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Alpine_Tom

North Twin approach?

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I called in sick today (cough cough) to take advantage of the nice weather and finally do the West Ridge of N. Twin Sister. Map book in one hand, red CAG in the other I headed up there.

I think i got to within a few miles of the trailhead, but no further. What appears to be the correct road in the line drawing in the CAG turns into a gravel pit, complete with two-bottom dumptrucks.

Is there a reliable resource for figuring out the approach? There was a lot of discussion about both N. Twin and S. Twin here last year, so I assume it's done at least occasionally, especially since Beckey gives the route such a ringing endorsement.

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I've typically just gone via the USGS maps. You have to work your way up the roads until they stop, then take off on a boot path that leaves the right side of the road (not marked at all). If you're too far north, you end up scrabling steep heather. Too far south and it's brushy as hell.

It's a route that is done quite frequently - just talk to anyone in the area for more detail (AAI or BaseCamp in Bellingham are two good places).

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Park at the gate.

Push/ride your bike up the main road for a number of miles. Ignore any spurs to the left. You will cross a stream, and continue past a spur on the right(with a large pile of gravel). The correct spur, on the right, comes before the top of a crest in the main road. The main road starts to bear to the left at the correct spur.

The correct spur will head left after 1/4 mile at a clearing, then quickly over a pile of boulders blocking the road.

Stay on the main road, which will enter the clear cut about a mile or so. Ignore all spurs.

The correct road is on the LEFT, comes as the main road starts to go downhill, and has a water bar right off of the main road. Go up, ignore all spurs, and the road will end. Take the trail into the woods at the base off the ridge. You're there.

(oops, fixed mistake)

 

[ 10-15-2002, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: Necronomicon ]

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Originally posted by plexus:

Check out this link to an earlier discussion about the approach:

 

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=000419[/Q UOTE]

 

Right. See, I read this series of discussions before (a couple of weeks ago) and Fishstick's instructions are perfect, right up to where he says "follow the main logging road with instinct!" Maybe my instinct is off, but it seems like the road followed the line drawing in CAG perfectly, right up to where it terminated in the gravel pit. I drove back, slowly, looking for an alternate road that I'd (apparently) missed, but there was none.

Maybe I should restrict myself to climbs like Mt. Pilchuck where there's a signed parking area, until my instinct develops a bit.

 

Hmm... I'm starting to think, based on Fishstick's and Necromicon's descriptions that I actually drove further than they think I should have. I certainly didn't see anything that looked like a place to park, though, and the map in CAG makes it look like I had another mile or two to drive before the trailhead.

 

[ 10-15-2002, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: Alpine Tom ]

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The spur off the main road is rather overgrown now, and is easier to find in the winter. You need to look for the curve in the road, before you head downhill towards the quarry. My memory, it seems, has failed me, with respect to the gravel pile.

 

[ 10-15-2002, 10:09 AM: Message edited by: Necronomicon ]

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I jotted these down a while back for a friend. They have worked for a few folks so far. I am sure there are errors but this should get you close enough to figure it out. Good luck!

 

Coley

 

North Twin Sister

Approach Beta

 

-Drive Mt. Baker Highway to the town of Deming. Just after the town of Deming take a right on Mosquito Lake Road (MLR). Look for the "Welcome Grocery" (blue sign) on the corner.

 

-Drive MLR 4.9 miles to FSR #38. You will see a gravel road on the left shortly after crossing a small bridge in the road. You wont be able to see the FSR 38 sign from MLR but you will see it on the right after making the left turn.

 

-Drive the gravel road for a few miles (3-5?). After a while the road will take a downward and right trending curve. You will have the option to go straight but the road is in worse condition. Take the downhill branch and park at the gate over the river. You wont see the gate from the main road.

 

-Walk the logging road for 45 minutes to 1.25 hours. Watch out for logging trucks.

 

After walking for a while you will see a trail/old logging road on the right next to a pile of gravel. This trail will be marked with little bits of flagging tape. Take this trail. If in doubt, continue up the main road and look for the crest of the hill and another logging road branch to the right. You can see the Twin from here. Turn around and take a left on the last road.

 

-Walk for 2(+ or -) miles on this logging road crossing several overgrown patches and washouts etc. Keep walking until you come to an obvious branch in the road. Take the left or uphill branch.

