| The Oh So Good Twilight Group
June 19-20, 2012
~18.8 Miles, ~8,900 Gain.
TH: Andrews Lake TH . Crater Lake Trail (623)
Day 2: ~11.2 Miles, 4,900 Gain.
Continued from part 1.
Due to the amount of scrambling that was going to be required, I set my alarm for 4:30 AM and was hiking out of camp around 5:00 AM towards the north face couloirs on North Twilight. I was a bit nervous about actually having snow to climb since the Naked Lady couloir looked so poor. Moreover, I didn't get a chance to view the north face couloirs, which I normally would have, since I didn't hike the Crater Lake trail to Crater Lake.
This didn't give me warm and fuzzies. It's a deer which took me a while to figure out.
Avoiding some elevation loss/gain and talus hopping, I ended up climbing up a steep gully, left of the main couloir, where I bypassed the bottom 1/3rd of the main couloir. About 100 feet up this gully, some rocks came shooting down from nowhere and I quickly donned my helmet. Once I topped out on this gully, I found the culprits to the falling rocks; mountain goats. Fortunately, I only missed about ~200 feet of snow climbing since the lower apron of the couloir was completely melted out, but I was relieved to find some snow in the main couloir. The right fork didn't look to be in good shape as there was a 300 foot section that was melted out near the bottom.
Looking at the right fork. Pretty bad snow.
Looking up the left fork. At least there is snow.
Glow on the north face of North Twilight. Engineer in the background.
Nice firm snow made for quick progress to the ridge and near the top I climbed on a rock buttress on the right side of couloir to avoid melted snow and talus. I reached the summit of North Twilight at 6:10 AM where I made quicker progress than I had anticipated.
Summit of North Twilight.
Looking down the north face couloir from the summit.
Twilight and South Twilight.
More sunrise action.
Knowing that a notch blocked easy progress to Twilight from North Twilight, I traversed right on the west side of the ridge into a gully which took me to the notch. Some wet class 3 moves were required in the gully and I should have stayed on the ridge proper until reaching a rock buttress and then traversed into the gully just below the notch.
From the notch, I climbed on some crappy snow followed by some class 3 moves to the ridge. With careful route finding, I was able to keep the scrambling at class 3 and I arrived on the summit of Twilight Peak at 6:50 AM. My stay was short and I descended the south ridge of Twilight and climbed up the north-northeast ridge of South Twilight.
Looking up the crappy snow and class 3 on Twilight.
West Needle from Twilight.
Once topping out on South Twilight, I descended the southeast ridge on class 2 talus to the South Twilight-12,800 saddle. 12,800 looked rough and fortunately it isn't ranked. From the South Twilight-12800 saddle, I bypassed 12,800 by traversing on its south side towards West Needle Mountain. As I was heading towards West Needle, I found a nice class 2 talus gully that led me to the summit of 12,932. I was going to climb 12,932 last but since I was right at the base of this gully, I decided to climb 12,932 before West Needle. Some loose rock was found in the gully but overall not too bad. I arrived on the summit of 12,932 at 7:50 AM which had the only register I found the entire trip. The register was filled with many familiar names.
Point 12,800 and 12,932 from my descent off of South Twilight.
I headed back down the class 2 gully and finished my traverse to the 12,932-West Needle saddle where I ditched my pack. West Needle's northeast ridge had the most enjoyable scrambling of the trip. From the base of the ridge I climbed up ledges until I reached the ridge proper. Once on the ridge proper, I stayed on the ridge crest until I reached the summit. Most of the climbing on the ridge crest was class 3 with 2 sections of notable class 4. The first class 4 section can be bypassed on the right/north side of the ridge on class 3 ledges (which I did on the way down) and the second section was much shorter and could probably be bypassed on the right. The rock was delightfully solid.
Neat slabs off of North Twilight's east ridge.
West Needle from 12,932.
Looking up the start of the northeast ridge on West Needle.
Some class 3-4 action on West Needle.
The last 1/3rd on West Needle. The second 4th class headwall can be seen.
Zoom of the second class 4 headwall.
First class 4 headwall. Class 3 ledges are on the right.
Topping out on West Needle at 8:40 AM was my highlight of my trip. Excellent views combined with some outstanding scrambling. I returned back to my pack and headed for the 12,932-12,800 saddle. To my surprise, I bypassed 2 hikers hiking towards the 12,932-West Needle saddle. Once I reached the 12,932-12,800 saddle, I headed northeast down a talus gully towards Watertank Canyon. At ~11,700, I countered north through a minor forest towards a small pond east of the summit of Twilight Peak. Before reaching the pond, I descended about ~200 feet further down towards Watertank Canyon to bypass some cliffs from North Twilights east ridge. Once past the cliffs, I angled directly for the North Twilight-12,618 saddle which took me back to camp at Crater Lake where I arrived at 10:00 AM.
The Twilights from West Needle.
Purgatory ski area from the summit of West Needle.
Looking down the northeast ridge of West Needle.
Mountain Goats on my descent.
Neat slabs off of North Twilight's east ridge.
After resting up a bit at camp, we broke down camp and made the somewhat long hike back to Andrews Lake. We arrived back at the car at 1:50 AM where I was greeted with a flat tire. Nothing like changing a tire in the heat after a backpacking trip.
North Twilight from Crater Lake.
North Twilight from the Crater Lake Trail.
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