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Twin Peaks

It must have been the windy, rainy morning that limited the show-up to only 3 members - Burt G, Ray O & David W. Weather turned out to be fine for shorts and light cover. An easy stroll up Ward Canyon then gentle switchbacks to the Stanford Ridge saddle at 8,000', nearest Twin Peaks. A good place to pause and compare GPS positions and elevations to maps and one another. Great "scenic turnouts" along the way revealed good views of the High Traverse side of Alpine Meadows, from Twin Peaks to Grouse Rock to the boundary bowls to Ward Peak, and all the little folds and gullies that comprise Ward Canyon. The visibility was rain washed crystal clear, and we were gawking at the crispness of the views and how seeing this area without snow really reveals terrain that is hard to distinguish when snow covered. From the saddle the trail gets steeper & gains 880' until it is an all 4's scramble to the east peak. A good place for lunch, and since the weather turned so fine, almost a good place for a siesta. We scrambled around, checked out the backside notch between the peaks, and glassed the terrain in all directions for a long time. Eventually we saddled up and headed back down, past the point we came up, along the spine of Stanford Ridge. At some point we stopped and set up a "go to" GPS scenario to find Stanford Rock. I had the team waypoints loaded on my Vista, so I scrolled to Stanford and hit goto - Ray entered the data from a map, also hit goto and we headed off generally in the same direction. Turns out, on this day, the map entry data was about 400' more accurate than the waypoint data downloaded Thursday night at the team garage. Another view opportunity at the "rock", then the long loop back to the parking spot. About 13+ miles round trip, good GPS practice, and great eyes-on terrain familiarization. Thanks Burt for setting it up, thanks Ray for the fig newtons. It should be noted that Ray "bagged" the twins without any motorized assistance.

First 16 photos by David Wright, next 11 by Ray O'Brien.

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