I’m not exactly sure why John and I chose to attempt American Border Peak (ABP) for a second time, but rest assured there will NOT be a third try. Perhaps I’ve gone soft in my old age, but the tedious off-trail side hilling and thrashing just to get to a suitable camp spot hardly seems worth the reportedly loose and mediocre climbing on ABP in the first place. If our lack of motivation wasn’t enough to turn us back, then the rapidly deteriorating weather the day of our summit bid certainly was. Just one look across the third and final talus basin separating us from the start of the objective’s SE Route, not to mention the eerie reddish murk that filled the morning skies, and I decided then and there that ABP was not for me. Judging by the look on John’s face, I think he too was relieved by my decision. We returned to camp, packed up and made our way back to High Pass. Just before the final descent to the car, we dropped our packs and made a quick detour up the trail to investigate the restored lookout on top of Winchester Mountain, because well…it was there and we had nothing better to do. We got back to John's truck just as the first drops of rain began falling.
If you must climb something in the Twin Lakes area, I might suggest just scrambling up Mount Larrabee
instead. A good trail pretty much leads directly to the base of the standard climbing route, and I doubt the views are much different than from ABP considering that the two peaks are adjacent to each other. Larrabee is likely to test your appetite for choss as it is so leave it at that and take solace in the fact that ABP is a seldom climbed pile
for good reason.