Mount Tripyramid, located about 4 miles east of the Waterville Valley Ski Area in the Sandwich Range Wilderness, forms the picturesque east wall of the Waterville Valley. The mountain consists of 3 major peaks (North, Middle, and South) and has one of the two most "infamous" hiking trails in the NH White Mountains: the exposed class 2 friction North Slide portion of the Mount Tripyramid Trail (the other being Huntington Ravine Trail on Mount Washington
). The North Slide was created during August 1885 when heavy rains exposed the huge slab of bedrock. For peakbaggers, the North Peak (aka North Tripyramid) and the Middle Peak (aka Middle Tripyramid) are respectively the 32nd and 35th highest of the 48 recognized NH 4000' peaks. The South Peak doesn't register because it doesn't rise 200+ feet above the connecting ridge with the Middle Peak.
The most popular way to hike Mount Tripyramid is via an 11.1 mile class 2 friction loop hike consisting of the Mount Tripyramid Trail and the Livermore Trail (connecting the ends of the Tripyramid Trail). Hiking north to south, start at the Livermore Road parking area (1580') and hike 3.6 miles northeast on the Livermore Trail before turning right (east) onto the Tripyramid Trail at 2400' . From here, head up the 1.2 miles to the North Peak (4180') passing the North Slide. Continue south reaching Middle Peak (4140') in 0.8 miles and South Peak (4100') in another 0.4 miles. It's 2.5 miles down the South Slide (exposed switchbacks) to the Livermore Trail and a further 2.6 miles to the parking area.
This loop can be done in either direction but is generally done north to south since it's easier to ascend the North Slide and descend the loose gravel on the South Slide. You can avoid the North Slide by continuing 0.2 miles past the Tripyramid Trail junction on the Livermore Trail to reach the class 1 Scaur Ridge Trail which will also take you to the North Peak summit in 2.0 miles.
Winter Routes: NHFours adds: "In winter it is much more common to climb the Tripyramids from the Kanc [aka Kancamangus Highway, NH-SR 112], either by Sabbaday Brook or Pine Bend Brook trails. Neither is easy. Sabbaday Brook Trail has several stream crossings which can be 'interesting' in early winter when they are open with icy rocks. There is a steep slide on Sabbaday Brooks Trail, Pine Bend Brook Trail has an 'ascending traverse' of a steep slope."
LIVERMORE ROAD PARKING AREA: Take I-93 to Campton and turn east on to NH SR-49 heading to Waterville Valley (a ski/golf resort and many condos here so). Head north into Waterville Valley turning east on to Livermore Road (about 11.6 miles from I-93) just before you get to the ski area. The AMC White Mountains #2 Map of the "Franconia-Pemigewasset" area is very useful here.
PARKING PASS (MANDATORY): See the WMNF rules
and One person's comments
for more info.
When To Climb
You can climb this peak year round, however, the exposed rock slabs of the North Slide can be tricky or even dangerous during wet and icy conditions. Consider using the Scaur Ridge Trail if the North Slide is more than you care to handle.
In general there is no need to camp on or near this peak, however, if you would like to camp in the backcountry, there are lots of Backcountry Camping Rules
to be aware of. Make sure you check the "Restrictions in Congressionally Designated Wilderness" section wrt the Sandwich Range Wilderness.
Check the following resources for general NH White Mountains weather conditions:
MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY: Backcountry Weather and Trail Conditions page.
PINKHAM NOTCH VISITOR CENTER
P.O. Box 298
(on NH SR-16 just south of Wildcat ski area)
Gorham, NH 03581
(603) 466-3871 FAX