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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Another Go At Twin Peaks...

No matter how many times one fails over the course of a lifetime, they are never a failure until they quit trying.

With that in mind, less than two weeks after being snowed out of a summit attempt on Twin Peaks, I was itching to have another go at it. A work day for Bobbie, I would be going solo. A kiss for luck and we were on our (separate) ways.

About a mile up Old Twin Peaks Trail the "objective comes into view: Twin Peaks on the left, and Little Sister on the right.

The Old Twin Peaks Trailhead is only a short walk from our house. OTPT is one of those supreme "Stair-Master" hikes that, in places, rides that thin line between hiking and climbing. It is a fine line that differentiates climbing from hiking. My rule of thumb is that as long as ropes stay in my backpack, it's a "hike." Obviously, this rule doesn't apply to those crazy "free climbers" who consider a rope cheating.

There was generally less snow this time, except in the one  shaded, North-facing spot that's a little "sketchy" without an ice axe or rope. I retraced our same footsteps from a week ago across the avalanche shoot, careful to not mess up, you know, being "solo" this time.    

Avalanche shoot
After the "shoot," snow was patchy and not dangerous. I was able to stay (roughly) on the main trail. Just short of two hours, I made the main ridge line, well exposed to sun and dry as toast. 


I hadn't see fresh tracks in the snow, so I was hoping to have the summit to myself. A final scramble up the ridge line, a couple of ledges, and I the summit was mine... well, me and several soaring birds.

The nasty Twin calls for a rope... 

Lovely Ouray

The summit on the Good Twin is generous in its width

The Observation Deck

Courthouse Mountain on the left... Another hike that borders on a climb.

The "gap" between the Twins... Camp Bird Road in the background.

Mouse's Chocolates is calling... 

Little Sister and Lovely Ouray

The colorful Blowout, right across from our house. The bare ridge behind the Blow Out is the Ridge to the Bridge of Heaven... another great hike, but 10 long miles round trip from home.

White House Mountain

"Little Sister," watching over Route 550 South, the Million Dollar Highway

Yes, as a matter of fact bears do shit in the woods... 

As well as in our backyard!!!  Cute little guy :)


  1. Just beautiful up there, but my favorite photo is of the bear!

  2. For a couple of months out of the year, you certainly do live in a wondrous world, Mark. Snow lovers probably would give that more than a couple of months. So gorgeous. And congrats on that summit. What an amazing view in all directions. You and that bear can certainly see a lot more than "the other side of the mountain" from the peaks. Are you old enough to have sung that song??

  3. And I was concerned about baby raccoons and their mother in my backyard. Beautiful pictures of the colorful mountains surrounding Ouray. It is great you have several scenic trails right from your house and bears to welcome you home.

  4. Avalanche shoot? Hahaha, that fits it perfectly. From now on, I will see an avalanche chute and think, aw, shoots, gotta cross that one - or is it in the sense of you go shooting down it with one misstep? In any case, I'm sure my puny easily confused brain will now start calling it a shoot.

    Great photos, as usual, and I always thought of Courthouse as a climb, and here I learn it's a mere hike. Shoots me down a notch or two. :)

    1. Shoot, as in "shooting gallery," a climbing term where one becomes a target for rocks and other falling debris. :))

  5. Mark Al & I have been sitting on Kathleen's porch and looking up at Twin Peaks for over twenty years wondering what it was like up there so again thanks for clearing that question up. We attempted the climb about 5 years ago starting in Oak Creek Canyon and made it to where we could see the top but we were too exhausted to finish her. (lets see we were 67 at that time so start planning on the inevitable) ha. 72 gives new meaning to "Geezerhood".
    Stay Thirsty My Friend

  6. Looks great there Mark, glad to see you were able to summit. It hit 104 here in central Oregon today...Ouray is looking real good right now.

  7. Congratulations are completing the hike:) It sure is spectacular:) Awww, such an adorable little guy in your yard:)


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