#12 North Tripyramid (4,180 ft.)

Our first engagement with the Whites for 2014, on the summer solstice, found us in Waterville Valley, nestled below  Tecumseh, the Osceolas, and the Tripyramids at the campground on Tripoli Road. The weather was perfect: highs in the sixties, mostly sunny, no humidity, and miraculously few bugs. Our neighbors, a large family group from Boston and a grungy set of New York daft punchers, seemed unpromising at first, but other than a rousing playing of "Hot for Teacher" the grunge contingent was subdued, and the kids, once they ran out of steam at about 9:30, finally shut up.

Since Clem had already hiked Tecumseh and the Osceolas, that left the Tripyramids as our shakedown hike of the season. Scouting the lower ledges of the north slide, we saw dark rocks, which we took to be an indication of water, and so we decided to play it safe and go the longer way up, over Scaur Ridge. The lower reaches of the Cascade Brook and Norwegian Falls Trails were pretty easy, and the Livermore Trail is essentially a steeply graded road. Not until we were well along the Scaur Ridge Trail did it get quite steep, and only then for the last few hundred yards or so.

A large party was eating lunch at the wooded summit of North Pyramid, so Clem and I headed down to the top of the slide and ate while we looked out over the precipitous drop. And BOY does it drop! Maybe we would have made it up fine--group after group of seemingly ill-prepared hikers seemed to have succeeded--but we were nonetheless fine to save the slide for another day. All in all a fine, long hike (13.1 miles) to have done on the longest day of the year. 

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