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Thread: West & East Sleeper 11/13

  1. #1
    Senior Member poison ivy's Avatar
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    West & East Sleeper 11/13

    After a night of camping at the Branch Brook campground, MichaelJ, MEB, Bob&Geri and I caravanned over to the Livermore Road trailhead for a 15-mile hike (I recounted and this is what I came up with) to East Sleeper and back. When we arrived at 7:30 a.m., we found SugahJohn -- that’s John and his sweet little dog Sugar -- already there and ready to go. We waited for about a half hour before deciding that no one else was going to show and headed down the trail. This time, we decided to carry the snowshoes in addition to crampons (we didn’t need either) because we were unsure what state the Kate Sleeper Trail would be in. It was about 30 degrees as we started the hike.

    Livermore Road is a long road walk and I was looking a the bike tracks in the dirt road with some jealousy. It is in such good shape, it seems a shame not to drive it… though I suppose cars going over it would reduce it to the bumpy state of my home’s dirt driveway at home. We zipped up the road as quickly as possible, stopping only a handful of time to de-layer or take pictures of the nearby river.

    We soon came to the Mt. Tripyramid Trail junction an the first of several brook crossings. The first one was pretty easy because it was fairly shallow -- I believe MEB just walked across. The second one was tricky due to a big blowdown blocking the path. It took some maneuvering to both get across the brook and miss the blowdown. The worst crossing was in a very deep cleft of the trail, across some wet and icy rocks. I think most everyone took a different route across the brook -- I ended up shimmying across a rather large tree trunk to make it across that one.

    I was surprised at how uphill the Mt. Tripyramid Trail was… I had remembered it as being flat all the way to the slide. I also hadn’t remembered the pretty waterfalls and cascades in the nearby brook, either so it was like experiencing anew -- of course that could have been thanks to the creative means we took to get around some of the blowdowns too!

    We soon found ourselves at the base of the South Slide. There was some talk about the possibility of heading all the way up to South Tripyramids (it’s not on the 4K list, but is on the Y-Alpine list.) Since I’ve been there before and knew it would take more time to get up the slide than the rest of the crew, I told them I’d just wait at the Kate Sleeper junction if they wanted to head up to South Tripyramid. And up the slide we went.

    Temperatures were getting pretty warm and the few inch of snow on the slide was patchy and mushy so it was easy going for the most part. We were able to pick a way up and stay mainly on the dirt and rocks for much of the way. Of course, it was slow going since we had to stop and turn around every few minutes to check out the awesome views of Sandwich Dome & Tecumseh. There was one ledgy area that was particularly tricky since it involved a little bit of scrambling and the footholds were icy. The group kindly waited for me to catch up to ensure I made it up without trouble and we finished the second half of the slide without any trouble. We were thrilled, however, to see the junction of the Kate Sleeper trail, where we decided to take a little break -- and the rest of the group decided against heading up to South Tripyramid after all.

    After a quick snack, we headed down the Kate Sleeper Trail -- and I do mean down -- the trail heads steeply down another slide that I was really not looking forward to hiking back up for the return trip. Even when we got off the slide, we found the trail still going downhill pretty steeply… so much for my visions of an easy hike back out! Fortunately though, we found that the Kate Sleeper Trail had been broken out and the foot of snow was pretty well consolidated anyway, so our snowshoes were not needed.

    We found ourselves at the highpoint on 3,881 ft. West Sleeper and MichaelJ, SugahJohn and I took the short trip over to what looked like the summit for a picture or two before heading downhill to our main destination -- East Sleeper, which is 41 feet lower but on the New England Hundred Highest list. There were lots of blowdowns to negotiate between the two peaks, but the mile passed pretty quickly and we were soon at the spur for the East Sleeper summit. They had me lead the way and I completely missed the summit sign while following the snowshoe tracks, which marched right past it. We arrived around 12:45, took our pictures (this was #82 for both MichaelJ & I on the NEHH list, I‘m not sure if John is keeping track of these yet) and stopped for a break.

    While on the summit, John discovered that Sugar had a small abrasion on one of her front paws, so he put on her cute little red booties. She didn’t really like the booties much but her pace picked right up so they sure seemed to help! We left the summit at 1 p.m., ready to head back the way we came in. I was not looking forward to the steep uphill back to West Sleeper or that slide!

    In fact, when we arrived at the slide I was desperately looking for a way to avoid climbing up it (only to have to climb back down once we reached the South Slide) but we did not see any way around it. Climbing back up was actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be, even though I was getting pretty tired.

