Ascent of Sister Peak on 2014-11-11

Climber: Charlie Winger

Others in Party:Tom Wiard
George Vandersluis
Date:Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sister Peak
    Elevation:10400 ft / 3169 m

Ascent Trip Report

This climb can be accessed from one of two trailheads both of which start at the end of Queen street above Ouray.
Old Twin Peaks trail: Park at the end of Queen street and head up right to find the register box and the start of the trail. Follow this trail as it climbs steeply up toward the Silvershield trail in 1.4 miles. You will encounter numerous steps and cross the stream three times. Stay to the right at anything that looks like a junction. As of October 2014 the Ouray Trail Group was in the process of putting in a new bridge which goes off to the left and down into the creek. Do not take this turn.

Oak Creek trail: From the end of Queen street turn left and follow the road as it makes two switchbacks up to the parking area at the end of the road. Two wheel drive accessible. Hike up the trail for 1.0 miles to its junction with the Twin Peaks trail. Turn right and descend down into the creek and back up the other side. Follow the trail to its junction with the Silvershield trail. This trail is longer but easier than the Old Twin Peaks trail.

Once at the Silvershield trail from either trailhead, turn left to follow the signed Twin Peaks trail for another 1.4 miles to the base of the climb.

Total elevation gain from Ouray to base of peak is ~2600'.

Once you exit the trees at ~ 10,300'you will be looking at your objective. This is a good place to gear up and leave you packs. Walk over to the "thumb" looking formation and traverse to its right (west) side. You will be climbing the obvious crack about half-way along the wall. The climb is ~40' in length with a YDS rating of ~5.6. I used a variety of Black Diamond cams from .75 up to #4. The rock is extremely fractured so test all holds.

There are adequate places on the summit to set up your anchor for bringing up additional climbers.

I placed a sling and rappel ring around a large rock on the summit as a safety for the last climber doing the down climb and cleaning the pro. It was NOT designed as a rappel anchor. When climbing up or down you are sure to dislodge pieces of rock so helmets are a must. Same applies when pulling the rope from the summit. Insure that your rope isn't lying on the ledge below the climb where it could get cut by falling rock. That happened to me on another climb.

Great views of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mtn. Enjoy
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2640 ft / 804 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2680 ft / 816 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 5.6
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2640 ft / 804 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2600 ft / 792 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m
    Loss on way in:40 ft / 12 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:rock climb
    Start Trailhead:7800 ft / 2377 m
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2640 ft / 804 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    End Trailhead:7760 ft / 2365 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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