Mt. Waterman (8038') Instead of Twin Peaks
Leaders: John Robinson, William Anderson
Stormy weather throughout much of April necessitated a change of plans for the scheduled 100 Peaks-Pasadena CC Highlanders Twin Peaks ascent. Everything above 6000 feet in the San Gabriels was plastered with a heavy mantle of white, and brief snow flurries the night before left six inches of light powder over a two foot base of hard snow.
Instead of the scheduled climb, which would have required a rather hazardous traverse across steep snow-covered slopes to reach Twin Peaks Saddle, the group climbed nearby Mt. Waterman. From the Buckhorn Ranger Station to the top, we were on snow all the way. Icicles on the trees lent a winter fairyland effect. Skiers were met near the top, and we carefully avoided crossing their downhill runs.
From the icy summit, a wintery view was beheld by all. The higher peaks of the San Gabriels played hide-and-seek behind massive, billowy clouds. The sun shown intermittently.
Twenty-two enjoyed the short, pleasant hike - 8 Sierra Clubbers, 14 Highlanders. Returning to the cars by early afternoon, several peak-baggers added two or three nearby summits to their collections.
For the future, I might suggest that anything over 7000 feet scheduled before May should require ice axes and snow training. With axes and experience, we could have easily ascended Twin Peaks; without these prerequisites, it would have been too hazardous. Only three of the party brought axes.