TR: Skiing Twining Peak & Pt 13,736 (29 May 2015)

(Last Updated On: July 4, 2015)

We’d been shut down from some loftier goals in the Aspen area that week due to exceptionally warm temperatures and soft freezes, but I just had a good feeling that something good was going to happen. And it did. A fierce thunderstorm rolled in on Thursday evening and when it parted, it left the skies high and dry. That meant there was going to be a good freeze.

We made plans the night before while gathering at the Red Onion. It would be me, Jenny, Jordan and his friend Keith (and Jordan’s dog Aja). Our goal was the east face of Twining, and then see what the weather brought…

We were pleasantly surprised as we pulled in to park at the top of Independence Pass and the temperature read 18-degrees F. It was a good sign, and the coldest we’d seen in a while. I knew it was going to be a good day.

We headed out toward Twining, skinning over a couple of inches of fresh snow.
Skinning on Independence Pass to go backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

The skin toward Twining Peas was easy and the low clouds made for some stunning scenes.
Skinning to go backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

The morning was wonderful. Deer Mountain in the distance.
Dear Mountain

We followed the ridge to take a look at the east face of Twining Peak.
Backcountry skiing on the east face of Twining Peak.

Jenny skinning with what many locals refer to as “Blarney” in the distance.
Jenny Veilleux skiining to go backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

What I believe to be Williams Mountain – looking fabulous.
Williams Mountain

It was a downright party on the summit of Twining.
Summit of Twining Peak.

Looking back at Blarney.
Blue seen from Twining Peak.

While Jordan decided to ski a less steep face on Twining Peak with his dog, the rest of us opted to check out some couloirs. These couloirs were a tad tricky, especially given the new snow which was sloughing hard. The skiers right went went clean, but was icy at the choke. The skiers left didn’t quite go clean, as there was an ice fall and some rocks at the choke.

Keith navigating through the skiers left line.
Keith backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

The ice fall was a bit of a struggle, but he made it through alright 🙂
Keith backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

Keith backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

Keith backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

Jenny came through on the skier’s right line.
Jenny Veilleux backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

Jenny Veilleux backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

Jenny Veilleux backcountry skiing on Twining Peak.

When we rendezvoused at the bottom of the line, we talked about options for our next ski. We decided the most obvious next choice, Blarney, was out, as the east faces were warming pretty fast. But, with the solid freeze, we knew that other aspects would still be good. We headed toward a peak across the valley, which I was originally told was Mount Champion. But, after looking closer at it on various maps, I believe that this is actually UN 13,736, which is immediately north and shares the same ridge line as Champion. Our goal was to ski the west face of this peak, shown in the shadows of this picture.
Point 13,736 seen from the bottom of Twining Peak.

We dropped down to the valley floor and proceeded with the 2200′ climb to the summit.
Point 13736 near Independence Pass.

We followed NW ridge for the most part, and skinned the majority of the time. The skinning took some valiant effort though, and I was sad I’d left my ski crampons in the car. I admired Deer Mountain on the climb.
Deer Mountain seen from Point 13736.

I somehow missed out on the typical summit shots from Pt 13,736. But, the skiing on it’s west face was good. Really really good. Keith.
Keith backcountry skiing on Point 13,736'

There was some creamy powder to be had, as Jordan demonstrates here.
Jordan White backcountry skiing on Point 13736.

More of Jordan.
Jordan White backcountry skiing on Point 13736.

Jordan White backcountry skiing on Point 13736.

Jordan White backcountry skiing on Point 13736.

Jenny’s turn.
Jenny Veilleux backcountry skiing on Point 13736 near Independence Pass.

Jenny Veilleux backcountry skiing on Point 13736 near Independence Pass.

We were rewarded with 2300′ of turns to the valley floor. From there, we shuffled our way back out to the road, and hitched a ride back to the top of Independence Pass.
hitch hiking on Independence Pass

It was a great ski day and one of my more favorite days of the spring. Thanks for joining me, Jordan, Jenny, Keith… and Aja too!


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Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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Skiing Twining Peak & Pt 13,736 (29 May 2015)
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Skiing Twining Peak & Pt 13,736 (29 May 2015)
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Twining Peak and Point 13,736 are great peaks for backcountry skiing near Independence Pass. Check out our report for more information!
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Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

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