Tripyramids via N. Livermore, Scaur, and Pine Bend | 6/19/23
At 6 days post hike, this report has taken the prize for longest hike-to-post turnaround. While I was busy in Evan’s Notch last week, the primary reason I held off was the slight injury I acquired while coming down Pine Bend, when I came around a bend and hit a pine with my head. Though I heard the sound before I felt the sting, the 72 hours of ear ringing that followed the hit made writing less than ideal. It’s all good and I’m great now, but just keep an eye on those pines around bends on Pine Bend.
At the moment, I have two friends actively working on their NH48s, Michelle and Julia. Despite not knowing each other, both had similar to-do lists and a shared day off last week- unfortunately, we had to go with the “rain plan,” but were delighted to find better than expected weather. As much as I love the routes up the Tripyramids (not), I was excited to pick up several new miles over probably my most pleasant ascent, having now done every trail that summits a Tripyramid.
Julia met up with us at 7:30 at the Pine Bend TH, where we left her car and got mine stuck in a rut. Eventually, with some pedal to the metal, we got out and went back up the Kanc to the North Livermore Trailhead. I was particularly excited to do this trail, as I knew it would gain steadily and also have the opportunity for wildlife sightings. I, however, discounted the fact that when Avery is with us the only wildlife around is her, and no moose.
The northern portion of the Livermore trail lives up to it’s at times boggy reputation, but as a whole, I did not find it hard to manage. In the beginning, there is some slight overgrowth. But, truthfully, I may have been somewhat oblivious to annoyances along the way since the three of us were very busy recounting college stories some of us hadn't heard before. Such as the infamous "funeral," creative statements from Julia's fire chief, and Michelle and I's many hiking blunder tales. This said, we quickly got to the height of land to find some nearly drowned bog bridges, but other than that, it was mostly fine. These miles moved quickly, particularly towards the 4-mile mark, just about when we began ascending The Scaur trail. Though we had gained to 2,875 in Livermore Pass, we were back down to 2,500 at the start of our true ascent, which was very easy, despite its consistent gain. Or, maybe, it’s just so much breezier by comparison to the North Slide, whose views still surprised me even though I’ve been up it.
We saw our first hiking party nearly at the top of The Scaur, who we went back and forth with for some time as we gained towards Middle Tripyramid. After we got off the Scaur, the trail got a little less dreamy gaining the more rugged parts of Pine Bend, which I discounted in difficulty because in my head it’s “just the winter route.” Silly, silly me. Still, none of the technical bits occupied too much time or planning and I can imagine it’s quicker when it’s not seeping.
Before long, we intersected with the slide trail and had a chill walk ahead of us. The three of us paused for lunch atop North Tripyramid, where we encountered several more parties, and took a nice walk to Middle Tripyramid, where I comically heard a gal about my age say how easy the North Tripyramid Slide was. The comment prompted me to lightly choke on my spit since that was the scariest moment of my young adult years and she’d done it in this super cute hiking fit unphased- badass.
Working back towards North Tri was easy, namely because Avery was preoccupied with a rock and playing soccer with it, but the portion from the north summit to the Scaur junction was at times tricky, due to wet rocks and Julia’s torn labrum- remember when some girl in one of my posts got stuck with broken snow shoes in fresh snow on Moriah? Yep, that’s her and this was the result. She’d tougher than tough, plus she also did the Tripyramid descent carrying her dog’s backpack like a suitcase.
Once we were back on Pine Bend, we FELT the slim bands of topography under each step, particularly as we walked down streams and stream beds on steep grades. Around 2,500 feet, about halfway through the steps, I was carefully watching my footing when I banged my head against a downed tree, really hard. Though the rest of the hike was fine, the next couple of days were less pleasurable, as I mentioned in the introduction. Thankfully, as I predicted, the trail dramatically eased after the Wilderness Boundary, and the last 1000 feet went gently and gracefully as it began to drizzle on us.
We somehow perfectly timed the car with the rain growing stronger and completed the car spot. Looking back on the route, I would’ve switched the ascents and descents, as the only negative consequence of this orientation would’ve been the water crossings early on Pine Bend, in exchange for a much more gradual hike out.
Michelle has come up to 33/48 and Julia is standing at 22! Yippee!
0 Grouse after Avery chased after it.