Trip Title: North Twin Sister
Author lee coutermarsh
Date December 08, 2002
Weather clear, 30's
TrailConditions dry-patchy snow
Owned By climbing
Mountain Elevation Summitted
The Twin sister range is midway between the town of Acme and Mt. Baker. It is only 6,640 feet height (north twin) but an excellent goal for this late in the season.
Hooked up with my partners for the day, tom and ralph at 6 a.m. in Seattle. There is a bit of confusion on getting to the trail head. If you follow the beckey guide it's generally correct. I will give my take on the directions as I think less is more.
From the acme store it is 10.1 miles on the mosquito lake rd, there just after the bridge go right on Rd. #38, continue for 4.9 miles and take a right down a small hill to a bridge (100 yards) with a gate. Park here and take bikes across the bridge and uphill. Take the 4th spur rd on the right and continue uphill which will take you up to the dailey prairie and continue on. You will come to an obvious fork in the rd. and stay left. Then you will notice 2 large neon orange blazes on an old silver snag, continue on and look for a cairn on the left. That is another spur (left) towards the west ridge. We parked our bikes here and walked up the spur to an obvious fire pit and camp spot. Here is where the (obvious) trail starts. Thanks to ralph as he has climbed this before got us there with no problem.
Now (finally) the climb starts. Starting out in a nice forest you start gaining elevation and gain the west ridge where the tree's quickly start showing evidence of the storm's and the dump's of snow this ridge must get in the winter. Eventually getting steeper and steeper till it is all rock. From here it is the longest,best class 2-4th class climbing I have yet to encounter. The rock is excellent and you will use every climbing move you know. From liebacks, crimper's, chimney's, finger cracks etc... By the time you do reach the summit you will have used all your bag of tricks. But foot jams and handholds are many and the climbing is pretty easy. There is a bit of exposure at times. It is better to stay near the crest while routefinding because if you get to low you run into loose rock.
Once on the summit the views of Mt. Baker are very close and right across the valley. We had good views of the san juan's and the puget sound. But the bad views were all the clear cuts. We could see the mid level clouds just starting to come in but no cloud cap yet over Mt. Rainier far to the south.
Now downclimbing the west ridge was interesting and had to do everything backwards! But without incident made it back to the bikes and getting dark. With headlights on we were bombing downhill and I would guess 5-6 mile ride. Being carefull to watch out for those piles of dirt they put across the road as you would definatlely be launched if you hit one in the dark.
Back to the car with finger's completely frozen we were all very content on a very cool sunday afternoon bike/climb. I would highly recomend this at anytime of the year and if there is snow bring ski's and take the same route and go up as far as desired.