Ascent of Twin Peaks on 2016-06-26

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, June 26, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Twin Peaks
    Elevation:8878 ft / 2706 m

Ascent Trip Report

psychology can make/break a hike. i hadn't been enthused by twin peaks, i'm not sure why at all... and when i decided to start from gstaad road i got off to a bad start because there's a 300' downhill before you start any climbing. 300' really is nothing, but it nagged at me.

i chugged along up the TRT. first clear view of both of the twin peaks was at around 2.8mi. they certainly looked like they'd be great climbs, not sure what i was worried about. but even more interesting to me was the ridge they were part of, heading north to ward peak.

at around 4.5mi the snow on the trail started to be annoying, requiring some route finding to find places with good traction. i had neglected to bring my microspikes with me. eventually i came upon a rock, a mere 1/4 mi from the summit, but i felt like taking a break, so i sat on the nicely warmed rock and looked out at the lake.

i pulled out my phone and looked at the track i had planned: basically i had planned up to twin peaks, then i'd go bag 8430 and stanford and return via the trail i came up on... but that 300' elevation at the end nagged at me. i looked closer at the summit area and i spotted the PCT. i hadn't noticed before that the PCT runs basically from twin peaks to ward peak, and along the ridge that i had been looking at the whole hike up.

i formed a new plan: i'd bag both of the twin peaks, then chug along the PCT and grab some of the high points, and eventually bag ward, then descend through the ski area and eventually back to my car... nevermind all the extra elevation and distance this added: it was downhill to my car, averting that final 300' climb! hee hee. psychology is weird, but this plan seemed way more exciting than the original.

i climbed the main east peak first, up a long talus slope. signed the register, snapped some photos. then started a traverse to the east peak. it's easier to drop down a bit, but that felt like cheating so i tried to stay as close to the ridge as i could accomplish.

east peak is really more of a ridge, with the north point being more interesting than the actual high point (the high point is the provisional peak in PB). i took a break at the north point, took off my socks to let 'em dry on the hot rocks, and laid back with my feet up for a while. when re-applying my foot gear i noticed that this was probably the last hike on these boots: beginnings of wear in the insoles, and the end of the tread at the outside of the heels. i think i lasted 5 months on this pair.

down the talus from east slope. i could have kept going down to join the PCT with minimal cross-country, but it seemed more sporting to follow the ridge. the ridge is sandy, and has much low-laying flora. i did my best to not step on any of the plants, finding various sandy stretches to focus on.

eventually i came upon point 8521, and the smart choice would have been to descend to the PCT at this point, avoiding the scree pile that is 8521. however i decided to ascend it anyhow... not very fun, i don't recommend it.

finally met up with the PCT and start chugging along... eventually running into more snow, annoyingly large amounts of it. had to keep finding routes around it.

after all the talus, scree, finding routes around snow and such, what happens to me when i'm on solid ground? i twist my ankle on a small rock. ow. there ended my plans to climb the interesting rock at 8522 further north on the ridge. i'm 7+ miles into the hike and turning back is likely longer than going forward, so i continue forward to ward peak.

trip report continued on ward peak.


trip stats include twin peak east peak and down to the low point between twin peaks and ward.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2844 ft / 865 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1634 ft / 497 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 10.9 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2408 ft / 733 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1908 ft / 582 m; Extra: 500 ft / 152m
    Loss on way in:500 ft / 152 m
    Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Start Trailhead:gstaad road  6970 ft / 2124 m
    Time:2 Hours 37 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1134 ft / 345 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 698 ft / 213 m; Extra: 436 ft / 132m
    Gain on way out:436 ft / 132 m
    Distance:1.7 mi / 2.7 km
    End Trailhead:saddle with ward  8180 ft / 2493 m
    Time:2 Hours 5 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: twin peaks ogul

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Twin Peaks2016-06-26 a2844 ft / 867 m
2Twin Peaks - West Summit2016-06-26 b 
3Ward Peak2016-06-26 c857 ft / 261 m
Total Trip Gain: 3701 ft / 1128 m    Total Trip Loss: 3705 ft / 1129 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dean Gaudet
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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