Rained / snowed to scare a group of four of us away from the peak. We turned around at Horse Creek Pass.
Kerouac said it best "Here we are by the fresh pure lake walkin along in this good air, by God, it's a haiku in itself."
This was my first time in this area, and from twin lake up to the apline lake i was very exited to get climbing. The first day was great, hiking up to the base was warm for september. Then came the next day, it started out very, very nice. A few clouds in the sky to block the direct sun light, and no wind. But at about 10am after 3 pitches on the North Arete, the wind started to pick up a lot. Then sitting at a belay, i hear a yell from one of my party members, Dan. "i think we are going to start back down." When i got up to them, i look to the west and the sky had turned from a beautiful day to black clouds. So down we started, and after about 10 mins of setting up, it stated to snow, and got colder, and much winder. So we got down. The peak won the battle, but ill be back to win the war.
We camped at around 9200 feet in Horse Creek Canyon. It was extremely windy and hard to use our stove. The next day we hiked to the pass and started up Matterhorn Peak. This was a spur of the moment trip. We were driving through Bridgeport on our way to Bishop. We'd planned to do something in the Bishop Creek area. We both decided we didn't want to drive that far so we got a permit and headed to Twin Lakes. The lack of information about the area made for a fun little adventure. I did have the maps and a compass. The southeast slope was a slog, with bottomless loose gravel in a lot of places. Spiller Creek Canyon was so beautiful! After grunting our way up the loose rock and gravel, I found the summit ridge to be a lot of fun. We went straight up some very solid class three rock to reach it. The view from the top was amazing.
Aside from a lot of loose rocks and dirt in the chute, it was a fun climb. Great weather, beautiful views. We almost lost part of our lunch in one of the many deep cracks at the summit. There were six in our party.
Larry S. and I tagged the summit via Horse Creek in 13 hours round trip. The views from the summit are awesome even for a Sierra peak!
Very enjoyable climb with Vendulka with a combination of snow and rock climbing. Up West Couloir, traverse summit ridge, down East Couloir. Roundtrip 11.5 hrs from Twin Lakes.
Topped out after some awesome random 3rd class scrambling.
Great climb with a couple of fs rangers from Mammoth Lakes
Great climb, numerous times. And going back.
Tagged the summit on the return from Whorl Mountain. Long dayhike out of Twin Lakes.
Left Twin Lakes about 6am by headlamp and summitted around 11:40 There was a light dusting of snow everywhere that made for slippery going. The many use trails are highly confusing. Going up I made the mistake of going left of the main drainage through a huge scree pile at a "step" just below the last trees before the pass. Heading straight up the center of the gulley here there is another use trail which avoids this.
I did not find the summit register. I would like to know if I was a bonehead and missed it or if it has gone missing. There was enough snow that it could have been hidden, but I scoured (what I believe) is the summit pretty carefully.
With Craig Sanford and Gary Stanridge
Beautiful day... Did it twice in 3 days
Plan was to ascend via SE slope. Turned up one canyon too early (for Horse Creek Pass) and climbed up to lake below glacier. Put on crampons (no ice ax) and began climbing what I thought was the East Couloir. Turns out it was the couloir to the left (Ski Dreams couloir.) Felt uncomfortable on steep ice without ice ax about a third of the way up and bailed onto the rocks on the right. Great class 3/4 climbing (mixed with some ice/gravel excitement). Finished ascent with final SE approach. After decending the scree to Horse Creek Pass, decided that my route finding mistake beat going up that slog.
My partner and I started around 8 am with clear skies but by the time we had finished the second pitch we were greeted with the rumble of thunder. Luckily we were at a point where we could rappell off the route rather easily. 3 Rappels later we were back on the ground.
Did this climb with Erik J as an overnight trip. We were supposed to climb it on Saturday, but by the time we got over Horse Creek Pass the weather was turning nasty. Summited Sunday at 8:00 am, then tried Whorl, but couldn't find the correct chutes. Maybe next time. I thought Horse Creek Pass with a full backpack was harder than Matterhorn.
My brother and I got to the summit at around 11:15 am. This was my third attempt after being snowed on during the first snow storm of the season on Oct. 31, 2003, and then turning around on the final ascent in July, 2004. Getting to Horseshoe Pass was easily done in a few hours, and the snow patches in the morning were easily traversed, but the final ascent to the summit through all the scree was brutal for me. I felt like I was walking on quicksand. I have lived at Twin Lakes almost every summer since I was a kid, but never knew anything about how to hike this peak until two years ago. Thanks to everyone on this site for all the information about how to do this hike, and keeping me updated on conditions.
My first visit was a fall dayhike (Oct 5, '02) from Twin Lakes via Horse Creek Pass, returning via Burro Pass/Mule Pass. Spent two hours on the summit admiring the views--a gorgeous day! The peak has some of the best views anywhere in the Sierra.
While Horse Creek Pass was clear, Burro Pass was still snowed in from a storm the previous week. This made the loop back around more challenging (scary) than expected as I had to find an alternative to Burro Pass via some steep slabs to its west.
I came back in late June '05 to climb the north arete with Sam. After getting off-route and onto really, really crappy rock almost from the start (necessitating an embarrassing rappel, even before we'd started the roped climbing), things improved... the first couple of pitches had some questionable rock in places, but the last few had some awesome climbing to compensate. By far the coolest bit was the knife-edge arete on the next to last pitch--wow! Airy and pretty spicy 4th class after unroping at the top of the arete, too. Amazing summit views, as always.
Longer approach than expected at this time of year, with axe/crampons needed both to climb the "headwall" part-way up Horse Creek Canyon, and to descend the SE Slopes after we burned a lot of time on the climb. Next time I climb this route or Double Dihedral, I think it'll be in summer or fall.
Well, we MEANT to do the North Arete, but got off-route and ended up on the other instead. Mostly clean climbing (one big loose block) but hard and sustained on the last pitch/es. Fun 4th class run to the summit from the top of the route, too. Also, lots of snow this year made the approach longer. Still, an incredible summit and a beautiful mountain. Be warned - this one takes longer than you might think!