Twin Peaks 13580
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.
Ox Cart Fire
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.
View towards Twin Peaks from lake
Path leading to second bench
I ascended the grassy finger to the upper slopes
First view of the upper slopes
The last cairn
Almost to the saddle
South Twin Peak
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.
Last view of Ellingwood