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#426513 - 01/06/05 10:29 AM [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2102
TRs: 39 Photos: 571
Loc: Bellingham
Climb: North Twin Sister-South Rib

Date of Climb: 1/5/2005

Trip Report:
I would love to know the secret formula that is required for genuine alpine water ice to form. Evidently cold temps and clear skies in the January are not it!

On Tuesday night my buddy Allen and I drove up the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River to the gated bridge that provides access to the Twin Sisters.

Started hiking at 3:30 AM finally reaching the basin between the North and South Twin about 6 hours later. The snowpack is absymal, no more than 2' and quickly rotting out as it slowly turns to vapor in these cool conditions.

The conditions on the South Twin appeared to be powder snow on rock so we instead climbed a route on the south face of the North Twin Sister. The south face is maybe 1500' high and fairly broad, it's only major feature being a deep snow gully on its east side. We climbed the rib bordering the west side of the snow gully.

The rib was a mix of 3rd, 4th and low 5th class rock with a liberal covering of snow. The rock in the Twin Sisters is awesome for easy technical climbing.



We wore crampons most of time and found the climbing to be a lot of fun.



It was warm in the sun and the views of the South Twin were great.




Summited around 2:30 and descended the north face.



More snow on the north side but again the snowpack is essentially turning into 3' of hoar frost. We epiced in this unconsolidated mess until we reached the logging roads then suffered the 3 hour footsore walk back to the car.

Great views and nice climbing but the approach to that area has become long and tiresome. Better conditions for ice might be found in late winter and early spring



Gear Notes:
We carried too much shite, a small rock rack, poons and one axe would suffice.

Approach Notes:
A long, long hike on logging roads

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#426514 - 01/06/05 11:18 AM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
Stefan Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 2173
TRs: 7 Photos: 9
Loc: the circus
It looks like almost 7 hours of road walking???? Ouch!
_________________________
Namaste - Whatever your outer appearance, I see and greet the soul in you.

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#426515 - 01/06/05 11:25 AM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
Dru Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 02/08/01
Posts: 30032
TRs: 29 Photos: 304
Loc: Collapsing State Vector
you need warm days and cold nights for good alpine ice. nothing will form unless the snow is melting in the day and freezing at night to form a source of water for the ice.
_________________________
t3h v01d, b1 d3f1n1t10n 4mless, there4 pr3d8s 4ll 4m & w1ll r3m41n

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#426516 - 01/06/05 11:49 AM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2102
TRs: 39 Photos: 571
Loc: Bellingham
Quote:

It looks like almost 7 hours of road walking???? Ouch!




Yes that sounds about right, thankfully, frequent conversations with Larry made most of it pass in a not to unpleasant haze.

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#426517 - 01/06/05 02:23 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
layton Offline
sprayer

Registered: 11/27/00
Posts: 7408
TRs: 39 Photos: 811
Loc: Stony Brook, NY
nice effort darin! that was what I was thinking conditions would be like on most N.facing mountain routes. sugar snow and not much ice. we need a snow, a melt, and THEN a freeze. that road sux my ass hiking up in the winter. took me 8 hours to get to the base of the N.twin in winter as well...then here comes Tim Schultz right behind me smiling saying, "thanks for busting a trail guys"

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#426518 - 01/06/05 02:45 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
Bill_Simpkins Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/21/02
Posts: 1453
TRs: 3 Photos: 80
Loc: Bellingham, WA
I've gone up there 3 times in Winter. Each time I went up in snowshoes and was passed by skiers. Last Winter we at least had the sense to bring snowboards for the logging road. But I'm going to use a brand new
AT setup if I try it this year. Whooohoooo!

I will not be passed!

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#426519 - 01/06/05 02:47 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
Alex Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 4570
TRs: 23 Photos: 116
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
Not the snow, melt, then freeze: we need a hard RAIN, THEN a hard freeze. Like a Pineapple Arctic Express Train Wreck!

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#426520 - 01/06/05 07:42 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
Greta Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 11/19/04
Posts: 447
TRs: 1 Photos: 6
Loc: The Desh
Nice TR deeber. Is there still mine traffic on the road keeping it somewhat clear? Sounds like there was minimal snow down low. I biked up in the fall which really cut the time significantly, particularly on the descent. Does it appear that it would still be possible to ride the road (if not the logging road as well), or is there too much

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#426521 - 01/06/05 07:51 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
whiplash Offline
n00b

Registered: 05/19/01
Posts: 46
TRs: 0 Photos: 7
Loc: Bellingham,Wa,USA
Sounds like fun, did you get any pictures?

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#426522 - 01/07/05 09:00 AM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005
dberdinka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/29/00
Posts: 2102
TRs: 39 Photos: 571
Loc: Bellingham
Re-edited with pics. There was NO snow on the first 2.5 miles of road to the first junction. Then very little increasing to maybe 6" at Daily Prairie.

That is all changing right now as we have 4" of snow outside my window here in Bellingham.

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