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Ascent of Virginia Peak on 2020-10-18

Climber: Yao-Min Chen

Others in Party:Ken Toyama -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Wei-Peng (Will) Chen
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, October 18, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Virginia Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:12001 ft / 3657 m

Ascent Trip Report

Traversed from Twin Peaks. Most of route is either at the ridge top or slightly below the ridge, with a few class-3 descents. Some of which have loose rocks so a helmet is advised (Ken and I did not wear one but Will did). Over all an interesting traversal. When the talus became slightly tedious and boring, a class-3 section would show up and keep us excited and focused. The parallel north-south ridge of Matterhorn Peak and Whorl Mountain was a constant great sight to look at. Every now and then the Virginia Peak and the unnamed lake right below it would show up to entice us. We started out at Twin Peaks around 11:30am and reached Twin Peaks Pass (the lowest saddle between Twin Peaks and Virginia Peak) around 1:30pm. The pass was surprisingly broad and flat, after we had experienced the very sharp ridge.

The climb up to Virginia Peak can take either close to the ridge and more technical (class 3), or away from the ridge with just class-2 loose rocks. We opted the former for the ascent, and the latter for descent. I was happy with the choice. Virginia is a beautiful peak to look at from the distance. And the ascent via solid rocks made the over all climbing experience fun and pleasant. It was short and sweet and by 2pm I was at the summit. Descent on loose rocks is not much an issue. The gliding down was fast and in no time we were back at the saddle (Twin Peaks Pass).

From the pass we descent to the lake that was formed by the moraine from the north glacier of Virginia Peak. We continued on the south side of the lake, mostly class 1-2 with a short section of class 3 to climb up (and left) around a short cliff. We had a short break at the lake, took in the view, and continued the descent to the NW fork of Return Creek. We followed the fork down to our campsite, organized our back pack, hiked over Virginia Pass and down to Green Lake and Green Creek campground, where our car was parked.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Virginia Peak from the south ridge of Twin Peaks, with Stanton on its right and Mount Conness and North Peak in the distant left. (2020-10-18). Photo by Yao-Min Chen.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2169 ft / 660 m
    Total Elevation Loss:6495 ft / 1979 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.5 mi / 15.4 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Sunny
Descent (To Destination) Statistics
    Gain on way in:1053 ft / 320 m
    Loss on way in:1375 ft / 419 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.3 km
    Route:NW Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Twin Peaks  12323 ft / 3756 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5120 ft / 1560 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4004 ft / 1220 m; Extra: 1116 ft / 340m
    Gain on way out:1116 ft / 340 m
    Distance:8.1 mi / 13 km
    Route:NW Ridge
    End Trailhead:Green Creek TH  7997 ft / 2437 m
    Time:7 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Twin Peaks and Virginia Peak (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Twin Peaks-East Peak2020-10-18 a 
2Twin Peaks2020-10-18 b6250 ft / 1905 m
3Virginia Peak2020-10-18 c2169 ft / 661 m
Total Trip Gain: 8419 ft / 2566 m    Total Trip Loss: 7926 ft / 2416 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Yao-Min Chen
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Virginia Peak from the south ridge of Twin Peaks, with Stanton Peak on its right and Mount Conness and North Peak in the distant left. (2020-10-18). Photo by Yao-Min Chen.
Click here for larger-size photo.



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