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About 80% of the way uptrail, trees give way to rock. This finally reveals the two "twins" (see photo), a welcome sight for the weary hiker. Hikemaster Scott's mom, Juli, poses for a photo with the Twin summits in the backdrop.
After nearly 1 hour atop Twin Sisters, it was time to head down. The cold breezes got Juli and Art decked out in their identical fleeces! How cute :-) Twin Sisters eastern "twin" appears in the backdrop beyond the saddle.
Another photo of Art and Juli atop Twin Sisters, with a southwest view towards Wild Basin and Indian Peaks Wilderness. The vantage point here is spectacular!
Art and Juli hike down towards treeline, but not before this shot with a great view of the Estes Park valley was taken. Gorgeous day high in RMNP!
Art relaxes a while atop Twin Sisters. He found a nice lunch spot that turned out to be relatively wind-free. He, Juli, and Hikemaster Scott enjoyed a very comfortable stay atop a peak known for its hostile environment.
As the trail re-enters the trees, Hikemaster Scott catches one last photo up to the rocky summits of Twin Sisters above. What a great hike it was!
Back into the trees, Art and Juli hike down the 37-switchbacks comprising the 3.7 mile one-way hike to Twin Sisters. They can be rather tedious, especially in hot sun on the way down...still, the hike was very much well worth it!
Final steps out from the Twin Sisters hike. With the car nearly in sight, it was time for this last shot of Art and Juli on the Twin Sisters hike, with Estes Cone in the backdrop.
Gorgeous morning to hike to Twin Sisters. Starting at 9000 ft, the "twins" are at nearly 11,500 ft, making this a pretty serious climb. All the nicer to do it in the cool morning shadows, right Juli and Art?
Group shot atop Twin Sisters. Hikemaster Scott (right) joins parents Art and Juli for a memory-making-moment atop Twin Sisters. This was quite an accomplishment, and glad we all made it up!
Hikemaster Scott's folks, Juli and Art, pose from the side of Twin Sisters for this northward view across to the Mummy Range. Distant peaks are easy to spot and identify from the strategic Twin Sisters summit.
Hikemaster Scott's folks, Juli and Art, pose in this northward view to the Mummies. They are joining Scott for a 3-day backpacking trip to the Mummies starting the next day, so the photo is rather timely!
Hikemaster Scott's parents, Art and Juli, enjoy perfect sunshine and warmth high atop one of RMNP's best-known summits, Twin Sisters! It was Juli's first trip here, and Art's second.
Hikemaster Scott poses atop Twin Sisters, with Longs Pk in the back. It's his 4th visit here. Last time, he inadvertantly lost his camera somewhere on the trail and had to do the hike twice (in 1 day) to retrieve it! No such drama this time!
It's hard to believe that Longs Peak (seen here) is nearly 3,000 feet higher than the point from which this photo is taken, Twin Sisters summit (11,500 ft).
Juli and Art press on towards the summit of Twin Sisters in a rocky world below the summits. The wind was howling, but that didn't stop anybody. It was Juli's first trip to Twin Sisters, and only Art's second.
Juli enjoys lunch on the rocky outcrop that is Twin Sisters western peak.
Juli summits Twin Sisters! Congratulations! She celebrates with a photo to the west towards the biggest peak in RMNP: Longs Peak! Magnificent day at 11,500 ft on Twin Sisters.
Oh, why not! Let's take a nap on the summit of Twin Sisters. After all, the weather just doesn't get any better than this. The Mummy Range rises far to the north, as Juli basks in full sun here.
People aren't the only ones taking in the view and soaking up the sun on Twin Sisters. This marmot has the perfect perch from which to absorb heat and gaze at the high peaks. Life is good, even for the furry ones, on this day!
The final leg of the Twin Sisters hike takes Juli and Art up from the windy saddle below with the radio tower to the magnificent summit towards which they're approaching. The other "twin" is in the back right.
Twin Sisters provides one of the best views of the east (Diamond) face of Longs Peak, RMNP's highest summit (14,259 ft). This cloudless morning, the sharp detail and sky contrast are especially noteworthy.
A few hours earlier, Hikemaster Scott climbed Twin Sisters (backdrop) with his parents. Now, he stands atop Lily Mountain and captures a photo of the "twins" to the southeast. It was an incredible summer day in RMNP!
Hikemaster Scott enjoys a photo towards the Estes Park valley to the northeast.
Oops! Is Hikemaster Scott going to fall off the western edge of the summit of Lily Mountain. It's a vertical drop-off high enough to scare most, but apparently not him :-) Longs Peak and Estes Cone are visible in the backdrop to the south.
YMCA hiker Glenn called his cabin at the YMCA and asked his wife to look upon the Lily summit for our hiking group. Apparently, she saw us waving from the summit...how cool is that!!!
What a great moment to be alive and take in the view. Longs Peak (14,259 ft) is RMNP's highest peak, visible in the back, with Estes Cone (11,000 ft) directly in front of it.
To the west of Lily Mountain, the high peaks of RMNP undulate in pockets of light and dark, creating gorgeous silouettes, one upon another, into the distance.
YMCA hikers enjoy a little dinner and nourishment atop Lily Mountain (9237 ft). The 4-mile roundtrip hike is worthy of taking in a little sustinence!
Various shades of white and gray color the sky above Twin Sisters as the sun sets behind the mountains to the west.
Incredible sky! Wow was it perfect up here. Great night to see the sun set, and a great group of hikers to do it with!
Right after the sun set, Hikemaster Scott called for the hikers to start back down the 2-mile return trip, so as not to get caught in too much darkness. Here, the YMCA group scampers down the boulders near the top of Lily Mountain.
It was hard to stay focused on our steps on the trail, because the eyes tended to wander to the sky! It was so pretty, so perfect on this mid-July evening in RMNP.
Near the summit of Lily Mountain, the great view of Twin Sisters to the southeast opens up. It is after sunset now, and the clouds in the sky are filled with pretty colors.