Sandwich Range Traverse

Passaconaway, Whiteface, Sleepers, and Tripyramids

Date of hike: 7/23/11

Downes Brook Trail: 2.3 miles
Downes Brook Slide Trail: 2.0 miles
Dicey's Mill Trail: 0.8 miles
Rollins Trail: 2.5 miles
Kate Sleeper Trail: 3.3 miles
Mount Tripyramid Trail: 1.4 miles
Pine Bend Brook Trail: 4.0 miles
Total Miles: 16.3 miles (5,250 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- Met up with Alton at 8am and spotted a car at the Pine Bend Brook Trailhead and then headed over to the Downes Brook Trailhead for sixteen miles in the sweltering heat!
- The hike along the Downes Brook Trail went fast mostly because of the annoying bugs and mosquito's.  It was very humid out and temps were already in the 80's as we made our way to the gravel outwash about 2.3 miles in and took a left and hooked onto the long-abandoned Downes Brook Slide Trail (Passaconaway Slide).  Within a couple of hundred feet we reached the sign warning us that any blazing in unlawful and will be prosecuted.
- We followed the herd path and popped out on the slide and hiked up it with ease with good views behind us.  The slide was mostly dry and the illegal blazes which at one point were attempted to be removed by washing them off the rocks and painted over are faintly visible on the slide and easily seen on the trees from what looks like black acid burns on all trees where the blazes once were.
- The path follows the open rock slabs for awhile then ducks under over hanging trees and a small pool below a ledge then pops out into the open back over rock slabs before heading into the woods for the remaining relentless climb to the outlook about 0.3 miles from the summit of Passaconaway.
- Unfortunately my camera went crazy again in the high heat and humidity so my pics were useless until I used my apple phone.  For pics of slide see previous hike from September 2010.
- We really booked it up the slide and were exhausted as we took a break from the outlook before heading up to the summit.
- Between Passaconaway and Whiteface we finally ran into a few people on the Rollins Trail and on then on the outlook near the summit of Whiteface and relaxed and took a break and took in the views before heading over to the Tripyramids.
- To connect to the Mount Tripyramid Trail you hike along the Kate Sleeper Trail over two 3,500 footers.  The Trail had very soft footing and was maintained excellently.  Eventhough it was a picturesque trail it was a bit of a slog up both Sleepers because it's all in the woods with no views.
- Finally we reached the South Slide and had about 0.2 miles and a few hundred feet up the steep slide to the summit of South Tripyramid. Views from the slide were great as usual and luckily there was a breeze, which was a hot breeze but better than nothing.
- The hike from South-Middle-North Tripyramid is one of the easier ridge walks int he Whites with decent footing and nothing steep.  Middle Tripyramid has good views but there were people lounging on the rocks so we just kept hiking and stopped once on North Tripyramid before our final descent down to the car.
- The descent was fast and furious, Alton need to be done hiking by 3pm so we didn't stop and made it back to the car at 2:45.
- We really super-hiked this one doing it in 6 hours and 30 minutes, and eventhough it was brutally hot out we kept hydrated and had a blast.  I'll be going back to the Passaconaway Slide in the fall to just lounge around on the slide and see how far I can hike up it instead of following the old burnt off blazes which leaves it off up into the woods, that part kind of is a bummer...and steep!
- The best part of this hike was the end.  Alton was covered in a blanket of pine needles on her neck and back which I never told her about.  She found out, eventually!  What are friends for, making fun of each other!

 Tripyramids from Outlook above Downes Brook - Passaconaway Slide
 Mount Tecumseh - Waterville Valley from South Tripyramid Slide
Birch Glades on the Pine Bend Brook trail

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