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Sunday, August 9, 2009

North and Middle Tripyramid (#45 and #46), August 8, 2009

Livermore Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Trail (loop).

11 miles.

MadRiver, Susan, and happyhiker joined Alex and me today. For the first part of our hike, however, we were alone. We had arrived at the trailhead early and decided to leave a note and go on ahead, knowing the others would catch up with us before we reached the north slide.

Alex was in a good mood as we began. The Livermore Trail is flat and easy, and we enjoyed each other's company as we walked along the scenic trail.

Alex saw this tree and thought it looked like a giant with a ponytail. She snapped a photo before we continued on our way.

We reached the first intersection with the Mt. Tripyramid trail. This leads toward the south slide and loops over the peaks in a counter-clockwise direction. Our plan was to stay on the Livermore Trail until we reached the second intersection -- and then head toward the north slide and go over the peaks in a clockwise direction. Therefore, we did not yet take leave of the Livermore Trail...but we did sit down for a while and take a water/snack break.

After we felt rested, we continued on our way. The Livermore Trail remained flat and scenic.

Alex noticed an interesting tree and took its picture.

Our hiking companions caught up with us just before we reached the second intersection with the Mt. Tripyramid Trail.

More water and snacks, then we headed toward the north slide.

Along the way, another interesting bit of nature prompted another photo.

We soon reached the beginning of the slide.

The climb became trickier as bigger, smoother slabs of rock replaced the smaller boulders. Happyhiker and MadRiver went ahead of us, agreeing to meet us at the top of the slide. Susan hung back, and the three of us ascended slowly and carefully. It was sometimes difficult to find handholds, but we managed.

We stopped often along the way to rest....

...and to take in the views...

...and to sometimes look down to admire how far we'd ascended.

Finally, the top of the slide was in sight...a bit more scrambling to go...

...and we made it. More appreciation of the views were in order.

A few snacks later, we continued up the remaining 0.2 miles toward the official North Tripyramid (wooded) summit.

Number #45 in the bag.

Both our moods were fairly high, and we ambled on over to Middle Tripyramid.

Number #46 in the bag.

This summit had a nice little view eastward.

From here, we went on to South Tripyramid...which isn't included in the 4K list. However, we had to go over it to continue along the loop back to the Livermore Trail.

The peak was wooded, with a pathetic little cairn adorning its high point.

A steep 0.2 miles down (with Alex singing The Farmer in the Dell while she descended), and we were at the top of the South Slide.

More views!

Down we went.

Alex was chipper, and I joined her in song during our descent. (To the tune of Go Tell It on the Mountain): "No sliding down the mountain...over the cliffs and down into the trees.....No sliding down the mountain....Or you won't get your patch..."

Once descended, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. Hooray for the return of flat trail!

I think someone slipped my child some espresso somewhere along the way, because she wanted to run, jump and holler all the way back to the car. She scampered along, me reigning her in at times to make sure she didn't trip over rocks.

Eventually we made it back to the Livermore Trail. Alex jogged along with happyhiker for a long while, then would alternate between walking and running. She easily kept up with all the fast-paced adults.

And then....down she went, falling on a flat section of trail., scraping up the palm of her hand. I doctored her up a bit, then took a picture to document the tragedy.

Now our pace slowed tremendously as Alex was finally showing signs of fatigue. The other adults hiked ahead, continuing their former pace. I stayed with Alex, and we took our time returning to the trailhead.

Thanks happyhiker, MadRiver, and Susan for the fine company.

Two more to go!

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