 

-Keep walking until you come to an obvious branch in the road. Take the left or uphill branch. (yes this is another left and uphill branch)

 

-Continue walking up large switchbacks on a good gravel logging road.

 

-This gravel road will crest a small hill which is the terminus of the West Ridge. Look for a small clearing with some logs and flagging tape and a faint trail heading towards a patch of trees near the base of the ridge.

 

-Reverse your route back to the car or glissade the North Face.

 

-Go home, eat, drink and be merry dinner and tell inflated stories about your climbing ability.

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I have to jump on this wagon...another TR here. I made it quite recently and it describes the road approach in detail. Don't forget a bike!

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Alpine Tom,

 

My gut feeling is that you drove over the metal bridge that's normally gated (the usual parking spot) and continued up the road for an extra two or three miles. There is a quarry at that point, in the valley directly below the North face.

 

GB

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Chestbeating:

 

My record on the N.Twin from the car parked at the gate before the bridge up the W ridge, back to the car: 3.5 hours (w/mtn bike)

 

I am lord of the Twin Sisters. All hail.

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I got some advice about the orb. Apparently my underwear was too tight. Go figure!

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I second what Mr. Natural said. Finally climbed the north ridge of Skookum peak last sunday after 2 failed attempts. Seem's like you have to put your time in getting lost on the logging roads before you can finally get something climbed.

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The West Ridge is definitely worth doing! The rock is unique, the scenery fantastic. You will need to be careful on the road, it leads to an active olivine mine, and the ore trucks rumble up and down the road all day, and can't stop or maneuver very quickly. I also recommend taking a mountain bike. It is a rough slog up, but you will appreciate it on the return. Also, bring a Washington Atlas, it will help with the navigating to the "trailhead". The hardest part, other than pulling the hill on a bike with a pack, is finding it. You can ride quite a bit of the approach.

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Best bet is to make friends with the receptionist at Crown Pacific down in Hamilton. They have maps, can tell you roads are still driveable...etc. She's never steered me wrong.

 

She don't drink coffee so bribe with sweets not [HORSECOCK]

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quote:

Originally posted by fishstick:

Alpine Tom,

 

My gut feeling is that you drove over the metal bridge that's normally gated (the usual parking spot) and continued up the road for an extra two or three miles. There is a quarry at that point, in the valley directly below the North face.

 

GB

That sound exactly like what happened. I guess I should be happy I turned around and didn't find some place to park up there. It would have been a long, cold night if I'd gotten gated in!

 

Thanks to everyone for all the beta. It seems like this is one of the many cascade climbs for which the crux is finding the trailhead. Maybe if the weather holds, I can give it another go, with a mountain bike this time, and search for the elusive green orb.

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If you think that approach is confusing I would definately recommend you stay away from the south side of the range like cinderella and whatnot.

[big Drink]

 

[ 10-23-2002, 12:33 PM: Message edited by: Mr. Natural ]

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Til and I spent some time thrashing around out there yesterday, but ran out of time to climb the ridge by the time we got there (long story). [Eek!] I've made some corrections to Climzalot's approach beta that will hopefully help others...

 

quote:

Originally posted by Climzalot:

I jotted these down a while back for a friend. They have worked for a few folks so far. I am sure there are errors but this should get you close enough to figure it out. Good luck!

 

Coley

 

North Twin Sister

Approach Beta

 

-Drive Mt. Baker Highway THROUGH the town of Deming. Just after the town of Deming take a right on Mosquito Lake Road (MLR). Look for the "Welcome Grocery" (blue sign) on the corner.

 

-Drive MLR 4.9 miles to FSR #38. You will see a gravel road on the left shortly after crossing a small bridge in the road. You wont be able to see the FSR 38 sign from MLR but you will see it on the right after making the left turn. NOT A HARD LEFT AND OBVIOUS.

 

-Drive the gravel road for a few miles (5 MILES). After a while the road will take a downward and right trending curve. You will have the option to go straight but the road is in worse condition. Take the downhill branch and park at the gate over the river (AT 5.2 MILES). You wont see the gate from the main road.

 

-Walk the logging road for 45 minutes to 1.25 hours. Watch out for logging trucks.

