Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Andy_Bourne

Traversing the Twin Sisters Range

Recommended Posts

I am thinking of trying a traverse of the Twin Sisters range, and I am just checking to see if anyone out there has done it. Haven't really made up my mind on where to go in, and whether to make a huge loop, or to leave a car on one end and start from the other. Anything to be aware of going in on the south end? Road closures?

Also, I am assuming a fast party could do it in two long days, it looks like a pretty long way. This is something I am also looking for info on, how long it takes, since most of the terrain up there would be new to me. Any info would be appreciated.

-Andy [Moon]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy that sounds rad, winter or summer? you could probably do it in a long (16 hr.?) day in summer i would think, maybe north to south would be easier starting up w ridge of N Twin sister?

solo or not? soloing would probably be way faster and its almost all 4th class or easier right?

you gonna take 50 gu packets and no stove?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually thinking about doing it this weekend. I was out in the San Juans last weekend and they look pretty cool with a little dusting of white.

There's supposed to be a high pressure system on Sat, Sun and Mon.

I think I will do it with a couple friends, probably two days. Yea, Summer would be doable in a day, but I think I'll take bivy gear with the short days and snow cover.

North to South was what I was thinking too, my only problem is that I am not familiar with the way out going south. I guess I'll just make a loop out of it and go back north on a logging road or something. I am definitely looking for suggestions on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are 14 named summits in the Twin Sisters. As told to me, Dallas Kloke has attempted the full traverse at least once in recent years. After the first 13, from South to North, bee stings (???) stopped him before the North Twin.

While I haven't been anywhere in the southern part of the range, I think the full traverse would definitely require a car shuttle and be best started in the south. There are 2 approaches, 1 up logging roads from Hamilton and another from the Baker River somewhere. The valleys along the west side of the range are not straight forward and trying to back track to your car sounds like an epic.

If you're thinking of just the N and S Twin approach from Nooksack River. The logging roads are now gated far from the mountains. Bring a mountain bike, or you'll be cursing yourself on the way back. W Ridge of N Twin is a good mixed climb, the is a long coulior on the SE side that can be descended and the W Ridge of the S Twin is reported to be a good mixed climb as well.

If you do the full traverse, pleaase leave us a report!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy,To get to the south end, drive north at the town of Hamilton, right where the bridge crosses over Hwy 20. To get into the area, you have to get a key from Crown Pacific. It is a $20 deposit fee and a waiver signed.

I've gotten keys from them twice and they have been very nice and cordial. They also provided me with maps so I knew which spur roads to take. Actually ask for the maps because the roads shown in the Beckey Bible and the topos aren't always correct. Also roads get built and closed.

The southern most peak is Step Sister. From there it is an easy ridge walk up Last Sister. Actually you can easily connect the first four peaks, nothing too difficult.

Just thought I'd give you some more info about the south side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this isn't such an exciting trip report, but I figured I'd follow up.

I was only able to round up one partner and due to weather deterioration today, we only had Saturday and Sunday. So because of that and a few other reasons we only did the west Ridge of N Twin. The climbing conditions were quite wintery and a little more slow-going than I anticipated, but 4th and 5th class climbing with gloves, pack and crampons was pretty exciting. We even roped up for the last pitch.

We reached the summit about 4:00p on Sat, after starting at the trailhead at about 9:30am. We set up a really cool, super exposed bivouac just below the summit on the south side. The coolest thing was watching the Leonid meteor shower from that vantage point. Truely one of my best mountain bivys.

I got a good look at the connecting ridge between N and S Sister and it looks great. I am stoked to try this again in another high pressure spell.

I think for a complete traverse, summer would be a little easier with longer days, lighter packs and easier travel.

Thanks for the info dberdinka. Next up is some scouting on the south end of the range.

Have a good one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plexus. Can you get a key for the BIG gate blocking the Howard Creek Road? The one with the Elk closure sign? If so it seems you could drive almost to tree line below the Last Sister.

Just went into Barbara on Sunday. Ended up bailing after a late start and a lack of time. Beautiful peaks for being less than 6000'!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 2 years ago I went in there and they wouldn't give me a key. There was a guy at the guard station on the south side. He would only let me in after 6:00 and no earlier. Then I was stopped at the gate somewhere above Howard Creek. I would like to know if they also give you the key to that gate beyond Howard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never had any problem getting in. I always went a day or two earlier to the OFFICE on the south side of Hwy 20, told them where I was going, how long and what I was doing. At the guard station show them your permit and they check you through.

I did get a key for Howard Creek Road. First time it took me almost 10 minutes to get the bloody thing open because I couldn't figure it out. For Last Sister and Step Sister, we parked next to a quarry because of the snow line and hiked up the old spur roads.

Seen the most big mammals at one time there. One time up on CP land, saw three bears cross the road going in, scared away and treed a huge black bear on the hike back from Last Sister shocked.gif" border="0 and saw three elk and six coyotes on the drive back out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by plexus:

Seen the most big mammals at one time there. One time up on CP land, saw three bears cross the road going in, scared away and treed a huge black bear on the hike back from Last Sister
shocked.gif" border="0
and saw three elk and six coyotes on the drive back out.

...and a lttle girl eating poridge and a wolf dressed up as a grandma and three pigs building houses...

grin.gif" border="0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×