Ascent of Mount Silverheels on 2018-10-28

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Dan Connors
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, October 28, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Silverheels
    Elevation:13822 ft / 4212 m

Ascent Trip Report

My GPS track would not load on here (too many points) but if anyone wants it email me and I will send it to you. I did not want to try a route from Hoosier Ridge so I wanted one from the southwest. There was early OCT snow and the north side of the mountain was white. Coming over Kenosha Pass even the SE slopes were covered in snow. But I know this area having studied it now for a year and the SE slopes lose snow quick because they are relatively flat and angles to the sun. I was right. Despite all peaks over 12,500 in snow, the SW shoulders were pretty bare.

We took microspikes and ice ax with us but did not need them. With careful route planning we were able to stay mostly on talus, rock, tundra and avoid snow packs for 90% of the route.

The first trick was to get to a good trail head. I liked the trailhead that Zack Lewis used but he parked his card west of Beaver Creek and we were hoping to get our truck over the creek onto the forest roads to start off with dry feet. We crossed the creek easily at this time of year in my 4x4 truck and took the lower (southern) FR 184. It was in great shape. I only needed 4 high because of some limited snow and ice and mud but it was manageable and never needed 4 low. Parked where Zack took off at elevation 11,192 at a hiking trail sign. The road trail does not allow any vehicles only hikers and this trail is NOT on maps but it wide and easy to follow. NOTE: Zack bushwhacked just to the west of this trail. We followed it and tracked out progress and we remained 1,000 to 1,300 feet EAST of his two lines but all lines end up just on the west side of point 12,282. Zack scooted by the left (west side) of this point but we took the extra credit and climbed the point (it has more than 100 feet of prom.)

We nearly followed his track from there but got on the shoulder to the east a bit and went over USGS point 13,004 as well. The peak is an easy climb. I would classify the entire route we took as no more than class 1. Although Dan and I deliberately went off route a few times to climb view points in talus class 2. There was no need.

The summit views are stunning! We saw Lincoln, Quandary, Bross, Buffaloes, Sherman, White Ridge, Gemini, Dyer, Boreas, Little Baldy, Red Mountain, Hoosier Ridge, Big Baldy, and Guyot. I have climbed 11 of those peaks so it was great to view them all at once. We found a snow pack to glissade down and use the axes I carried up but the snow was too sticky and the rate of descent was disappointing.

The start of an amazing day!

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2645 ft / 806 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1597 ft / 486 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2645 ft / 806 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2630 ft / 801 m; Extra: 15 ft / 4m
    Loss on way in:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:similar to previous GPS track
    Start Trailhead:end of 4-wheel drive forest road  11192 ft / 3411 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1582 ft / 482 m
    Distance:1.3 mi / 2.1 km
    Route:Open Country Route finding
    End Trailhead:saddle between peaks  12240 ft / 3730 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Silverheels

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Silverheels2018-10-28 a2645 ft / 806 m
2Arnold Peak2018-10-28 b142 ft / 43 m
3Palmer Peak2018-10-28 c667 ft / 203 m
4Peak 122142018-10-28 d757 ft / 231 m
Total Trip Gain: 4211 ft / 1283 m    Total Trip Loss: 2107 ft / 643 m

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