 

After walking for a while you will see a trail/old logging road on the right next to a pile of gravel. IGNORE THE FIRST TRAIL WITH A PILE OF GRAVEL IN FRONT OF IT. IT"S VERY OVERGROWN AND THE WRONG ONE. CONTINUE UP THE HILL PAST MM 7.5 TO THE NEXT TRAIL. This trail will be marked with little bits of flagging tape. THERE IS ALSO A LARGE CAIRN ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE NOW. THE TRAIL HAS BEEN RECENTLY CLEARED/BULLDOZED AND IS BIKABLE ALL THE WAY.

 

-Walk for 2(+ or -) miles on this logging road crossing several overgrown patches and washouts etc. Keep walking until you come to an obvious branch in the road. Take the left or uphill branch.

 

-Keep walking until you come to an obvious branch in the road. IGNORE THE FIRST LEFTHAND BRANCH AND KEEP GOING FOR 300 YARDS UNTIL THE ROAD BEGINS TO GO DOWNHILL. YOU WILL SEE A CAIRN AND GREEN FLAGGING MARKING AN OLD ROAD. Take this left or uphill branch. (yes this is another left and uphill branch)

 

-Continue walking up large switchbacks on a good gravel logging road. BIKABLE ALL THE WAY TO THE CLIMBERS PATH.

 

-This gravel road will crest a small hill which is the terminus of the West Ridge. Look for a small clearing with some logs and flagging tape and a faint trail heading towards a patch of trees near the base of the ridge.

 

-Reverse your route back to the car or glissade the North Face.

 

-Go home, eat, drink and be merry dinner and tell inflated stories about your climbing ability.

ALSO: take bikes! We made it from the logging road to the car in 25 minutes. Super-fun long ride down... perfect way to end the day (other than summitting [Mad] ). The gate was locked by 5:25 PM.

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Tom:

 

Jon Heller and I climbed W. Ridge N. Twin in 1986. We followed Fred's directions, and camped on a road at a washout. My sporty post-college vehicle, a 1985 Chrysler Laser XE, could not cross a small washout. We walked on more road the next morning, and ended up leaving the road and fighting up a clear cut until we hit the ridge. Not epic. We found an old leather boot on a stump, and determined, without basis, that it was Fred's.

 

It was a fun climb, and we didn't rope up, for what it's worth. I climbed it in plastic boots as we were supposed to do Baker but the weather was not great. The elastic in the waist of my long undies gave out on the descent, so I had droopy drawer syndrome.

 

This probably doesn't help, but I know you'll find it next time. For what it's worth, Jim Nelson had trouble finding Cinderella a few years ago, and even more trouble getting out of the woods. It's a difficult area for sure.

 

Cheers,

 

John Sharp

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quote:

Originally posted by Dru:

When I did W R NTS I found that the gate was open at the bridge over N Fork Nuttsack River for hunting season and we drove right to the quarry. No hunters shot at us either.

That's the M Fork Nooksack River. Great kayaking by the way.

 

I climbed the West Ridge of North Twin on saturday in 2:35 from the bridge w/bike. I'm assuming Layton's round trip time of 3:30 involved a glisade down the North Face. My round trip time wasn't even close but it involved a downclimb of the ridge and 30 minutes on top chilling in the sun. Saw some deer tracks but no hunters. The middle section of road has been tidied up and you can now bike all but a couple hundred feet of boulder blocks.

 

I intended to climb the West Ridge of South Twin but the route looked sketchy with a couple inches of fresh snow. Wearing tennis shoes without a rope, I had a few snow slow downs but most of the south facing slopes were melted. I imagine all of this has changed with the recent storms.

 

This place is becoming one of my favorites and I look forward to spending more time exploring it with skis this winter and spring. Does anybody know how far you can drive up FR38 (the left fork before the bridge)?

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quote:

For what it's worth, Jim Nelson had trouble finding Cinderella a few years ago, and even more trouble getting out of the woods.

Well that makes me feel good at least! I think they filmed the Blair Witch Project up there.

 

[ 11-06-2002, 12:20 PM: Message edited by: michael_layton ]

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Yeah, Cinderella area is very confusing. However, there was a good thread in here last spring, I think, that seemed to have good beta. Denis98 was the source.

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Even after many many many failed journeys into that range (my backyard) I still love the Twin Sisters range. (but I still hate the approach). The W.Ridge of the N.Twin is like a Soul Enima when city life drags you down. Speaking of which, I once got a ride up the road inside a port-a-potty!

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