Flags Weekend - Middle Tripyramid, Whiteface, and Passaconaway


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Jan 15, 2013
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Vernon, Conn.
Saturday 8 Sept. - Middle Tripryamid

For the tenth year in a row I helped raise the flag on Middle Tripyramid for Flags on the 48, and event which commemorates the victims of the theocratic attacks of September 11, 2001. For the first time in those ten years, though, I was not the crew leader; I couldn't get into the website quickly enough. Instead, this year, the Middle Tripyramid crew was led by a guy named Dave Cormier. With us was a large group of people who apparently do a different peak with Dave every year. It was actually a bit of a relief not to have to worry about organizing this year.

Dave had a bigger, and heavier, setup than I usually take, and several of us took turns carrying the heavy bag, with Dave taking our own day packs in turn.

We went up and down Sabbaday Brook Trail. I'd been up that at least three times, and most of the crew hadn't been up it at all, so I was tapped for advice along the way, which was especially useful when I noticed some people about to attempt a brook crossing which wasn't the trail, but which I had done another time I'd gone up Sabbaday Brook.

Sabbaday Brook Trail starts out fairly easy, and quickly passes Sabbaday Falls, which are some of the best waterfalls in the Whites. It then crosses the brook three times, follows the right bank for a while, crosses three more times, follows the left bank for a while, and then goes steeply up to meet Mt. Tripyramid Trail. They guy who was carrying the flag gear up the steep part got ahead of the rest of us. When we got to the Mt. Tripryramid Trail intersection -- I was in the next group of hikers -- he wasn't there, so we assumed he'd gone on ahead. However, when we got to the summit he wasn't there. He'd taken a wrong turn, gone to the North Tripyramid summit, and turned around, eventually making it to Middle in time to set up the flag.

There were a lot of people on the summit over the two hours the flag was up. There was also a bird with a striped head and red belly which I couldn't identify, but which a birder who showed up later speculated was a red breasted nuthatch.

This was at least my thirteenth time on Middle Tripyramid.

When it was time we took down the flag and headed down. I took a turn carrying the flag bag on the descent.

Thanks to Dave and his friends for a great job in covering Middle Tripyramid this year.

Sunday 9 Sept. - Whiteface and Passaconaway

After spending the night at Passaconaway Campground I spend Sunday doing the Whiteface/Passaconaway loop. This was my fifth time on Whiteface and my fourth on Passaconaway. I did the loop clockwise, Whiteface first and Passaconaway second. Unlike the other times I've done the two as a loop from Ferncroft, though, this time I took Tom Wiggin Trail going up. It has a sign at its lower end saying, "not recommended / steep and loose". It is steep and loose in parts, but not anything as difficult at the upper portion of Sabbaday Brook Trail.

I didn't meet anyone else on Tom Wiggin (although I did later meet a group which had taken it) but there were a lot of people on the rest of the trails. Going up Whiteface is a bit difficult, but after that it's not bad. Rollins Trail, which goes over the ridge Whiteface is part of, was steeper than I'd remembered, but the part of Dicey's Mill Trail which goes from Rollins Trail to Passaconaway Summit was shorter than I'd remembered. When I got to the lookout I had a "I'm here already?" moment.

On the way out through the valley on Dicey's Mill Trail I met several hikers I'd seen the day before on Middle Tripyramid, including Laura the birder. When we got back to Ferncroft she got out her bird guide and I confirmed that the bird I'd seen was indeed a red breasted nuthatch.

Whiteface and Passaconaway were numbers 58 and 59 (out of 115) in my project to repeat the NE111 in my 60s. I'm now more than halfway there.

Here are the pictures for Middle Tripyramid (Saturday).
Here are the pictures for Whiteface and Passaconaway (Sunday).
Here is the Flags on the 48 site.



NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
NE111 in my 60s: 59/115 (47/67, 11/46, 1/2)
NEFF: 50/50; Cat35: 39/39; WNH4K: 40/48; NEHH 89/100
LT NB 2009; CT NB 2017

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll