pleasant and more peaceful than I thought.  I cruised over the summits taking in exceptional views that rank high among my 6 visits to each. I took a panorama to represent each one.  When I reached Mt. Willey, it was the first complete 3-season solo round.  That means Willey was the only I had not climbed solo in 3-season.  On the way back, I got the typical, "Whoa, you got Willey already?" from a passing hiker, but actually I am slower on this hike when its not covered in snow.  Anyways, I was probably slower at the beginning than the end, from having hiked earlier. It was close to 2:00pm when my hiking for the day was done.  It was pretty fun first day of summer, and I head to my camp where I enjoyed the afternoon with my brother and parents, for it was their anniversary.
View from Mt. Tom
View from Mt. Field
View from Mt. Willey
Tripyramids Hike Stats
Trails: Livermore Trail, Tripyramid Trail (Loop)
Distance: 11.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,129 ft.
Actual Book Time: 4:45
GPS Track: Garmin Adventures

Tom, Field, Willey Hike Stats
Trails: Chimney Pond Trail, North Basin Trail, North Basin Cut-off, Hamlin Ridge Trail
Distance: 8.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,40 ft.
Actual Book Time: 5:39
GPS Track: Garmin Adventures

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