Sunday, Feb 11: North Slide Dammit

It looks like the next trip is on the calendar and it's still 3 days away. This is more advanced planning than we normally experience. More on the specifics later, but the plan is clearly to go up the North Slide of North Tripyramid.

Gear of the Day will be crampons or mountaineering snowshoes and an axe.

Trail conditions from Views From The Top describe solid stream crossing, packed snow and crampon conditions on the slide. More on the route conditions as things progress.

[Update: 2/11/07 5:32pm]
The slides were mostly filled in w/ snow. We actually had to work to stay out of the drifts and on top of the rocks/ice/crust as much as possible. We stayed left, crossed right, got into the scrub, back left, and all was golden.

It was a bright sunny day. I'm sure it wasn't above 0F on the slides and the summit - maybe 5F - but we didn't have to put on any shells or masks (no wind) and I was actually bare-handed once we got down off the south slide. We didn't use poles anywhere. We took the ice axes out and packed them at the top of the South Slide.

No big incidents other than being threatened by a bull moose, chased by bears and Timmy had to lower me into a ravine to retrieve his JetBoil after the earthquake subsided.

g-$: I don't know why I sometimes shrug off your advice. You've never steered me wrong. But I guess it seemed too much of a pain to get tMail a pair of skis - or maybe it was because I didn't realize that the trail to the Tri-Loop IS FUCKING GROOMED AND TRACKED!!!!! Jeezus H. F0cking Krist on a popsicle stick! I can't believe we had to walk TWO MILES on GROOMED AND TRACKED TRAIL!

Holy crap. I told Timmy that he's getting fucking skis or he can wear my size 11 boots next time.

Once tMail sends me his pics I'll post 'em on the web.

On a related note, I stopped at Wal~Mart in Littleton on the way back to pick up tissues and colored markers and bought goggles. They had ski goggles with a double lens (polycarbonate front lens), SP400 UV protection and amazing ventilation. The bottom edge of the mask has an open plastic grill under each eye running the length of the lens. Totally open. Along the top, there is also a grill, but there is a very thin foam 'filter' to keep snow out. When I say 'thin', I mean 'thin'. I can read a newspaper through it. It's just sturdy enough to keep out snow and ice but that's it. I got an XL to maximize the surface area (the frame is almost completely out of my peripheral visual field). They cost $19.83. I know it may be wishful thinking, but I have high hopes for these. The worst case scenario is that I now have a third set for backup.

[Update 2/11/07: Pics Are Posted Here]


  1. I am breathing like a bull ready to charge......

  2. Holy crap. I'll bring a bungie cord. You can pull me up!

  3. tMail/PM: you guys set the time. as far as location, let's meet on Rte 49 at the Waterville Valley Ski Area exit. Just off the exit on the right are two gas stations (the second is a Mobil). Between them is a white house w/ a few business in it including a coffee shop w/ an entrance on the right side. Let's meet in the coffee shop at whatever time you want.

  4. not looking good for me on sun. but post meting times anyways. tMail if you can make your way to exeter i got extra skis and boots for the slog to the base of the slide.

  5. tMail, the xc ski thing isn't necessary this time out because it adds to the gear list - but your lack of experience isn't an issue for the trip IN, which is primarily slightly uphill. A few minutes on skis and you'd be all "holy crap, i can't believe i bother to walk in snow!".

    One reason to consider it is that the tri's aren't a long day out so we can add to it by playing w/ skis - or save that for another time. But once you start x-c skiing you'll never look at running in winter the same way again.

  6. sounds good we will save the "playing w/ skis" for another time. what time would be a good start time.....PM sent an email not sure if you saw it but he is not feeling good he is on stand by.....

  7. The walk in isn't that bad. The scenery is nice, even if the trail is a little flat and long.

    I think the exit for Waterville Valley is a little over an hour's drive for me, so i can be there any time after 6am. You pick it. The drive to the trailhead and getting boots on, etc. is maybe another 30 minutes.

  8. Muthaz post a picture of these beasts from Wal~Mart...