July 2, 2015: Middle Tripyramid

This was a hike for the ages.  I was up in the area for the 4th so I decided to take another peak off the list and chose the Middle Tripyramid since it “seemed” like one of the easier ones left on my list.  Unfortunately, I arrived up in NH late the night before and did not properly read the trail descriptions and picked a trail that had warnings of difficult river crossings in high water.  Of course, it also poured the whole night before so I was heading for an adventure unknown to me.

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I chose the Sabbaday Brook trail because it seemed like the rational choice to tackle just Middle Trip but there was nothing rational about this hike.  The trail starts off very pleasantly as I passed the Sabbaday Falls which are pretty amazing to behold.  I must have been so amazed that I somehow ended up on the wrong side of the river though and with the heavy rains from the night before raising the waters, I was pretty much stuck to my first bush whacking experience.

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After bush whacking my way for about 2 miles with many attempts at crossing the rapid river, I started to come across some old camp sights which left me a little encouraged that I wasn’t completely lost.  I had no way to know if the trail was even still following the river on the other side so I finally had to make the call to give an attempted crossing my A game.  I threw my pack and stick across first before taking a scary leap of faith over the swirling waters and was able to stay dry…for the time being.

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After climbing up a small embankment on the other side of the river, I was happy to find the trail welcoming me to its comfort zone.  My happiness soon turned to sheepishness though as the trail headed right to cross the river I had just spent hours trying to get across!  This time I was not able to stay dry either as my leap of faith landed me thigh deep in the swirling waters.

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Luckily, this was the last water crossing for a while so I sloshed on for a while until I came to a good place to stop and empty the water from my boots.  After getting rid of the puddles, I could finally get back to the task at hand as I started my assent into the chimney between Middle and North Tripyramid.  This was pleasantly steep with no water but did have one pretty frightening scramble up a vertical ledge.


After some nervous glances at the growing late afternoon shadows, I finally hit the ridge trail which meant I was finally getting close to the summit.  I gathered my fading wits and buckled down for the last short steep hike to the top which had some decent views.  The shadows were continuing to grow so I took some quick pictures and started back.

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This was not your typical jaunt back to the car though as I had to navigate the steep slide and hard river crossings again.  I just got across the part of the river that had giving me a soaking but my relief was short lived as I came across a fresh pile of manure.  I wasn’t sure what animal had left it but it was a big one so I took a picture to do a little research later.  This wasn’t necessary though as a short time later I rounded a bend in the trail and saw the culprit…..a massive black bear who was also using the trail I was on.


Luckily he was heading in the same direction as me so had no clue I was behind him.  I slowly back up and around the bend again but couldn’t help myself to take another peak as I was starting to realize I was stuck behind a big black bear with the light fading fast.  As I contemplated my options I noticed the bear stop and start sniffing the air before turning its head right at me.  That was all I needed to see before walking extremely fast(not running) down the embankment as I bush whacked my way back to the bloated river.


The plan was to put the river between me and the bear but I ended up just hiking in the river so I wouldn’t run into any bears on the other side of the water.  This went on for quite a while and I was sure I was going to run out of day light but I finally saw a camp fire in the distance where some people had pitched a tent next to the river.  I breathed a sigh of relief as I realized I was heading back into civilization and it wasn’t long before I exited the trail just as the sun finally set. 35 down, 13 to go!!