Salty's Scaur Peak Trip Reports


Hiking Dates


Date Climbed: 08/31/2008

Distance: 11.4 miles

Low Elevation: 1320 feet
High Elevation: 4180 feet
Elevation Gain: 3289 feet
Elevation Loss: 3327 feet

Start Location: Sabbaday Falls Trail TH
Finish Location: Sabbaday Falls Trail TH
Route: Rt. 112, Pine Bend Brook Trail to crest of ridge, herd path to Scaur Peak and back, Pine Bend Brook to Mount Tripyramid Tr., Sabbaday Brook Trail

Weather: Very sunny (clouds in the Pemi and Presis), windy, dry
Companions: (none)


What was supposed to be my first overnighter in eons turned into a relatively puny day trip. The plan was to bag Scaur Peak, North Tripyramid, and the Fool Killer on Sunday, and then M. Tri, the Sleepers and Whiteface on Labor Day. Partly due to other reasons, but probably mostly due to Christmas Eve excitement (yeah, Iím still that way), I didnít sleep a wink Saturday night/Sunday morning. I finally gave up at 1 AM, made some coffee and got ready/sat around to leave at 3 AM, so I could hit the trail around 5. That part actually worked. The drive up was tense, as I was tired and with an empty highway, I kept a close eye out for critters (like the raccoon walking down the white line around Ashland). The patchy heavy fog up north in areas didnít help. I finally came to the Pine Bend Brook trailhead, but the only parking there is right next to the highway, and no one was there. I opted for the Sabbaday Brook parking area, even though that was empty, but wouldnít be for long.

_x000D_ _x000D_ Hmmm, itís not light out at 5 AM anymore . OK, first time with the headlamp, walking alone down the Kanc, save for one vehicle. One quick mile later and I arrived back at the trailhead, and found hiking with a headlamp not as difficult as I expected. Pine Bend starts out nice and easy, which was good considering Iím not used to hauling around 40 lbs. of gear, and eventually runs into a nice ravine filled with birch, where the slope starts to really pick up. Some limited views north are available as you get near the ridge. Once you crest the ridge, sure enough, plain as day is the Scaur Peak Trail, uhhh, herd path. I swear someone just put out a TR last week discussing this, but I canít seem to find it now. I specifically remember a small meadow with the term Christmas trees (sure enough). I dumped my pack near the Pine Bend trail, and it was a blessed relief to fly up the hill. The paths diverge and converge here and there, but the way is very clear. I donít think it was much more than 15-20 minutes to get to the canister. This isnít a whack, itís more like a tickle. The last entry was from July, I added my name and dummy that I am, I forgot to date it. Hey, I got no sleep

_x000D_ _x000D_ Next, off to N. Tripyramid. No problem for the first half, which is fairly, level, but the second half beat me down. Itís a lot of one or two hands needed climbing, interspersed with easier climbing. Every time I thought the slabs might be done with, along came another, ad nauseum. I know, nothing compared to the N. slide, but with a full pack on, it wasnít particularly easy (for me) either. Finally, the blue sky started appearing on both sides of the trail, and there was the summit. Joy! Happiness! Get this damned pack off me! I started down toward the slide for some views, but it appeared to be further down that I cared for. There is a fir blown down just down the trail that you can stand on to get some really nice views. Limited views of the other Tripyramids and some really good views west, north and east could be had around the summit area.

_x000D_ _x000D_ Now off towards the Fool Killer. I was finally starting to feel the effects of lack of sleep and knew I had to decide what to do very soon. If I grabbed the Fool Killer, I would probably have camp setup around 2 or 3, and then what? I had to be near water, and there was no way I could make it all the way to Whiteface in one day. I had a book, but knew I was lacking any real concentration. If I had some company, none of this would be a problem, but alas, amusing myself with limited means probably wasnít in the cards. I caught a view of the route I was thinking of taking up to the Fool Killer, but woah, thatís flippiní steep. Up to the Tripyr/Fool col would be a better option, but a longer whack. I wasnít really up for either at that point, and decided to bail out down the Sabbaday Brook Trail. Those mountains arenít going anywhere. Carrying an extra 25 pounds for a day hike sucked, though OTOH, muscles feel good today.

_x000D_ _x000D_ Sabbaday starts out steep similar to Pine Bend, and gradually levels out. While the water was beautiful, I found the trail to be monotonous down low, broken by aggravating stretches of small boulders all piled on the trail, requiring careful foot placement. After what seems like eons of my old external frame digging into my back (I smell modification), I came to the parking lot (now full of course). It took a lot of concentration to deal with the 2 hour drive, but I was glad to be home (and Mrs. Salty was quite please Ė why she likes me, I still havenít figured out after all these years, but Iím not going to question that too much).

_x000D_ _x000D_ Final Note 1: This should be changed from the Sandwich Range to the Toad Range. Iíve never seen so many toads scrambling out of my way!

_x000D_ _x000D_ Final Note 2: 11 hours of sleep sure felt good last night