Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid, South Tripyramid, West Sleeper, East Sleeper, NH
Trails: Livermore Trail, Scaur Ridge Trail, Pine Bend Brook Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Trail, Kate Sleeper Trail, East Sleeper Spur
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, June 23, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of room in the Downes Brook trailhead off the Kanc. From there, we spotted a car to the Livermore trailhead on the Kanc (NOT the one in Waterville Valley). We were the only car there. Plenty of roadside parking. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All crossings on Livermore Trail were easy. No crossings anywhere else. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Lots and lots of blowdowns. Sections of Livermore Trail are very wet and muddy. Signs are all in place. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Wouldn't recommend it - dogs could struggle on the steep scrambles heading up Pine Bend Brook to the summit of North Tripyramid, and on the very steep descent on the South Slide. There's also no water for long distances on this route. 
Bugs: Horrible. Everywhere. Bug spray helped for a bit, but it wore off after a couple hours.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nothing. 
Comments: This was day 1 of a 2-day backpacking trip in the Sandwich Range. Livermore Trail (from the Kanc) started off easy, and was generally easy until the final climb up to Livermore Pass, however there were several rough, rocky, eroded sections interspersed among the easy sections. (This would be a theme of the entire trip.) The final climb up to the pass is steep, but doesn't go on for too long, however the final section is another very rough and eroded section. The next mile (to the junction with Old Skidder Trail) is mostly flat but still rough and rocky in sections, and has several very wet sections as well - take care to stay on the bog bridges. The whole clearing where the junction with Kancamagus Brook Ski Trail is is very wet - try to get through there quickly. Once we crossed the branch of Flume Brook, though, Livermore Road became very pleasant and fast. We did have to lose 400 vertical feet from there to the junction with Scaur Ridge Trail, but such is life.

I've read reports describing Scaur Ridge Trail as a nice trail, and I agree with them - footing is generally good, with very few ledges or tight spaces. The upper part is a little rougher but still not too bad. From certain points on the trail, you can see the North Slide through the trees - it looks very intimidating and hard to believe that people (including myself 7 years ago!) actually climb it. The Scaur Ridge/Pine Bend Brook route, while definitely easier than the North Side, is still quite strenuous and challenging, particularly on the scrambles on the upper part of Pine Bend Brook Trail. Climbing those scrambles with an overnight pack was extremely strenuous. But ultimately we reached the summit, and were greeted not by other hikers but by hordes of black flies. We only stayed for as long as we had to. Descending North Tripyramid has several scrambles that aren't hard to deal with while wearing a day pack, but were significantly more difficult with an overnight pack. The climbs up Middle and South Tripyramid, and the descents off both of them, were quite steep but luckily didn't go on for too long.

The extremely steep approach to the South Slide, and then the short descent of the upper part of it, was the slowest part of the day - every step had to be taken extremely carefully with all the extra weight. The trail down the South Slide is pretty much a choose-your-own adventure, though we angled to the left because we knew Kate Sleeper Trail would turn left off the slide. This was OK, but other routes may have been easier. Kate Sleeper Trail has a new sign, making it much easier to find the junction. The first part of Kate Sleeper was more extremely steep slide descending, with cairns to mark the route, until it finally entered the woods for good.

The reports I had read about Kate Sleeper Trail claimed that it had very smooth footing and very gradual grades, so I had high expectations for it. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed. The trail isn't bad by any means, and certainly more pleasant than most trails that climb 4000-footers. However, it is neither as smooth nor as gradual as I was led to believe. It has its share of rocks and roots in many places, along with some sections that have been washed out. The trail was mostly free of blowdowns, however the East Sleeper Spur (which I took) is blowdown city - it must have had at least 8 significant blowdowns, and it's only 0.1 miles long! There's honestly no reason to do it unless you're peakbagging (East Sleeper is on the NEHH) or redlining (as I am). The final stretch down to the junction with Downes Brook Trail had some mud as well in certain places.

There are a couple of small, unofficial places where a couple of tents could be pitched just before reaching Downes Brook Trail. We used one of them, and filtered water from Downes Brook. The downside of camping here is that it's near a swampy area (the headwaters of Downes Brook), so the bugs were really bad. Very strenuous day, but the weather was sunny and dry (though that would not continue on Saturday).  
Name: GN 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-06-24 
Link: https:// 
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