Twin Peaks

July 20, 1980

The trailhead to Twin Peaks is fairly unobtrusive and the sign faces the road squarely, sheltered by bushes. Consequently, both of our vehicles approached in the normal manner, by driving past then backing up to the trailhead. After parking, however, we received an enthusiastic welcome by a large contingent of mosquitoes. There was much discussion of the virtues of various insect repellents as well as how to properly apply both insect repellent and sun screen. It was suggested that the road to riches would lay open before the person who could create a combined sun screen-insect repellent.

Around 9:50 we and our attendant mosquitoes started up the trail amid small new growth timber. The mosquitoes received reinforcements from a number of small ponds along the trail. Crossing the Pacific Crest Trail, we took a short break and had a nice view of Diamond Peak through the trees. From that point on the trail went up, up, up, sometimes steeper than others. Snow began to lie in patches on the trail.

We reached a level of older growth where the shade was deeper, the blaze marks more obscure and the trail dimmer. We pressed on as the mosquitoes began to fall behind.

Suddenly we came out of the dark forest onto a blazing sun-covered slope of red scree. After regrouping our scattered forces, we proceeded up the steep slope, at first enthusiastically then gaspingly, as the pitch took its toll. Stopping for breath, we could see the entire southern Oregon Cascades stretching into the distance.

As we topped the ridge, Waldo Lake lay like a small ocean before us. We had never imagined that it was that big. Proceeding up the ridge we were treated to a fantastic view of the northern cascades as far as Jefferson.

Undaunted, we continued through the saddle between the Twins and contoured up another steep scree slope. At last our efforts were rewarded by arrival at the summit, where we lolled on the rock outcropping and ate a leisurely lunch.

The summit panorama stretched from Mt. Shasta in the south to Mt. Jefferson in the north. With the aid of a map the large reservoirs to the east were named, as well as many of the smaller lakes and buttes.

The three youngest members of our party elected to turn around about halfway up and returned to the vehicles to spend the day communing with the mosquitoes. They were Jim Clark and Brad and Ken Jones. The hard-core cadre who perservered to the summit were: Michelle Antes, Dorinda Bankston, Dan Bates (leader), Donnie Byrd, Ty Fredette, Henrietta Richmond and Mike Wright.


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