“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
Header Photo: Exploring skinny slots near Escalante, Utah.
........NOTE: Single Click On first Post Photo to view an album in a more detailed, larger format.........

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Perseverance Is Key To Twin Peaks Summit




It has been an exhausting, thus grand week, having notched three colossal hike-ascents on our "climbing belts." Number two was a summit on Lovely Ouray's sentinel, Twin Peaks. It's a hike to my liking, a grinding workout with a thrilling payoff, and no logistics beyond checking the forecast. Simply walk out the front door and trek.

With "weather guessers" predicting only a 10% chance for rain/thunderstorms, we assumed we had a "green light." Never assume, right? Not a hundred yards from the house, it begins to sprinkle. Ok, that's cool. It was a little too stuffy and hot anyway. Maybe a good thing, especially the cloud cover. 

But the drops got bigger, and bigger... fell harder, and harder. By the time we reached Old Twin Peaks Trailhead we we're pulling rain gear out of our packs. I might have let a few obscenities slip. There was just this one black cloud, directly overhead, and it wasn't moving. I didn't want to go to all the effort of getting to the base of Twin Peaks (again), only to be denied a summit due to sketchy weather. Standing in the rain, we considered bagging the effort instead of the peak.

Love the old dead pine at Ouray Overlook...pointing to Mount Abram, a climb in waiting that I do not want to do in snow!
Of course, as soon as we put our rain gear on and start up the trail, rain lightens and fizzles...leaving us in baking in sun with no breeze, in sauna-like humidity. Off with the jackets. I think I sweated out a couple liters on the vertiginous stairs and switchbacks of Old Twin Peaks Trail. Be careful what you wish for; dear God let it rain.


There was some leftover snow in the trail on the north-facing dark timber side of the mountain. I broke trail, leaving big footsteps for Bobbie to follow in. Finally, out of dark timber and onto a barren, windswept ridge line. Lovely Ouray is revealed, cuddled in the bosom of her Mountain Mama surround. The Million Dollar Highway snakes south, etched onto precipice ledges by hardy men with lots of dynamite, well over a hundred years ago. 

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature
Horse and buggy days on The Million Dollar Highway... back when it was a toll road. It's slightly wider now, and paved.   :)

Glory!!!!

With ladder-like steepness, buffeted by 30 mph gusts of wind, Bobbie ascends the final "stairway" to "Heaven," er, I mean, Twin Peaks




One last step...


The colorful "Blowout"

"Whitehouse"





Virga over Ridgway





Evidence of mining all along the mountainside


Snow in the trail on the north slope. Nice and easy here...


And few final shots taken by Bobbie, plus a spectacular panorama that's destined for a canvas-wrapped frame and one of our walls.






Panorama... scroll left to view.


14 comments:

  1. Nice Hike! What was your elevation gain on this one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost 2000 vertical feet, as we hiked from our front door.
      Short and steep, tho.
      Enjoy the PNW... i.e., drink plenty of craft brews.
      mark

      Delete
  2. Freakin' amazing photos! You are one crazy old fart...but I admire you for it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bucket list for next time ....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your photography never ceases to amaze me. I watched "Pale Rider" the other night just to see the Sawtooths, again. I hope you'll travel there one day and take pictures--incredibly beautiful country.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great hike, super sweet panorama. Crazy man, Bobbie isn't as crazy, but every bit as tough!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Start working on that book, will ya"?

    D&A

    ReplyDelete
  7. hey you do a book!!! Why did I not suggest that!?!?!? Yearly!!!_The rants from Ouray !Walden creek rv

    ReplyDelete
  8. You guys aren't wasting any time getting out there this season. That 2000 feet looks like it is straight up! For these early season hike/climbs it seems that an ice axe might be a good piece of equipment to carry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to avoid trails that require ice picks up here. They smell of broken ankles to me.... haha

      Delete
  9. You and I did this hike to Twin Peaks on July 16, 2011. My notes said we left your front door at 8:30am for a steep and strenuous hike of 3.5 miles to Twin Peaks. We arrived at the summit at 11:15am after enjoying the splendid view of Ouray and surrounding mountains. Thanks for updated photo's and memories.

    ReplyDelete
  10. WOW, just freaking WOW. Great pic's

    ReplyDelete

The Box Canyon Blog is an interactive site. Don't just sit there, PARTICIPATE !!!