Twin Sisters Traverse - West Ridge of North Twin & Northeast Ridge of South Twin, July 2006
Jeff, Paul and I climbed the North and South Twin Sisters on a mostly cloudy July day. Actually, I think we found the only cloudy spot in the state that weekend, and we were thus deprived of all views of Mt. Baker and most of the surrounding scenery. The views (or the lack thereof) aside, some fun climbing was had, particularly on the North Twin. As expected, the West Ridge of the North Twin fully lives up to its reputation of being a thoroughly enjoyable scramble on solid olivine (peroditite)...the kind of climbing that can be made as easy or interesting as one desires. While the Northeast Ridge of the South Twin has little of the aesthetic value the North Twin's West Ridge possesses, it is arguably the most "solid" line on the peak. The descent of South Twin's West Ridge, on the other hand was a loose and exposed affair and we were more than happy to be back down in the basin between the peaks.
We parked at gate across bridge (unlocked) and rode uphill 3.4 miles to a gravel berm at the edge of a spur road at right (40 exhausting minutes on bikes). 6.0 miles of biking total to intersection with trail/overgrown road leading up to base of WR of NT. Stashed bikes here and started hiking. By about 12 we were on top of NT, approx. 5 hours from car. Great scrambling! Descended the prominent gully (no snow at all) on south side of NT. Ugly. Not recommended. One double-30 rap. Better traverse route is down NW Ridge of NT to a short rappel onto glacier. Once in basin between peaks, climbed 600 ft back up on Class 3/4 slabs to left of lowest notch. From notch, got onto glacier (no crevasses) to get to NE Ridge of ST. Easy Class 3 to summit. Register is at SE end but NW end looks higher. But when you go over to NW end, SE end looks higher. Register could be bigger with new notebook. Old tattered junk in there now. (more...)
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