This was my third trip to the Twin Sisters range. In my opinion, the west ridges of the Twins contain the best scrambling to be had anywhere in Washington. But then I haven't been everywhere yet. I'd love to hear some other recommendations from folks who disagree with me. One thing that makes the scrambling good is that the rock is Olivine which is very sold along the ridge crest and extremely grippy. Gloves recommended.
The route on SouthTwin is slightly longer than North Twin. Roughly it's about 2000 gain on bikes, 2000 gain hiking/bushwhacking and then 2000 gain scrambling. On the summit there are two high points, separated by some distance, with the east one being highest. For some reason the SouthTwin probably sees less than half as many ascents as the North Twin.
Most of the west ridge ranges between Class 2 and 3. Cairns indicate where the crest should be avoided by traversing along the right side. The last several hundred feet below the summit is rumored to be class 4 but this can be avoided by ascending the gully south of the ridge. That is what we did. I was pleased to see that my friend Joe had written his nickname in the sand on the summit 2 days prior. 6 hours up and 5 down.
I'll try to post short reports for Hardy and Thomson later this week if I can find the time.
Sweet video dude! I was up on N. Twin last week, wondering if S. Twin was doable without ropes. I gotta get up there, looks like a few moves get a little more intense than on the North Sister. How is it that you access it? I assume you could take the same route to NT and just drop down into the basin between the 2?
Very nice! Both of the Twin Sisters tagged and TRed in the space of a week. Very cool...
-------------- "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
I was up on N. Twin last week, wondering if S. Twin was doable without ropes. I gotta get up there, looks like a few moves get a little more intense than on the North Sister. How is it that you access it?
No rope necessary. There is another logging road turn off just a little south of the one you used. Here is a photo from my page on SP which describes the whole route.
Amazing video, Gimpilator. 'Probably one of your best yet--great music. That rock did look excellent too. That is some pretty sustained scrambling up there. And those huckleberries looked mighty tasty along the way. Thanks for sharing with us. ~z
Great trip. Any idea how easy it would be to connect these two? I've heard the ridge between them is rather spicy. I wonder if it would be feasible to camp in the basin around 4500' along the SouthTwin route and access the route to the North Twin by heading up the steep terrain to the N to access the ridge around 5100?
Do you think this can/should be done in trail shoes, or are mountaineering boots necessary? Opinions?
Good question. I was actually trying to decide the same thing the night before. I would definitely say boots. There is a lot of loose rock before you even get to the basin and ridge. Once one the ridge, a rigid sole is better for those smaller footholds.
Any idea how easy it would be to connect these two? I've heard the ridge between them is rather spicy.
I know that if you plan to climb down to the saddle and then go for the other peak you should bring a rope and protection. The best way might be to do them when there is still enough snow to climb the big gully on the south face of North Twin. Snow also makes it possible to bypass the first third of the ridge on SouthTwin.
Two friends and I did this climb this past weekend. It is a great peak for scrambling, albeit a long route. Most people could not do the standard west ridge route as fast as Gimpilator's party did. There are several great camping/bivy mini-basins at the base of the west ridge. We wanted to take it easy, so we chose to stay overnight in one of those basins.
When I woke up in the morning, I started to open my bivy sack and starting saying to the other guys, "I guess it is time for everyone to get up..." Immediately after saying that, a frog hopped out of my sleeping bag. I guess he thought my body heat was cozy for the night.
From the top of the west ridge, we could see what looked like a fairly good logging road southwest of the mountain. It appears one could follow that road, then bushwhack/forest-travel northeasternly, and then follow southwestern gullies all the way up to the summit ridge. The route looks feasible, and would probably only involve scrambling for the last ~300'-400' to the summit ridge. But I am not sure which road that actually is, or if anyone has previously tried that route option.
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