Peak(s):  Twin Pks A  -  13,580 feet
Twin Pks A South  -  13,534 feet
Date Posted:  11/24/2021
Date Climbed:   04/01/2021
Author:  CaptainSuburbia
 Double Vision   

Double Vision

Twin Peaks A and Twin Peaks A South

21013_37

I had started this report last spring, and was just reminded by a recent condition report that I needed to finish it. This is a great winter route, so here it is...

I had been wanting to climb these 2 peaks all winter and the timing just never worked out. It was now spring and I finally had an opportunity. There was a great weather forecast and luckily, a couple other members from this site, Brad McQueen and Tornadoman, had just recently put in a trench. Yay!

Day of Climb: Thursday April 1st, 2021

Trailhead: Zapata Falls

Peaks: Twin Peaks A and Twin Peaks A South

Mileage and Elevation Gain: 8.82 miles and 4511 feet of gain

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Route.

I left Fort Collins late the night before and arrived at the Zapata Falls trailhead around midnight. The lot was completely empty which always gives me a feeling of uneasiness being alone in the middle of nowhere. I did my best to put that out of mind and tried to get as much sleep as possible. I was up around 5 and my climbing partner arrived shortly after. He had been smart and booked a hotel in Fort Garland for the night.

We geared up and were on the South Zapata Lake trail before 6. The trail started out mostly dry with only occasional snow patches. At approximately the 3/4 mile mark we veered off trail and bushwacked south to gain Twin Peaks Northwest ridge which would take us to our summits. This was different than the standard summer route which would not be avy friendly this time of the year. To our surprise, the ridge was almost completely dry to start. I had been expecting more snow but thankful this wasn't the case.

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Beginning of ridge

The ridge was very mellow and we meandered around a bit to avoid snow. This worked until we hit 10,600 feet where the snow became sustained until treeline. We could see the remains of the before mentioned trench, and even though it was more than a week old, it was in surprisingly good shape. It was easy to see the blood, sweat and tears that went into it's creation. We were thankful for it and continued on for a bit without needing snowshoes.

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Twin Peaks A in the distance.
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It's not pretty, but it'll do.
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Better view of Twin Peaks A
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Still following the nice trench.

Eventually, our progressed slowed as we started postholing more and more in the wind loaded trench. It was a warm day and the snow was softening up quickly too. We donned our snowshoes and continued on.

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Nice trench
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Windblown trench near treeline.

Soon enough we had reached treeline and stashed our snowshoes knowing the rest of the route would be mostly windblown. We rested for a few and continued on up the ridge at a steady pace.The steepness increased though while the terrain remained easy with a mix of stable talus and frozen tundra. Often there would be sections of consolidated snow to walk up which was preferably to the talus.

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Steep section right out of the trees.
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The terrain didn't change much as we continued up the wide, arcing ridge. It remained pretty easy going and a pleasant climb with incredible scenery. We stayed as close to the ridge crest as possible while giving plenty of space between us and the many cornices along the way. The views of Ellingwood Point were most impressive!

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Ellingwood Point still looking very wintry.
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Looking back down the ridge.
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Steeper section here.
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Looking back again with the dunes and Crestones more visible now.
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Ellingwood Point again.
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Desertdog
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Almost to the false summit.

At the false we reached an upper ridge and were now only a short distance from the summit of Twin Peaks A . I put on my microspikes here and enjoyed a nice snow climb to the summit. We were rewarded with the most spectacular views of snowy peaks backed by a beautiful blue sky.

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Upper ridge
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Nearing the summit of Twin Peaks A. Twin Peaks A South visible on left.
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Looking back down the upper ridge. California Peak in the distance.
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Almost there.
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Summit of Twin Peaks A and view of Twin Peaks A South.
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Lindsey, Ellingwood and Blanca.
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View of Twin Peaks A South.
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Looking back at California Peak.

Our summit stay was short lived with Twin Peaks A South still remaining to complete the day. So, we gingerly stepped off the heavily corniced summit of Twin Peaks A and gave our left a wide berth while descending to the saddle. Twin Peaks A South was only a 1/4 mile away and we covered that distance quickly on firm snow for our second peak of the day.

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At the saddle.
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Summitting Twin Peaks A South.
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Little Bear looking magnificent.
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Beautiful!

Somehow, the views from Twin Peaks A South were even better, especially that of Little Bear. The beauty of these snow covered peaks and ridges was beyond amazing! We soaked it all in at a leisurely pace before reluctantly beginning our descent back the way we came.

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Headed back to Twin Peaks A.
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Climbing back up Twin Peaks A.
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Beginning our descent down the ridge back to the trailhead.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Tornadoman
User
The view
11/24/2021 08:54
Brad and I were socked in on the summit, I need to go back to see that view! Since I was up there a couple days too late for calendar winter, I might try to get the snowflake next time!


CaptainSuburbia
User
Snowflake
11/24/2021 11:14
Yeah those views make it worth a second go! Count me in if you attempt this winter.


ltlFish99
great
11/24/2021 12:58
Views


greenonion
User
Summit Hound...
11/24/2021 14:10
...not a Pow Hound?? Nice report!


Mtnman200
User
Great report and photos
11/24/2021 15:22
The photos of the nearby 14ers are especially nice.


CaptainSuburbia
User
Pow Hound
11/27/2021 10:31
Thanks Green! He loves the snow but not the cold.


CaptainSuburbia
User
Mtnman
11/27/2021 10:34
Thank you! Yeah the Blanca group views were amazing, especially with the bluebird weather.


greenonion
User
Really enjoyed a second read…
11/29/2021 17:26
Great report!


CaptainSuburbia
User
greenonion
11/30/2021 09:01
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!



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