I’m leading a challenging day hike in the White Mountains on Wednesday May 2, 2012 (you can still sign up) and thought I’d publish my trip plan to show you what goes into planning a hike like this as an Appalachian Mountain Club hiking and backpacking leader. I have two very experienced co-leaders on this trip, Alex Nezdel and David Vogel, but I’m still responsible for the upfront planning and logistics.
This is a difficult route because it includes two separate New Hampshire Hundred Highest bushwhacks and two White Mountain 4,000 footers, further complicated by the fact that it’s early May. While the trails we’ll be hiking are either packed down ice or clear, we’re likely to encounter snow in the trees and may still need to carry snowshoes, a stove, and emergency insulation/shelter in case of injury or we get lost. There are also several stream crossings on this hike and our feet are likely to get wet early and stay wet all day.
The Trip Plan: Scaur Peak, North and Middle Tripyramid, and The Fool Killer
Total Distance: 12 miles, with 5000 ft of elevation gain.
- Scaur Peak (3605 ft)
- North Tripyramid (4180 ft)
- Middle Tripyramid (4140 ft)
- The Fool Killer (3548 ft)
Meet at Pine Bend Trail head parking lot on the Kancamagus Highway (Rt 112) at 8am. Please be on time. Leader’s cell phone is <not-shown>: be advised that cell phone reception is poor on the Kancamagus Highway leaving Lincoln, NH. Rain will cancel – look for an email before 9pm the evening before the trip.
Trail conditions are likely to be wet this time of year, so please bring footware that will keep your feet warm, even if they get wet. It is also recommended that you bring high gaiters, several extra pairs of gloves, socks, and bread bags or vapor barrier socks to keep your feet warm, especially if your shoes get wet. Bring a headlamp or even two in case we need to hike out in the dark, extra food, and layers.
Microspikes are mandatory and we will likely need snowshoes to avoid postholing on the bushwhacks to Scaur Peak and The Fool Killer. Bring them and we’ll decide if they’re needed at the trail head.
Please prehydrate by drinking 1-2 liters of water before getting to the trail head and eat a big breakfast. Bring 3 liters of water on this hike and 3,000 calories worth of food, including some high carbohydrate snacks. The leader will bring a water filter to resupply water later in the trip if you run short.
Route: Hike up Pine Bend Brook Tr 2.4 miles to 3300′, shortly before the Scaur Ridge Tr junction. Bushwhack 0.3 miles to Scaur Peak (3605 ft) on a bearing of 320 degrees. This route will dip 50′ before climbing back up to the summit. There is a reported herd path but no canister. Reverse route and hike back down to Pine Bend Brook Tr. Continue 0.8 miles to North Tripyramid summit and then 0.6 miles Middle Tripyramid summit on Tripyramid Tr, passing Sabbaday Brook Tr junction. Backtrack 0.25 miles to Sabbaday Brook Tr junction and descend steeply to 3,050 feet. This is a very steep and slippery descent with few handholds and is likely to require microspikes. Bushwhack northeast for about 3/8 mile on a bearing of 82 degrees to The Fool Killer. This is likely to be the hardest climb of the day, steep and through spruce. There is a canister. Reverse route and hike back the way we came. Climb back up to the Tripyramid trail on the steep section that we descended. This goes fast because it’s so steep. Then hike back the way we came out on the Pine Brook Tr to avoid all of the stream crossings on the Sabbaday Brook Trail.
Please bring a map and compass. I prepared our route using the Wonalancet Out Door Club map of the Sandwich Range Wilderness.
Please make every effort to carpool with other people on the roster for this hike. And yes, I do need a ride.