“Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the omnipresent God bursts through everywhere. Ralph Waldo Emerson
South Twin (4902)
Trail: North Twin Mountain tr. & South Twin Spur.
Date: Sunday 09/29/00
Attending: Gabe, Simone and John
Miles: 11.2 Time: 8 hours round trip
AMC huts, / shelters / camping site:
Weather: Clear, high 60’s at the base, 50’s on the summit
(((( . . . WE did it! . . . ))))
Exactly 363 days ago we tried to complete this hike and FAILED! (Does that mean we’re getting better at this as we get older?)
How many times can I say, “Another spectacular hike in the Whites.”? This was #46 for us. With good weather and God’s good blessings, we’ll bag the last 2 (Cabot and Waumbek) on a 2 day hike this Columbus Day, just 14 days from now. (All 48 in 4 years.)
The last time we attempted this hike I just didn’t have it in me to continue on to South Twin. I was beat, my asthma was acting up, and I just didn’t have it in me to pull any more elevation. Now that I’ve completed the hike, I know I would have been a suffering fool had I forced myself to finish the hike that day as we had planned. I’m not sure what the difference was on this trip, but our memory of the hike was that getting to North Twin was a very hard hike, and making it to South Twin would require everything we could give it. This time, we all loved the hike and all thought that bagging North Twin wasn’t bad at all (still hard but not a real killer) and adding the South Twin loop just made this a long but do-able trip; definitely one we might do again. When we got back to the car we all were tried, but not as bone tired as we’ve been on many other hikes.
Some of the following paragraph is a repeat from the North Twin page:
The Trailhead starts at the end of fire road # 304 off Rt. 302. The first 2 miles meander along the Twin River, crossing it 3 times. (The second crossing can be easily avoided by following a well beaten bush-whacked trail to the third crossing). (I’m going to add a personal observation here; If for some reason you were able to make it across the first river crossing, but absolutely couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t make it over the second river crossing, then don’t count on the third river crossing being any easier.) I can see why all the trail descriptions warn about dangerous high water crossings. What was little more than a nice brook for us to bound from rock to rock over, could easily be a serious rushing river to contend with. During these 2 miles, the elevation gain is only 500 ft. After the 3’rd river crossing the trail begins its serious assent. (We filtered our last fill up at the last river crossing on the Twin River.) For the next mile or so, the trail crosses 3 small tributary brooks that look as though they are reliable enough to filter from. The trail climbs steadily and on the steep side of moderate for most of these last 2 miles. At times the trail does hit a few stretches that are steep, almost rock scrambling steep.
The trail itself is nothing out of the ordinary. Other than 1 view spot just a few moments from the major view spots near the summit, there is not much to look at. The top 2 miles of this trail has lots of small stones. Little ankle twisters ranging in size from golf ball to baseball size.
The South Twin Spur looks more difficult than it is.
(Looking at it from North Twin). It loops quite a bit onto the left shoulder of the peak so you don’t really have any very steep sections to climb. Starting down off North Twin has two large rocks to scramble off of, but they aren’t too difficult. After that, all of the hiking in the col over to South Twin is pretty moderate hiking. (That said, it is 2.6 miles there and back so it will consume time and energy.)
We didn’t have Shawn with us on this trip, but not to worry, I think we’ll definitely get him up here on some other nice cool fall day. We did however meet a nice man from Connecticut that joined us on the hike. We met him trying to figure out how to cross the third river crossing. The water was up just a bit from heavy rains the previous few days, but it wasn’t a real difficult crossing. Once we all managed to get across, we just tended to stick together for the rest of the day. The 8 hour hike time includes at least 1 hour of hanging around the various peaks and lookouts. We really had a great day for this. We hit the trailhead at 9:00AM. We bagged North Twin in just over 3 hours and spent 10 minutes lingering on the first knob on North Twin. We were on South Twin by 1:00 and we spent at least 30-minutes on South Twin peak. We stopped again another 15 minutes on North Twin’s west side lookout. We got to the car by 5:00PM and were all feeling pretty good about ourselves.
Three times we’ve tried to bag you, and three times we’ve failed; But NOT TODAY my friend!