Hike: Moderate ~ 13 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 4600+ feet for day
Self Spot: Yes (AT&T on both summits)
2-meter FM: Yes
Why do only one summit when you are hiking right past another?
With the holiday weekend, my 13-year-old son, William (N6WMG), and I decided to do some combination Peak Bagging and SOTA. We headed out to activate East Twin Peaks (W6/CT-064) and Waterman Mountain (W6/CT-012). While we were out there, we added in some additional recognized and provisional peaks including Twin Peaks – West Peak, Peak 6816 (aka the heliport), and Waterman Benchmark. Obviously if you are a SOTA only person you can cut a bunch of extra elevation, scrambling, and mileage from our hike GPX.
We headed off towards East Twin Peaks first. After hitting the shoulder of Waterman at about an 1100′ gain from the parking area, you are greeted with a 1200′ descent to the saddle before another 1200′ climb to the summit of East Twin Peaks.
We were able to log 12 contacts on 2-meters on East Twin Peaks. I brought along my CW gear, but when hiking with my son(s), if we can activate successfully with just 2-meters we tend to just go with that. I’ve learned my boys get a bit bored on long hikes if I sit off on the corner of a summit doing CW. I’m trying to keep the father son activities as interesting as possible.
After East Twin Peaks, Will and I traversed along the ridge to hit Twin Peaks’ West Summit. There is a pretty easy to follow trail to the East Peak but the West Peak is a bit more of a find your own way affair. The registers are up in the summit block pile and went back pretty far. Found entries as far back as 1967. After resting and eating lunch on the West Peak, we cut cross country down the flank of Twin Peaks toward the north east to catch the use trail we came up. On the saddle between Waterman and Twin Peaks, we also bagged Peak 6816 which is just a few hundred feet directly up to the east. I believe this spot is also a heliport for fire and rescue operations.
Then it was a final ~1500′ climb to the summit of Waterman Mountain.
We quickly logged four contacts on 2-meters for Waterman and after a long day of hiking, we decided to call it a day. On the trip down we walked along the Waterman Ridge to hit the Waterman Benchmark as well. Then it was down to the parking lot to head home.
As a quick note and reminder to self. Now that we have bagged the miscellaneous extra area peaks, the next time I do this I think I will change it up a bit. Hit Waterman first then cut cross country south east down the side of the ridge where it settles into a gulley and meets the trail down to the saddle where the trail makes its turn to the south after traversing the Waterman flank. Then up to East Twin Peaks. Afterwards, back up the trail to the trail junction on the shoulder of Waterman ridge and then back down to the parking lot. Much more efficient both time and mileage wise if comfortable with steep cross country travel. Roughly 9 miles round trip. (See below)
Thank you to all the chasers who helped to make this a successful SOTA adventure for both of us.