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Ascent of American Fork Twin Peaks on 2010-07-23

Climber: Anthony Wilkinson

Date:Friday, July 23, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:American Fork Twin Peaks
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:11489 ft / 3501 m

Ascent Trip Report

After taking a couple of wrong turns on my ascent, this is the route that seems to be most efficient by the time I made it back to the trailhead:

First you ascend the ski resort access roads up into Gad Valley. When you reach the Mid-Gad restaurant, follow the access road around to the south and east and then south again. Soon a small 2-track breaks off to the right, as the main road gains elevation to the left. Take the 2-track on the right, then follow the trail you see before you up the ski run. When you reach somewhat of a landing, you will be standing on a gravel road that winds down from the top of the Gadzoom high speed quad to the bottom of the Little Cloud lift. Walk along this road to the south (right), then follow a small trail up the Election ski run to the top of the Gad II Lift.

From the top of the Gad II Lift, work your way SW through the trees to the edge of the talus slope below the visible ridge running up to Twin Peaks. Ascend the talus, and then the steep grassy slope up to somewhat of a saddle above. This is perhaps the most difficult section of the hike.

Once on the main ridge, continue upward following the intermittent path along the ridge line. Hands are used on occasion for balance in ascending/descending the rocky route, but exposure is never great. Some spots are steep with some loose rock and dirt, but mostly the route is on solid rock that is easily scrambled over. At times the most worn path will be just off the knife-edged ridge itself, on either the eastern or western side. Just stay close to the ridge itself and you can't go wrong. Once on top of the red-colored sub peak, follow the path to the east along the ridge enjoying the steep drop down into Gad Valley on your left. You will descend into a saddle and then ascent the last section up to the high point, the western summit of American Fork Twin Peaks.

A rock cairn marks the top of the peak, but I did not find any register, etc. I also did not see the USGS Survey marker, though I admit to not spending much time looking for it.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3799 ft / 1156 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Gad Valley/Gad II Lift top/NW ridge
    Trailhead:Snowbird Center Parking Lot  8090 ft / 2465 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Clear, calm, cool to warm
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 



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