Twin Sisters Trail, Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park *Repeater* 6/8/13

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Last week when I was hiking with my girlfriends, we were admiring Twin Sisters (Hike details here) at all of our different amazing view spots.  I think it took me 3 looks to realize that there was not all that much snow showing at the summit and by the end of that hike I knew this was where we were going to hike next.  It was a good elevation gain, has amazing views and got us above 11,000 feet.

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When we arrived at the trail head at 7:30 AM, other hikers were pulling up at a steady pace and we could tell it was going to be a crowded day on the hike.  The summit isn’t all that huge either on the West sister and the East sister we never even attempted it last time, so we had no idea what that might look like.  We decided to go with a slow and steady pace on the way up mostly to adjust to altitude.

The weather was perfect, it was sunny but with clouds constantly moving across the sky making each glimpse of Longs peak different and more magnificent.  As we got closer to the tree line the wind started to really pick up, this is one of those peaks that is always windy and some of the hikers we passed as they were descending said it was hit or miss at the top on if the wind would be bad or not.  Most of the snow was gone but we hit a few patches mostly above the tree line.

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As we got to the saddle between the 2 sisters, the wind really picked up…like A LOT.  Last time we came here we didn’t even try the East sister, which is the true summit, this time Aaron really wanted to try it and so we went towards it.  Our timing was almost perfect as 6 people were coming down while we started going up this meant that we had it all to ourselves.  This East Summit requires some bouldering and the use of your hands as you find the best path up for you.  There is no defined path but most people end up going the same way up just by finding the easiest rocks to crawl over.

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When we got to the top of the East Sister, the wind was really pushing us around strong and Aaron is uncomfortable with heights when there is no wind.  So while I could have walked around up there, I didn’t because I knew he would probably have a heart attack.  I took a couple of pictures and then followed him down, as we were climbing the clouds started to come around the mountainside and we were literally in the clouds.

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The view of the West Summit from the East Summit.
The view of the West Sister from the East Sister.
The view east from the summit of the East Sister
The view east from the summit of the East Sister
View of Longs Peak from the East Summit
View of Longs Peak from the East Sister
Aaron climbing down the East Summit.
Aaron climbing down the East Sister.

We got down from the East sister and almost ran over to the West Sister so that we could catch the clouds coming in from the East and around the mountain, it was so cool looking.

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The Summit was CROWDED and more people were coming up all the time.  Fortunately the wind was also driving a lot of people right back down, we got some great pictures as the clouds were zooming across the sky and mountains.

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We made great time down the mountain and just as we were about a mile from being done, I fell….hard.  I squeaked and got all twisted in my poles trying to protect my head, I even managed to break one of my trekking poles.  It turned out not to be a big deal since I couldn’t close my left hand around it anyway and I could only use one pole the rest of the way regardless.

I was doing an assessment of my injuries and figured the hand was the worst one, as soon as we got to the car I grabbed an ice pack and started icing it took some Advil and figured we could still do a second hike on Sunday.  The one I had picked was easy so why not…..turns out my hand wasn’t the problem but my whole right side of my body( on which I landed) ignited with pain at about 2AM.  Not one for suffering in silence, I woke up Aaron to tell him the hike was off, I am such a good wife…..

Sunday all I did was lay around feeling sorry for myself as the weather was perfect so views of our second hike would have been spectacular.  Outside of a few bruises ( including my pride),  I am feeling pretty good today but Sunday and Monday were good days of healing.  I should be back to hiking this weekend and we are planning on trying 2 hikes again.

Published by hikingtohealthy

an enthusiastic hiker living in Colorado.

17 thoughts on “Twin Sisters Trail, Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park *Repeater* 6/8/13

  1. Shame the fall put a dampener on the climb. The scenery there looks stunning – I wish we had this country side in our backyard. An 11000ft climb is something to be very proud of. I have only just done a 3500 ft one – and thought that was big – until now! 🙂

    1. Well it is kinda cheating because we started at 9000 ft, I think we had a total of a 2600-ish foot gain. Thank fully the fall happened close to the end so it was a great hike overall!

  2. Beautiful pictures and well described! I am sorry you fell though and I am with you: do not suffer in silence, get comfort! And in retur, you are very kind when it comes to understanding a fear for heights;o) Glad you’re healing and up for more hikes, I look forward to your next report. Take care, Johanna.

  3. Great pics! Thanks for sharing your hiking adventures. Having recently relocated to Colorado, the hubby and I are also trying to hike every weekend, though at this point our hikes are much shorter than yours. I also fell this past weekend on the Gem Lake trail, tripping over a rock and twisting my ankle and feeling like a complete idiot. But it’s already healing. Glad to hear you are too 🙂

    1. Thank you!!! Gem Lake can be tricky, some of the rocks are surprisingly big especially as you get closer to the lake itself. Even the short hikes here are AMAZING! Let me know if you ever need a suggestion, we started on smaller trails too.

  4. I think falling hard is absolutely a reason to NOT suffer in silence! There’s something so shocking about taking a tumble as an adult, isn’t there? As kids we fell constantly and just popped right up, but that ends sometime around 15, I guess. And I agree, you are nice to not give your husband a heart attack: my husband is considerate to me that way, and I greatly appreciate it!

    1. It really effected me, I was surprised on today’s hike thinking only about how will I get down if this how I get up what if I fall again. I wish I had that fearlessness again!

  5. Great photos, one of my favorite things about living on Mt. Desert Island was the way the weather systems and clouds would move in and out and around the mountains. Glad to hear your injuries weren’t serious!

    1. I love when weather moves in but only if it gives me a chance to get out, we cut it close this week on our hike and luckily to storm missed us! But it does make for beautiful contrasts!

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