A week of many summits: Part 1: The Tripyramids (North & Middle)

Stud and I leave Boston at 5:30AM enjoying a very scenic morning drive over the Kancamagus Highway to the trail head for the Tripyramids.  The car is packed with camping gear, coolers, camp chairs and everything we need for three days of hiking and base camping which includes camp cots, pillows, extra foam mats and all the luxuries of car camping with the hopes to sleep as comfortably as possible between some hard hiking.  On the drive up I asked Stud if she happened to bring a deck of cards and we decide we’ll pick up a deck later when we get firewood to roast the marshmallows Stud has.  In hindsight, this is simply hilarious.  Let me tell you why.

We park at the Pine Bend Brook trailhead on the side of the Kanc and head up towards North Tripyramid.  We feel great!  This trail is a nice leisurely approach before it starts climbing and this gives us time to chat.  We reach the steep part and slow way down as we begin to scramble up the slippery rocks made even more slick with the thick layer of humidity.

We summit North Tripyramid whose summit is very anticlimactic and unclear…another tiny cairn in the trees.  So we just blow past it and head over to Middle Tripyramid where we intend to have a real lunch break but the black flies drive us off the summit so we head back down the ridge to rest.  Its getting late and we are moving slowwww and I keep forgetting that its 90+ degrees and I can tell that I am not eating or drinking enough.  We decide to descend a different trail called Sabbaday Brook Trail which is a longer way down with a road walk back to the car but it looks fun and we love a loop.  We are also getting low on water and according to the map, there is lots of water on this trail.

The initial descent is steep and slick and we are sliding all over the place.  I am moving slow and being so careful with every step and as I teeter down this one rock slap, my foot slips out from under me and I am suddenly falling and in an instant I am face down on this rock.  Stud whips around in a panic and I quickly inventory myself to discover I am totally fine and not hurt.  I get up and notice my trekking pole is bent and the inside of my arm has some scrapes goin up into my armpit and my shoulder feels little tweaky but really I’m fine.  My adrenaline is pumping so I don’t even really stop moving and Stud asks if I’m okay and I assure her that I am but I need water and we can hear it running.

We finally reach the source of the babble discovering this beautiful fairy land of mini water falls splashing unto tuffs of moss and we rest and refill and Stud combines parts A and B of Aquamira to treat our water and we sit on rocks and rest.

Re-hydrated and thinking we are much further along than we are.  we eventually reach a big water crossing and realize we have much farther to go then we thought.  We make it across but the rock hops are slick and we are tired.  The trail then crosses back over again and we are confused.  By the 10th water crossing, our shoes are soaked as the rocks are too slippery and we slide off them.  Stud straight up falls in the brook which I don’t fully comprehend until much later and we are so over the Sabbaday Brook Trail and its endless water crossings.

At some point Stud notes that it is 5:30PM and we are shocked at how late it is.  We finally pop out at a very popular tourist attraction called Sabbaday Falls and we plop down on a lovely bench very aware of our stench and filth next to the clean families who have made the .3 mile trek up to the falls, which are stunning.  We hike out to the Kanc on the very well graded .3 last stretch of the trail and then begin our road walk back to the car and its really hard.

We reach the car and drive down to the Swift River where we soak our achy over heated selves and I scrub the mud off my legs with my bandana.  The Swift River is not too cold but cold enough to refresh us.  We cool down quickly and change into cotton by the side of the road.  As we drive into North Conway I feel myself start to tank.  Its almost 7PM and I feel nauseous and a headache coming on.  I pop some ib profen and chug water.

Its still 90+ degrees, we need dinner and the thought of setting up camp now feels impossible.  We are both thinking it and I can’t remember who said it first but it comes out; “We could consider a motel room if there is a vacancy somewhere in North Conway…”  We are now 100% attached to finding a room but its also a holiday weekend (we think) so we are nervous and we are prepared to camp if we have to but the htought feels really hard right now.  By 7:30 we are sitting down for dinner and I am crashing so hard.  Stud gets online and finds us a room.  YES!

We eat half our dinners and pack the rest for tomorrows hike and then move into our cheap motel room  air-conditioned palace that has views of mountains and indoor plumbing.  We sprawl out the maps and text with 5e who is meeting us tomorrow morning and hiking the next couple days with us.  We make our plans, wedge our trail runners up against the AC so they will dry over night, we unpack the coolers into the mini fridge and text our beloveds at home to tell them we are safe and they laugh with us about it.  5e says shes totally into the motel room and is down to split the room for the next night too so we go ahead and book it for tomorrow too.  We justify this decision by stating aloud to each other that we are adults, we work, we get to do this, we are boosting the local economy, etc…I admit that I was excited to camp, I love camping, and it seemed like a great idea at the time!

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