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North Twin  Alberta   #116
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges / Winston Churchill Range

Height: 3730 m <- 12237 feet
Prominence?: 1010 m  
Line Parent?: Mount Columbia (8.5 km away, at bearing 183 degrees)
Greater Parent: Mount Columbia (9.0 km away)

Location:   52.22378,-117.43447     52:13:26, -117:26:04   11U 470322 5786017 (81 km E of Mica Creek). NTS Mapsheet: 083.C.03   AreaCode: FL27/CE23
First Ascent: Tuesday July 10, 1923 W. Ladd; J. Thorington; Conrad Kain
The Great North Face of the North Twin
This peak is #2 on the Height List for Alberta . This peak is #38 in Prominence List for Alberta .North Twin is the third highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and is the next door neighbour to Mt. Columbia, the second highest (however, the two are separated by South Twin and the impassable Columbia trench which prevents any possibility of the two being climbed in a single day). North Twin is not a difficult climb, but the peak is remote and its elevation, as well as its location at the NW terminus of the largest icefield in the Rockies, make it an ascent that requires fitness, preparation, and care. Bad weather is common on the Columbia Icefield and can move in with devastating swiftness and consequences - high winds, cold temperatures, and white-out. Any hint of foul conditions should, generally, be enough to confine one to the pleasures of the tent rather than attempting even the relatively easy slopes of this mountain.

Interestingly enough, North Twin is often ascended as a side-bar to the ascent of other 11,000' peaks in the area: the approach to Twins Tower requires crossing the summit of North, and both South and West Twin require ascending to a high point on its S ridge only 500' below the summit. On good days an experienced and fit team can climb three of these eleven-thousand foot peaks (North, South, West) in a single outing.

Name Notes: As Glen Boles notes in his book (Place Names of the Canadian Alps), "this pair of substantial, similar-looking summits [North & South] at the north end of the Columbia Icefield was named by Collie, though the ascents of them all came much later than his visit" [Collie climbed and explored in the Rockies during five seasons, variously from 1898 to 1911]. The first ascent of North Twin was recorded in July of 1923 by W.S. Ladd, J.M. Thorington, and C. Kain. Their route - up the E snow/ice face from the 10,600' - is substantially the one used by almost all parties today.

Trip Reports within 1 km
33 2000.05.22 Twins and Stutfield - Athabasca Glacier Approach Route Rick Collier


Paper Maps
1:75000Columbia Icefield Gem Trek
1:400000Best of The Icefields Parkway Gem Trek
1:400000Canadian Rockies (Explorer's Map and Guide) Gem Trek
1:600000Southwest Alberta Southeast B.C. Explorer's Map (Road Map) Gem Trek

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
17 North Face of North Twin from Woolley Shoulder David Wasserman
13 North Twin North Face John Scurlock
12 The Twins High Resolution Eric Coulthard
10 Twins Panorama Rick Collier
8 The Twins from Columbia Trench Robin Tivy
7 The Great North Face of the North Twin Ed Cooper
4 North Twin Tower from the West Dieter Kepper
4 North Twin Rick Collier
4 South and North Twin Rick Collier
4 North Twin from Twins Tower Rick Collier

Placename Photos
17 Mount Woolley Panorama Dave Stephens
13 Columbia Icefield Panorama from Tangle Ridge Eric Coulthard
11 Panorama from South Twin Peak including Wales Peak Vern Dewit
11 Twins Tower from North Twin Rick Collier
10 Wilcox Peak Panorama Ian Hunt
9 Little Alberta from the Woolley Shoulder Vern Dewit
9 Twins Tower from North Twin Col Vern Dewit
9 Ebon Peak from Mount Patterson Eric Coulthard
8 Panorama from Woolley including Englehard, Cromwell and North Twin Vern Dewit
7 Snow Dome, Mount Columbia, Mount Kitchener, and North Twin Rick Collier
7 North Face of Alberta Rick Collier
7 Labelled Panorama from Castleguard, Part 1 David Wasserman
6 Mount Amery from the South Eric Coulthard
5 Looking North from Fresnoy Mountain toward South Twin Rick Collier
4 Mount Columbia Approach Panorama Dieter Kepper