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dberdinka

[TR] North Twin Sister- South Rib 1/5/2005

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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.

 

140Ntwin1.JPG

 

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

 

140ntwin3.jpg

 

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

 

 

140ntwin2.JPG

 

Summited around 2:30 and descended the north face.

 

140ntwin4.jpg

 

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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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.

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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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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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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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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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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 fruit.gif

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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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