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Routes in West Twin Peak

South Ridge T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Steep Snow
West Twincil Steep Snow
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Type: Snow, Alpine, 2500 ft
FA: John Dillman, Don Paulke and Bruce Hitchcock 1976
Page Views: 557 total · 15/month
Shared By: Mat Brunton on Aug 15, 2015
Admins: Jared LaVacque, L. Von Dommelheimer

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Access Issue: Parking and trail access for south ridges is questionable Details

Description

A classic Western Chugach "extreme" ski descent down a STEEP and NARROW, deep-walled couloir. This is an extremely aesthetic line. It is also an established climbing route. The line is probably 40+ degrees for ~2000', with extended stretches at ~50 degrees. The crux is probably closer to ~55 degrees and is very narrow, with exposure due to a normally un-skiable choke (~3' wide) and cliff band below. In the best powder conditions this choke can probably be straight-lined as it is short, but another method is stopping above it and climbing up a near vertical step of snow that is 10-20' tall to a ledge that allows one to continue the descent down another wider couloir to the basin below.

Location

There are a plethora of access options. Some access from the main Eklutna Lake trailhead and the Twin Peaks trail, climbing the south side of the mountain. Downside of this is dropping into a VERY serious line without firsthand knowledge of snow conditions.

Some access via a normally very bushwhack-y approach from the Old Glenn. This makes for a typically long and miserable day.

The best route is using a map, local knowledge of the area, waiting for very stable avalanche conditions, and taking a route that allows skiing the couloir car to car in ~4 hours for fast parties with little to no schwacking even in the worst snow years. An added bonus of this route is access to numerous other enticing couloirs and ski lines along the way. This route is ~3 miles one way.

Protection

Steep snow. Very complex avalanche terrain. AnchorageAvalancheCenter.org is a resource for snow and avalanche conditions.
I seem to remember a 40-50 foot wall of steep consolidated mud at the top of the couloir. And a short cliff in the middle. On a fat snow year. Aug 20, 2015
Mat Brunton
  Steep Snow
Mat Brunton  
  Steep Snow
Nothing like that my most recent visit April 2014, and that season was meager. Aug 21, 2015
My memory is definitely not the best sometimes. We might have been on a different line to the climbers right of that one. One that can only be done on a fat year? I remember seeing good skiing on a line climbers left. Regardless, we couldn't top out because of an unclimbable bit of bad rock at the top. I remember that for sure. And we had widgets. Hmmmmm.... Lots to do on that north side of the Twins and Goat rock. In Winter. Aug 22, 2015
Mat Brunton
  Steep Snow
Mat Brunton  
  Steep Snow
This couloir is the obvious, somewhat sickle shaped one that goes to the summit ridge. It is definitely fatter and easier on bigger seasons, but should be ski-able most seasons; the primary hindrance for climbing or skiing it on low snow seasons would be the heinous approach. Sounds like you climbed one of the super skinny ones to climber's right, which don't seem to go as close to the summit and likely aren't ski-able without rappels. This couloir would likely be a bore for experienced AK climbers like yourself... Aug 28, 2015
Yeah, we were definitely to the right. West twin pencil thin was the good looking line to the left. 2011, I think, very fat year, and the cliff in the middle of the line was rappel only. The rock up there is good. And BAD. Aug 29, 2015

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