I had several goals with this hike: enjoy a sunny (for once) day off, keep it short to keep my IT band happy, and test out my chest mounted gimbal on a scramble. Sounds like a job for East Twin!
Obligatory Civic shot with the Twins lurking in the background
I'd climbed West Twin a few weeks ago and was quite pleased with how short the approach is. Basically, you just park at Eklutna, head up the Twin Peaks Trail, pass one bench, pass another, and boom - just head over to the Twins. Easy peasy!
View from bench numero uno. Bold is back there - in the cloud.
The twins coming into view on the way to bench two.
Bench two. Take the trail on the right to climb Pepper Peak.
Stream crossing and East Twinny.
Oooohhh ahhhh it's getting nicer!
The standard route for East Twin follows the south gully, and this is where I headed, noting that it wasn't really as great of a day as promised... In fact, there were a few raindrops! Some slices of blue sky began to develop as I climbed toward the gully, and eventually, the blue did take over the majority of the sky. Nice.
Looking behind me as I climb - blue skies starting to take over
Down towards Eklutna
Fiery fall colors
Passing some wary sheep, I reached the gully and began to scramble up. And quite scrambly it was! Lots of loose rock - I hugged the sides to get better grip. A few steeper sections but nothing outrageous. I was heavily reminded of the south gully on Eagle Peak. Same thing here, just a heck of a lot shorter.
The wary sheep.
Eventually, I reached some cairns that led right or left. I didn't know what to make of these, so I decided to just keep going up the gully. In hindsight I now know that these lead to more solid (if exposed) routes to the summit. Oh well! Next time.
It was getting quite windy, as all the wind was being funnelled through the narrowing gully. Quite a chilly wind too! I was a bit upset that I didn't bring the wind covers for my thin gloves. Finally, at the end of the gully, is a very narrow slot. Past this slot, the wind was blocked. Whew. It felt good to get out of that. It was just a few minutes of easy scrambling to the summit.
The summit was windy too of course, so I only spent a few minutes before heading down. I did get a good view of the other Twin, Pioneer, Bold (which had a lot of new snow) and the very menacing looking Goat Rock. After some pictures and video, I went down.
Remember when I said I was a sucker for fast summit times? My version of signing the register.
Pioneer on the left, Bold on the right.
More Bold and Eklutna.
West Twin and Goat Rock. WTF Goat Rock looks dang intensseeee.
My poor hands were basically bricks for a while, thanks to my forgetfulness of the wind shells. Once I got lower and out of the gully, they did warm up, but not without a good deal of pain.
The way back down was uneventful. I stopped at Eklutna to get several photos of Bold. The day had an iffy start, but pulled a 180 and was now beautiful. Overall, an excellent peak for those days when you want something more brief :)
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