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 Scaur Ridge Tr-Alternative to Tripyramid North/South slides? 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Scaur Ridge Tr-Alternative to Tripyramid North/South slides?
I'm planning on going up to the Whites tomorrow (Tues.), and after a series of events including my hiking buddy canceling on me, I am still trying to decide on a 4K or two to hike. I've been eyeing the Tripyramids for a long time, mostly because I want to finish off the Waterville Valley area and because I don't feel like driving to Crawford Notch, Pinkham Notch etc.

I have heard about the North and South slides and how steep they are and how dangerous they can be in wet/icy weather, so I would like to avoid those. I'm just looking for a good alternate route to the Mt. Tripyramid Trail up and down the slides. I was thinking of an out-and-back to the North and Middle Peaks (skipping the South Peak to save time) from Waterville Valley using the Livemore and Scaur Ridge Trails. The distance is a bit much (13.2 mi), but I have the whole day to hike, my longest hike was a 14.8 mi hike up 5,344 ft Mount Marcy (NY), and the book time for the loop listed in the AMC WMG for the 12.1 mi loop using the Scaur Ridge Trail is 7 hr 35 min. I plan to leave my house between 4:30 and 5 in the morning and get to the trailhead within two hours. If my estimate for the book time is correct (8 hrs), I should be back home by 5 PM. I also tend to beat book time by a decent percentage. What I'm trying to get at is that would the Scaur Ridge Trail be a good bypass route to the slides? I appreciate any help or input!

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:44 pm
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We took that route the first time we did it. Even though there are more miles than you typically do, a good number of them are pretty flat on the Livermore Trail. The rest of the way is pretty gradual with some steep sections approaching North Tripyramid. Nothing exposed or anything like the slide, just some scrambling and big boulders to pull yourself up on. I haven't been paying attention lately to trip reports or trail conditions, but if those sections are icy it would probably be easier with microspikes. Either way there are a lot of trees around for help!

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:09 pm
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Scaur is how I did them the first time too. Only we went down the South Slide. That one is more of a loose gravel variety versus the steep slabs of the north one, so isn't all that bad imo.

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:11 pm
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I have microspikes, so if it's icy, I have extra traction. I've had a crazy hiking history in the White Mountains (three out of my first 6 4Ks were socked in, took the shuttle down Mt. Washington on the first attempt of it due to bad weather, turned back on Eisenhower due to poor weather, fell in Drakes Brook while trying to cross it, almost slipped off a ledge on Welch-Dickey, eventually turned back), so the outcome of this hike could be anything. I was considering Pine Bend Brook or Sabbaday Falls, but I don't want to drive halfway down the Kanc and then halfway back. (I'm lazy for this one, I know.) I don't want to take any chances going up or down either slide after my last hiking trip to Waterville Valley, so I'm just going to take the long, easy way up them (if I do them).

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:07 pm
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I think that's a good choice. If you did Pine Bend Brook Tr you'd still hit the steep parts up near N. Tripyramid. Doing an out-and-back really isn't too bad - the re-climb of North after hitting Middle isn't terrible. Hope you get to go and hope you have a great time!

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:10 pm
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My .02 worth --

I wouldn't for the life of me go up the north slide tomorrow, if it had anything like the snow and wet that I encountered on Smarts (different area, maybe it's dry there? I guess I don't know).

But it's really what made that trip worthwhile for me. For a long time I didn't think I'd ever try that slide, but I kept hiking around and working through other peaks and became comfortable enough that I finally figured I'd just try it, and it's not for the faint of heart as they say but it was ok. And then it was WAY better than ok -- the best views by FAR were from the N slide. An out and back or even a loop coming back down the s slide (as mentioned not nearly as treacherous, and it does have it's own nice views, but much less spectacular IMO) would miss the best that the trip has to offer. My humble suggestion would be to hit something else, and save the Tri's for a nice warm, dry day next year when you can tackle the slide.

Not trying to tell you what to do, of course. Whatever you decide, have a great time!


Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:26 pm
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Taking the Scaur Ridge Tr up and down the South Slide would be my prefered route this time of year. It's only about a mile longer that doing both slides but much easier of a grade. Safer too with the recent snow and cold temps. You will see he north slide daunting you off to the right as you ascend. :twisted: With microspikes the south slide shouldn't be too bad and even if you go slow you can make good time on the Livermore Tr. Most of it is a gravel road. Rember to bring yout $3 as the Livermore TH is a fee area.

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Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:31 pm
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Another option is Pine Bend Brook Trail. Shortest route I believe. The middle section can be a bit of a butt kicker (steep). I personally love the trail. Actually did the Trip's last November via Pine Bend. The trail is rocky in the middle as well (not technical, just stone steps and such) so if icy (as it was for us) it's slow going. Spikes will help but you'd really wear them down on rock covered with only 1/8", or less, of ice. Wished we'd had our Yak-Trax that day. They're perfect for those conditions. IMO

Totals
Distance 9.60 mi
Time 6 hr 33 min
Elev Gain +3483 ft
Elev Loss -3483 ft
Elev Change 0 ft

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Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:04 am
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