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#930374 - 12/29/09 09:06 PM [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009
JasonG Offline

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 1846
TRs: 77 Photos: 1139
Loc: Mount Vernon
Trip: North Twin Sister - West Ridge

Date: 12/27/2009

Trip Report:
This is such a well traveled route, I don't expect to tell anyone anything they don't already know- more of a conditions update with some pretty photos . . .

The good weather was taunting me over the holidays so I jumped when Tim said he could get out on Sunday. After hemming and hawing and generally avoiding some sort of overnight deal (we're too soft for such long nights), we settled on the North Twin, figuring it would give us a good, scenic alpine workout with some skiing for good measure. We were right on one count . . .

Leaving the car about 7:20, we had arrived just in time to see a group of four head up the road with bikes. Bikes?? What do they know? Skis were going to be the obvious choice for the day, but we just had to hike for a bit-right? Turns out we hiked all the way to the turn off, and only started skinning because we felt stupid and wanted to destroy our gear. We could have pushed or rode bikes most of the way to Daley Prairie, oh well.

We left our skis at the overgrown turnoff and trudged up the thinly covered road (nearly bare in places!!!) to the wilderness boundary where the snow was still only a foot or two deep. Stinkin' El Nino. The good thing was that Tim was pretty psyched to climb the route in tele boots and who could blame him, it was a great day to be in the hills . . .

It started to get a bit more wintry near the top and we finally got to use crampons on some ice- they also helped on the descent down the extremely variable ice and snow of the north slope. On the ascent, we belayed a short, icy step just below the summit- otherwise the rope stayed in the pack.

The views from the top were grand as usual:

Hoar frost formations were pretty cool, but perhaps won't be so cool when covered by a good storm cycle:

We were lucky and never had to use the headlamps - while on the climb. Driving home, however, they came in real handy when we had to change a flat tire.

Gotta love "winter" in the Cascades!

Gear Notes:
Skis if you feel silly. Crampons, single axe, short rope, some rock gear, headlamp if you are unlucky. Shortbread cookies if you have a flat tire and need to bribe the Mosquito Lake Rd. neighborhood dog.

Approach Notes:
Long, if you hike with ski boots.

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#930377 - 12/29/09 09:19 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009 [Re: JasonG]
Tom_Sjolseth Offline
addicted to

Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 502
TRs: 45 Photos: 1948
Loc: Wenatchee (The Kent of the Eas...
Nice foresight to do this route now. Too bad about the skis, but it sounds like Tim had fun in his teleboots regardless!

Any closeups of Baker?
Heavy and slow.

#930382 - 12/29/09 09:32 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009 [Re: Tom_Sjolseth]
JasonG Offline

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 1846
TRs: 77 Photos: 1139
Loc: Mount Vernon
Hey Tom-

Nice work on Rainier . .. Tim and I were remarking how cold and windy it must have been. That Ingraham descent is pretty fun in lean conditions eh? I remember rappelling off ice bollards and generally being pretty sketched a few years ago . . .

I think I might have a photo you'd be interested in . . . but I didn't bring my SLR so it isn't super high-def. Shoot me a pm with your email (I don't have it on my home computer).

#930383 - 12/29/09 09:35 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009 [Re: JasonG]
JasonG Offline

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 1846
TRs: 77 Photos: 1139
Loc: Mount Vernon
Nevermind . . . should have checked your profile. D'oh!

#930503 - 12/30/09 02:46 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009 [Re: JasonG]
Le Piston Offline
addicted to

Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 552
TRs: 26 Photos: 529
Loc: Kent, WA (USA)
I greatly appreciate the update. I've been looking at doing this climb this winter...nice to get the pictures and approach info. Sweet pictures, I'm stoked! Danke Heinrich.

#930535 - 12/30/09 07:02 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009 [Re: JasonG]
curtveld Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/01/03
Posts: 992
TRs: 18 Photos: 181
Loc: Bellingham
Originally Posted By: Heinrich

Gotta love "winter" in the Cascades!

It's remarkable how that ridge clears up with a little dry weather and sun, isn't it? Great trip, photos, and birthday prep!

#930722 - 12/31/09 07:24 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009 [Re: curtveld]
therunningdog Offline

Registered: 07/22/02
Posts: 100
TRs: 7 Photos: 101
Loc: South Col, Phinney Ridge
Thanks Jason for another great trip and write-up.

There wasnt much snow up there, but at least there wasn't any choss.

I am still recoiling and having PTSD from a summer of choss. No more choss until late July please. No more choss.

And, BTW, tele boots climb surprisingly well. Get that corner of the toe-piece on a tiny ledge...bomber. Hiking 15 miles in tele boots is a lot of fun, too. Highly recommended.
Whatever you're into, be into it.

#931296 - 01/04/10 08:25 PM Re: [TR] North Twin Sister - West Ridge 12/27/2009 [Re: therunningdog]
JasonG Offline

Registered: 10/12/00
Posts: 1846
TRs: 77 Photos: 1139
Loc: Mount Vernon
I know what you mean, after some of the loosey goosey outings of 2009, I hope 2010 will be a year of solidness. Or somewhat solidness . . . OK, just not super-scary, cross your fingers, I don't think this is gonna hold, sort of loose.

And yes, Curt, it is amazing how well the route comes into shape with a little fine weather. Certainly a good way to prep for the big 35!



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