Peak(s):  Twining Pk  -  13,711 feet
PT 13,500  -  13,500 feet
Date Posted:  06/12/2007
Date Climbed:   06/09/2007
Author:  Chicago Transplant
 Independence Pass 13er outing  

PT 13500 - rank 255th
Twining Peak (13,711') - rank 141st

Mileage - ~5 miles round trip
Elevation - ~2400' round trip

via Independence Pass - 12,093'

With big plans to climb Snowmass Mountain on Sunday I was probably a little on the "nuts" side of the sanity meter for wanting to get in a few peaks on Saturday. I studied my maps and tried to figure out what would be a good outing that was on the way to Aspen and settled on the Independence Pass area as the most reasonable. There are several high peaks nearby that I have not climbed yet, and with the pass at 12,093' I figured PT 13500 and Twining Peak would be best. Thinking the effort would be on par with Sniktau only with different scenery, I hit the Pass at 7.30am, parked and crossed the street towards my goals.

The route is initially flat as it crosses to PT 13500's south ridge. There was a fair amount of snow on the lower slopes but for the most part the ridge was clear. The views of the Elks quickly improve as you start to climb up the ridge, the tourist trail from the parking lot can't compare. The view of LaPlata dominated to the southeast and Grizzly and its namesake couloir to the south.



The ridge became more defined and I skirted some rough rocks on a snow patch to their left. After passing these rocks the summit of PT 13500 comes into view, as does much of the Mt Massive Wilderness to the northeast.

General conditions of PT 13500's gentle ridge:


PT 13500 is a tri-centennial and has some great summit views of the surrounding area. The view of Snowmass Mountain was especially delightful as I could see the snowfield we were climbing Sunday looked to be in good shape. The summit block also makes for a nice bench and I had a quick snack and water while surveying the remaining route to Twining Peak.

Twining from PT 13500:


The descent went quickly and I was soon at the 13,140' saddle between the two peaks. The climb up Twining started on grassy talus slopes but gave way to a moderate firm snow slope. No crampons or ice axe were necessary even with the firm snow and progress was quick up to its southern false summit. A quick jaunt over this point led to the true summit where two skiers who had come up from the Linkins Lake TH were preparing for their descent. I watched them drop off and then surveyed the scenery from the summit. The views from Twining are even better than PT 13500, particularly impressive is the rugged bulk of Williams Mountain. That peak (or rather series of 5 peaks!) are quite out of place with the typical Sawatch and look to provide some interesting scrambling opportunities.

Summit view of Geissler and Williams groups:


Summit view of Grizzly (tall one on right) and neighbors:


Distant view of the Elks:


The descent went quick despite the 360' of reclimbing over PT 13500. A quick crossing of the flats near the pass and I was back at the car. It was now a little after 10am, a total round trip time of only 2hr and 15 minutes.

Reclimb over PT 13500:


I headed to Aspen for a lunch, but it was too early! Instead I bought some supplies at City Market and ate a sandwich at the Snowmass Creek Trailhead before heading up to join Erick and the Jamies. See here for Jamie Nellis' report:

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Chicago Transplant

You two crack me up
06/13/2007 15:49
My fee for Sherpa services is $1 per pound of gear per hour, it may sound cheap but it adds up!

I only caught up to you because of your toe injury, glad you were still able to summit in spite of it, you are one tough cookie! (or should I say cracka? )

alright smartarse.....
11/30/2010 17:28
.....i'll spot you folks two 13ers before catching up to you on the trail to snowmass lake.

now's the time to enact jamie's plan of making you our sherpa. we'll leave detailed instructions of when and where to meet us this weekend to carry our stuff into the crestones. that's after you smoke grizzly, garfield and whatever else ends up in your path saturday!


p.s. but hey, you're our friend so i'll help you out. sarah, this is mike....mike, sarah. any questions?

Thanks for the props, cracka!
11/30/2010 17:28
Yeah, that's going to add up quick when I throw the case of New Belgium's 1554 in the pack!

You‘re an animal!
02/05/2011 00:22
Ok,it makes me feel better that you were back at your car around 10am, b/c we didn't hit the trail until 10:30 over on Snowmass.
Nice write-up and pictures.

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