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 Peak(s):  Twin Pks A  -  13,580 feet
 Post Date:  06/27/2013
 Date Climbed:   06/25/2013
 Posted By:  mennoguy

 A good plan B peak   

Twin Peaks 13580
12.5 miles
4800 feet

The West Fork fire pretty much burned up my plans for climbing the 13ers around Rio Grande Reservoir so on to plan B, a few days in the Sangres.

On the drive down to Alamosa I stopped by Marshall Pass and climbed a few peaks while watching the Ox Cart Fire grow.

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Ox Cart Fire

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Haze in San Luis Valley


I arrived at the trailhead at 7:00 by 7:15 I was hiking up the annoyingly long trail. Why do the Sangre trails seem so much longer than they actually are? Having just read about the tragic news of Steve's death, I spent most of the ascent reflecting on a man I never met in person, but felt like I had. He helped me with a number of questions I had with 13ers. At 9:15 I finally arrived at the lake and admired the impressive views. Since I was in no hurry and the weather was good I spent half an hour sitting by the lake making friends with a marmot. The siren call of the summit finally overcame the comfort of the lake. I made my way up two benches before following remnants of a trail until it faded into oblivion. From there I followed the path of least resistance to the saddle, it was steep and somewhat tedious. The walk to the summit was quick and I summited at 11:00. The views are great.

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Marmot friend

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View towards Twin Peaks from lake

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Path leading to second bench

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I ascended the grassy finger to the upper slopes

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First view of the upper slopes

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The last cairn

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Almost to the saddle

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Looking down

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Sand Dunes

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South Twin Peak

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I had to summit the south peak so I quickly walked over it and wandered down the steep slopes towards the lake. The lake was such a nice spot I decided to take an icy dip, knowing I would be baking in a few hours. It took a while but I finally pried myself away from the lake and the jawdropping view of Ellingwood and made the long walk down. I dipped my head in all the creeks to keep cool. The last mile or so was torture in the heat of the day.

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Last view of Ellingwood

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