“This is good for you,” Anton said. I didn’t believe him at the time, I would have done anything to back out of this hike. Too late, I was already halfway up a dangerous slide which was too treacherous to go down, no way out but up…
The day started off in the nicest way possible. We woke naturally without the pressure of an alarm early and decided which mountain(s) to hike. The idea was to go for Zealand, but the access road is still closed. No problem, there are plenty of mountains to climb. “How about we hike the Tripyramids?” Anton suggested. It was a peakbag, I would knock two more peaks off my list so I said yes. In addition it was in the southern white mountains which would make our drive a lot shorter.
I knew this day would be difficult, I was warned by many. Anton suggested we go up the Scaur Trail, I was determined to hike up the slide on North Tripyramid. How bad could it be?
The Mad River rushed past us with fresh snow melt from the peaks above. Dried out stream beds were full and the trees were blossoming. Finally spring has arrived.
We started on Livermore Road which eventually merged with the Tripoli Road Trail. The trail was rugged and poorly maintained. It looks like a trail crew hasn’t been through for several years based on the rotted fallen trees and faded trail markers.
As we ascended it became rockier and more barren until eventually we were led to a huge 3/4 mile slide. I thought I could handle it, but the slide brought out the worst in me. Now we were in the direct sunlight and it felt like I was back in the Utah desert. Hot, dry, arid. Dust flew up in the air with the occasional gust of wind and covered me. I slipped and fell, I panted and couldn’t move, frozen in fear. Anton didn’t touch me, he knew better. When I am that scared I don’t like to be touched.
After a few minutes of cowering I finally found my footing again. I was bleeding, covered in dirt and grime. Did I care? Not really, I was just glad I wasn’t seriously injured. That could put a damper on my plans!
Despite my fear we kept going. About 45 minutes later after slipping again I started crying. I was terrified, shaking, and convinced I wouldn’t make it. To top it off we heard rustling from a larger animal in the woods beside us. Anton had me sit down, he talked to me and calmed me for a while. He said, “After this hike, you will be grateful for the experience.” I was feeling down on myself, it was too dangerous to go down the slide, there was only one way to escape…follow the trail up. I focused on one phrase, ‘I won’t die up here.’ This may not be the biggest, baddest mountain out there, but let me tell you North Tripyramid had me thinking the worst.
As we approached the last 1/4 miles of the slide I started to calm. We were halfway done with the worst part of the day. I found something that resembled a trail and did switchbacks to make my way. We stopped a lot so we wouldn’t exhaust ourselves. I thought of the bright side…‘Such a beautiful day…At least there is no ice…I don’t hear the animal anymore…I have cell service, cool.’
Then we made our way into a wooded trail. A sight for sore eyes. After another 15 minutes up hill (in the snow!) we finally got to the top of a very underwhelming North Tripyramid summit. No view, all of that for nothing. Oh well, at least we could enjoy a lunch of sardines, cheese, crackers, and olives! Yummy! I made the mistake of looking at my phone 3:30. It took us 3.5 hours to do a 1/2 mile slide. No wonder why I was in such misery. I slipped on my microspikes and we continued down the trail to Middle Tripyramid. Nothing crazy here, just a good old ridge trail. There was a gorgeous overlook on Middle Tripyramid! And now we have officially crossed off two more 4,000 footers! South sadly does not count because it isn’t prominent enough.
The way down South Tripyramid started as… a slide trail. This one wasn’t nearly as long or grueling, but my ankles hurt! Personally, I was just happy to be in the forest again and off those mountains. This doesn’t happen my friends, I like being on the mountain more than anything. It started cooling like a late October day.
We got back to the car at 8pm on the dot. We started at 9am. 11 miles in 11 hours, a slow time for me, but for good reason. Anton was right, I was grateful for the experience, these mountains were good for me. If I can do that, I wonder what else I am capable of?
Trail tips: This trail is not for beginners or for the faint of heart. I consider myself to be courageous, I do things that would make most people gasp, but these mountains almost chewed me up and spit me out again. They will break your heart with their beauty though. If you get some experience under your belt and it’s a dry day, give it a try!