    We arrived at the South Slide and found that much of the snow had melted away -- SugahJohn’s thermometer indicated it was 60+ degrees! We also encountered the only other people we’d see all day -- a group of three descending the South Slide as well. We took our time on the way down but managed to move pretty quickly even though there was a bit of butt-sliding involved in the trickier spots. Still, I was relieved when we arrived at the base since I knew the terrain would be easier on the way out.

    In fact, most of the snow on the Mt. Tripyramid Trail had melted and the brook crossings were easy since the rocks were no longer icy. It probably helped that I had packed my sneakers for the road walk, so I didn’t much care about my boots & socks getting wet by that point either. I was very relieved to change my shoes since my feet were starting to ache when we reached Livermore Road. SugahJohn & I brought up the rear and made it back to the car at 4:30 p.m., just in time to see a low moon rising over North Tripyramid.

    This was a great group to have on a long hike like this… it was just a great day to be out with such fun people! Thanks everyone for coming along with me… especially those who could have sunned themselves on South Slide all day because they’ve already visited the Sleepers! My pictures are here.

    Thanks everyone for a terrific weekend of hiking!!

    - Ivy
    Last edited by poison ivy; 11-14-2005 at 03:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Member sugahjohn's Avatar
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    Excellent job on the trip report, and on organizing the trip, in general. Thank you so much for having Sugar and me along: We had a wonderful time! It was great to meet (or see again) y'all. Your pics came out wonderfully--soooooo much better than mine. I look forward to hiking with y'all again soon.
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    Senior Member grouseking's Avatar
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    Nice photos! I wish your pics on the Sleepers came out becuase I am very interested in that area. I hear it is moss and fern carpeted not to mention the spruce/fir. That is my favorite kind of woods walk, and its on a ridge. Can you confirm the moss or was there too much snow? It sounds like a perfect place to go to and sit down relax all day, away from the summit crowds.

    grouseking

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    Senior Member poison ivy's Avatar
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    It was all snow-covered so we didn't get much of an idea of the terrain. But MEB & Bob & Geri had all been there before so they might have a better idea of what the terrain is like.

    - Ivy

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    Senior Member MEB's Avatar
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    Another great trip report Amy!

    Grouseking, The Kate Sleeper Trail is one of my favorites and it is a beautiful ridge walk! I've only been on it in snowy conditions though. You sure won't be fighting any crowds that way either. We did see lots of moose scrapes on the trees so you might get lucky and see one.

    -MEB

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    Senior Member yam's Avatar
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    you guys are hiking fools!!

    great trip report again, poison ivy, and loved the pic of sugar and her dog booties.
    Fly too high, my son, and the heat will melt your wings. ~~
    Daedalus

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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yam
    you guys are hiking fools!!
    Nah, just the folks who tried to bushwhack between the two arms of the South Slide to avoid going up and over.


    Great pics and report, Ivy, and great hike and company, everyone! I had a great time this past weekend, and I hope to get my pics from this hike posted sometime tonight.

    And ... a new personal record: the car is actually completely unpacked already. Acadia took me 12 days - dang 3rd floor apartment!
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member audrey's Avatar
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    I see that we missed a stellar day with great company. Too bad a series of unfortunate events conspired against us.

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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    We thought of you several times during the trip - I'm sorry you couldn't have made it...
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member alpinista's Avatar
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    Awesome TR, PI ... though I'm having a tough time opening the link to your pix. Any tech gurus out there who can help? I recently switched from IE (after a yucky virus) to Firefox...
    Not all who wander are lost...

    "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."
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    Alpinista's Pix

  11. #11
    Senior Member poison ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpinista
    Awesome TR, PI ... though I'm having a tough time opening the link to your pix. Any tech gurus out there who can help? I recently switched from IE (after a yucky virus) to Firefox...
    Thanks Lisa.

    You need to have Flash 8 installed on your computer for the pictures to work properly. If you're so-inclined you can find it
    here
    If not, I'm sure others will be posting pictures too!

    - Ivy

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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    And I've got pictures!
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    And ours are located here.

  14. #14
    Senior Member amstony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poison ivy
    After a quick snack, we headed down the Kate Sleeper Trail -- and I do mean down -- the trail heads steeply down another slide that I was really not looking forward to hiking back up for the return trip. Even when we got off the slide, we found the trail still going downhill pretty steeply… so much for my visions of an easy hike back out!
    - Ivy

    yeah that little slide was a surprise to do. I had to do go back up it after doing the 3 Tripyramids, and E/W Sleeper last July. Made for an interesting return trip. Conditions were reversed, in the high 80's/low 90's temp wise That is a hike I do want to do again though!

  15. #15
    Junior Member getawaygrl's Avatar
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    Another great TR & photos! Wish I could have been there.

    I love the shot of the dog in her shoes. Did they come with little crampons?

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