Ascent of Silver Peak on 2017-01-29
|Date:||Sunday, January 29, 2017|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||5605 ft / 1708 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThis was definitely a more eventful climb than usual. My girlfriend Kayla and I left the Annette Lake trailhead at around ten in the morning on Saturday. We followed the Mountaineers beta for a winter ascent of Silver, and left the trail above the switchbacks, heading straight uphill towards the foot of the northwest ridge. We came around the ridge and headed up the northwest basin. We ascended the basin, reaching the high bowl around 5000 feet around three fifteen, and gained the ridge.
At this point, I wasn't certain whether we had time to summit, but I figured it was worth a shot. High on the mountain, there was a solid quarter to half inch crust of ice under the snow. It was occasionally slightly sketchy, but very workable in crampons. We got along the ridge pretty quickly, and around four fifteen, I was standing on the summit, with Kayla about fifty feet below, when her crampon came apart, throwing a center bar. I walked down to her, and as I said "oh, it's not broken," the bar slid out of the crampon, and ... five hundred feet down a steep, icy slope.
Short a crampon, and with daylight going fast, we had to quickly change plans. We started descending straight down the west face of Silver toward Annette Lake. I had to kick steps for her, and it took us about an hour to descend five hundred feet to some trees, where the going was easier. We descended in the dark to about four hundred feet above Annette Lake, where we found a small bench and spent the night.
The next morning, we woke up and dropped down to the lake (some of it being mildly sketchy and only occasionally worrying about falling into the lake). From there, we found the trail and took it back to the car.
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