Ascent of American Fork Twin Peaks on 2012-06-15

Climber: Diana Davis

Date:Friday, June 15, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Ski Lift
Peak:American Fork Twin Peaks
    Elevation:11489 ft / 3501 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Snowbird, we took the Peruvian Express chair lift to just below the summit of Hidden Peak. We walked to the summit of Hidden Peak, and then went along the ridge to East American Fork Twin Peak.

Traversing the ridge was extremely difficult. First there were red rocks along the knife edge, which were mostly large boulders that you had to climb over and around, with cliffs on both sides. Then there were black rocks, which were smaller but on a steeper slope, so you had to scramble over them and climb. Finally there were white rocks on the steepest section, which were very loose, even the ones that looked stable were wiggly. It took about an hour along the ridge from Hidden to East Twin.

There seemed to be a path on each side of the ridge, a few hundred feet down, paralleling the ridge. It is possible that this would have been easier than the ridge because it would have been a flat trail walk instead of a knife edge scramble, but it would have been very steep to get up to East Twin at the end.

From East Twin to the main peak, it was very easy, only 8 minutes each way, though there was some snow.

We returned to East Twin for the descent. Rather than retracing our steps along the difficult ridge, we opted to drop down into the bowl, heading towards the Gad II restaurant/lift area. Like the ascent, this involved scrambling down lots of loose white rock, and also some of the larger more solid red rock. The descent caused lots of mini landslide and was quite treacherous. We also had to descend through some snow on a steep area, kicking steps into it and using sharp rocks in both hands for traction, and the snow was so soft (in the afternoon) that it threatened to slide down the mountain with us on it. The last few hundred feet of descent were "scree skiing" through sand, gravel and small rocks.

At the bottom of the bowl we picked up the trail to the top of Hidden Peak, and went back to the Peruvian Express lift. The whole trip took about 3 hours not including riding the lift. The lift was supposed to do its last summit pickup at 6 pm, but we got there at 6:35 and they let us on. Otherwise it would have been 4 miles down the mountain on gravel roads to return to Snowbird.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb

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