Twin Peaks in Alpine Lakes Wilderness / 高山湖泊荒野裏的雙子峯

  • Reading time:4 mins read

South of North Fork Snoqualmie River stands the less-visited Twin Peaks. Despite its remoteness, this peak above Lake Philippa is visible from Seattle. The trip would give the rare view of Upper Loch Katrine.

Twin Peaks main summit rising high
Twin Peaks main summit rising high

See more trip photos here.

Twin Peaks at a Glance

Access: Loch Katrine Road (access info)
Round Trip: 15 miles
Elevation Range: 1520′-5325′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes, ice ax
Route Info: Monty VanderBilt, LarryN
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Loch Katrine Road

Loch is a Scots word for “lake.” As the name suggests, the road leads to Loch Katrine. The first three miles are within the private property. Then the national forest boundary begins half a mile before the lake.

Half a mile past the gate was the road to Lake Philippa. But we stayed on the main roadway for three more miles. Then a side trail took us down to the lake. The main path continued up to the ridge.

After sunrise
After sunrise

See more trip photos here.

Lower Loch Katrine

From the lake, the real crux of the trip was making our way over to the southeastern shore. We first followed the shoreline trail to the northeast corner. There the faint path continued up to the northeast ridge.

I wanted to avoid the ridgeline for the pups’ sake. So we went along the east shore in the dense forest. Later we came upon a cliff at the halfway point. Then we went above it and reached the talus on the other side via a steep dirt chute.

Lower Loch Katrine
Lower Loch Katrine

See more trip photos here.

En Route to Upper Basin

We hopped through the rocks and then went back into the trees. Soon, snow appeared before we crossed the creek coming down from Upper Loch Katrine. Then we went up the ridge north of the lake.

Glad for firm snow, we avoided the brush in the lower forest. We were also able to go up directly on the steep slopes. I put on snowshoes when we found continuous snow. The terrain later flattened at 4200′.

Above lower Loch Katrine
Above Lower Loch Katrine

See more trip photos here.

Upper Loch Katrine and Beyond

At last, we saw the sun as we went down to the lake’s outlet. Then we quickly walked along the edge of the frozen water to the east. Before long, we made it to the southern shore in the open forest.

We first went up the steep gully by the old avalanche debris. But I could hear water under the deep snow. So we slowly moved up to the northeast ridge. We’d also bypassed the cliffs above the ravine.

Going around Upper Loch Katrine
Going around Upper Loch Katrine

See more trip photos here.

Twin Peaks Northeast Ridge

The snow quality was overall good. But we’d step into fresh powder now and then. So the final 1000′ was a tad arduous. The pups didn’t seem to mind this part as they continued to play in the snow.

I sometimes turned around and checked out the views. But as we neared the top, I saw that the valley clouds began to creep upward. “Not another whiteout like last week.” I thought.

Twin Peaks northeast ridge
Twin Peaks northeast ridge

See more trip photos here.

Twin Peaks Summit

Right below the summit, we went around to the east. So we could avoid the small cornices draping the north side. “Finally, the sun, and the heat!” We found dry rocks on the south side and settled down.

Soon, clouds to the west formed an inversion. Only the Olympic Mountains remained. I got a peek at Rooster Mountain and Boomerang before the eastern view also faded. But I was happy not to be in the mist like last week.

West-to-east panoramic view from Twin Peaks
West-to-east panoramic view from Twin Peaks

See more trip photos here.

Outro

The daylight was too short. So we didn’t enjoy as much sunlight as we would’ve liked. Not to mention how much work it took to come up here! Alas, the party had to end at some point.

Later we made it down to the lower lake as the daylight slowly dwindled. Then we went around the west shore to go back up to Loch Kathrine Road. It was a shorter but brushier route.

Thanks for a beautiful day
Thanks for a beautiful day

See more trip photos herehere.

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