11 Miles on 7800 ft Twin Peaks (W6 CT-064) 9 August 2013

I had last climbed Twin in August 2009, about 10 days before the Station Fire. I remembered it as a long hike, an isolated summit, and a long way back up to the shoulder of Waterman to get back. I had forgotten how pretty the hike is, with pine and cedar trees, chaparral, and interesting rock formations. Today, the mid day temperature was in the mid 60s, though it felt warmer in the sun. It was very nice.

Parked at Buckhorn Day Use Area, then walked across Angeles Crest Highway, up the Mt Waterman jeep road for about 150 yards, then left on the trail. First we go up to Mt Waterman’s East Ridge, then up to the right (West) along the ridge.
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East Twin in view. The trail continues up the Waterman ridge, then down directly to Twin Peaks Saddle (6550 ft), then a pretty steep hike up to the summit of East Twin.
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After an hour, the descent starts towards Twin peaks Saddle 1200 feet below the ridge. About half way down, there is a small stream, and I startled a doe there.
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Then ascend steeply up Twin, this picture is looking back towards Waterman. From the start, it took 2 hours and 50 minutes to reach the summit of Twin.
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Looking into Bear Canyon from the summit of East Twin. Peak 6340 “The Volcano” W6 CT-083 is in the middle.It was ascended and activated on 16 July 2013 by Bryan (N0BCB) and Tim (K6TW). I wonder if they are the only humans ever to reach the top of this isolated peak in the middle of the San Gabriel Wilderness?
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Bryan and Tim descended a gully from the left for 1300 vertical feet, then bushwhacked up through trees and chaparral. They descended the far side of “The Volcano” and climbed and bushwhacked 2000 vertical feet up a spur to Kratka Ridge. It was such a rough journey they decided to call un-named CT-083 “Don’t Do It Peak”!
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View down the East Ridge of Twin, these are Triplet Rocks, 3 miles away and 100 feet tall.
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The new HB1-B 5 watt QRP rig. It worked very well, and only weighs 1 pound compared to 6.5 for the IC-706 I used to bring up for SOTA. Also, I tuned up my antenna for exactly 14.060 MHz, so I didn’t bring my usual 1.5 pound MFJ travel tuner. I brought some clip on wires in case I wanted to operate 10 MHz. So my pack was MUCH lighter than before and the hike was more enjoyable. I need to get a shorter and lighter coax, my present 50 feet of RG8X weighs 2 pounds, that needs to be lightened. I still like my 1.4 pound Lithium battery so I will continue with it. With the HB1-B taking less than an amp on transmit, it was nice to not have any concerns about the battery running out! The IC706 takes 5 or 6 amps even when tuned down to 5 watts, very inefficient.
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Worked 14 MHZ CW: WA2USA NA6MG (on W6 CT 170) K6TUY NS7P N4MJ W0MNA KK1W W0ERI AE4FZ NE4TN N7UN N5GW VE7NI KG3W W4AMW N4FJ NK6A K7NEW WA6KYR W7CNL K0JQZ (on W7Y TT 161) KI6J N9KW KC9TNH W0CCA KE5AKL

144 MHz FM KF4YOO Tim on the 605 freeway hauling an oversize load to Arizona!

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The flat summit, very comfortable with great views all round.
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Then back down 1200 feet to Twin Saddle. Here is a view of Mt Pacifico
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Had some water, then began the long slog back up to the ridge of Waterman. Pretty cedar groves along the way. Many trees burned on their lower trunks and branches during the station fire.
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Finally reached the ridge and had water and lunch. Then headed down the pleasant trail back to the Angeles Crest Highway.
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Had a coke and a peanut butter sandwich. According to the Sierra Club info total distance 11 miles, total elevation gain 3200 feet. My knees were very sore, I’m getting old! My hiking time was half an hour slower than 4 years ago, plus back then my knees didn’t hurt at the end of it….

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Total hiking time 2 hours 50 minutes out. 2 hours 45 minutes back which included 20 minutes for water breaks and lunch. I took 4 pints of water, and drank 3.

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