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Author Topic: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA  (Read 7115 times)
samthaman
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April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« on: 04/09/12, 10:36 PM »

Allen, Travis, and I completed a goal I've had for a while now, a ski traverse of the Twin Sisters range (western Whatcom county). I can't really say enough about the traverse, it was a great adventure, a goal realized, a tour through beautiful terrain, and a physical challenge. I think the tour has the potential to become a local classic, and any improvement in road access to the south end of the range would make it significantly less annoying to finish off the tour. We lucked out in every way; the conditions, our route, and the weather all helped it go as easily as we could have hoped for.


This was our route. The white line is a drawn track that shows the access route to the normal routes on the North Twin, and the blue line is our GPS track for the rest of the tour. i don't think I've ever posted a GPS track of a tour before, but I felt that this was such an awesome experience that I wanted make it a touch easier for others to get out an experience the terrain for themselves and to understand where the photos were coming from.

We encountered warm sunny weather, cold stable pow on north facing aspects, strange pockets of several inches of graupel on the surface, and sloughy corn on south aspects (ski cuts were our friend). Because of the experience of the first group that I know of to do this tour, we brought steel crampons, one ice tool each, whippets, a 30m glacier rope, 3 nuts, 1 small cam, 1 piton, two tricams, one ice screw, 3 harnesses w/ assorted slings. We never touched the rope or the rest of the technical gear, but did find the crampons axes and whippets useful.


Our line on the south face of North Twin







I can't say enough about this tour, most of the skiing was fall line, and there was endless potential for short steep technical descents along most of the route... and right now the weather is looking good for next weekend.† Grin

A more comprehensive write-up HERE for those interested.
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JoshK
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #1 on: 04/09/12, 11:23 PM »

Very nice! I went in to the North twin once years ago and have always thought it would be cool to head back with skis, but I've been too lazy to figure out the various logging road mazes again. Smiley Definitely looks like some worthwhile payback for dealing with the approach/deproach issues.
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skier8484
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #2 on: 04/10/12, 06:22 AM »

Nice work guys.  That's definitely a solid two day push.  Hopefully I can keep up once I'm back up North!
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chrism
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #3 on: 04/10/12, 07:35 AM »

Thanks for sharing the great photos, and for reminding me (and us all) of this area. 
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alecapone
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #4 on: 04/10/12, 08:38 AM »

You guys are gonna be famous!  Cheesy

Awesome trip guys...

question.. what are you all doing with the video footage fom this year? season edit? I would be interested in seeing some...     
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scott
bellingham
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #5 on: 04/10/12, 09:17 AM »

Hi All - this is Travis England, guy in vest.  Go get this while it's in shape, the route holds wonderful fall-line skiing and if it's clear you'll see all the way to Rainier, the Olympics and Vancouver island.  We also found the mythical beer spring and a potato-burrito tree.

Thanks Sam and Allen for being great partners for a great glisse!
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samthaman
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #6 on: 04/10/12, 09:28 AM »


question.. what are you all doing with the video footage fom this year? season edit? I would be interested in seeing some...† † †


A season edit is definitely possible, we've even got some random clips from last winter that never made it into anything.

Hi All - this is Travis England, guy in vest.  Go get this while it's in shape, the route holds wonderful fall-line skiing and if it's clear you'll see all the way to Rainier, the Olympics and Vancouver island.  We also found the mythical beer spring and a potato-burrito tree.


Don't forget about the Swedish bikini team showing up at the parking lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtnMtrEB1-I
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #7 on: 04/10/12, 10:10 AM »

Awesome. Your long TR is great!
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Lisa
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #8 on: 04/10/12, 08:12 PM »

Sweet! Got to get up there one of these days. Beautiful area!
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samthaman
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #9 on: 04/10/12, 09:22 PM »

Sweet! Got to get up there one of these days. Beautiful area!

Make it happen, it's totally worth it! I thought the tour was more fun than the spearhead when I did it last year (though the deproach was a bit more painful than the singing pass trail). Feel free (anyone) to PM me if you want beta.
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ebeam
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #10 on: 04/10/12, 09:25 PM »

Excellent effort and trip report.
Curious whether you saw evidence of any big slides (10-15í crowns) that seem common in the Baker bc and other places (Whitehorse)? Your pictures donít seem to show any.
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samthaman
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #11 on: 04/10/12, 10:03 PM »

Excellent effort and trip report.
Curious whether you saw evidence of any big slides (10-15í crowns) that seem common in the Baker bc and other places (Whitehorse)? Your pictures donít seem to show any.

Thanks!

We actually so no evidence of any slab activity 15 foot or otherwise. on E S & W facing aspects we saw point releases that turned into slow moving, yet potentially damaging wet slides, and ski cut several sun baked slopes that ended up entraining decent amounts of snow (particularly on the S. Face of S. twin), but didn't see any evidence of significant slide activity or even cornice collapse. In general, we found the snowpack to be amazingly stable.
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mick_scott
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #12 on: 04/11/12, 06:28 PM »

YEAH swedish bikini team!!!
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BUSHWACK AND....
shanevg
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Re: April 7-8,2012, Twin Sisters range traverse, WA
« Reply #13 on: 04/17/12, 08:58 PM »

Awesome guys!  Looks like a fun trip.
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