Ascent of Silvertip Mountain on 2017-10-08
|Others in Party:||Larry Clemente|
----Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, October 8, 2017|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||Canada-British Columbia|
| Elevation:||8517 ft / 2595 m|
Ascent Trip ReportLarry and I headed to BC on Saturday night so that we could get a good start on Sunday morning for Silvertip. Since it had recently snowed above about 4,000 ft we were expecting challenging conditions. With the short daylight hours, we decided that the additional weight of a tent and sleeping bags would be worth avoiding descending the mountain after dark. Luckily all of the snow meant that water would not be a problem on this usually dry mountain. We made camp on Sat evening at the trailhead in between rain showers. Naturally, my large water jug had tipped over on my trailhead sleeping bag so I had to use my backpacking bag. Thankfully the water jug only spilled on one of my bags and not any of the rest of the gear. I also had 2 sleeping bags, so that was fortunate.
When we woke up in the morning we were both not too sure about our prospects on the peak. It was soaking wet everywhere and the snow level seemed so close... After a few minutes of contemplation, we went for it. The brush was indeed wet as we ascended the route, though not all that bad. The steep dirt section had a rope that seemed to hold as we ascended. The slopes get much better above that all the way up the rest of the ridge. We soon encountered snow in the trees that was rapidly melting in the daytime temperatures, which made for some wet walking for a while. It was as unenjoyable as you can imagine it would be. We soon reached the grass slope which was thoroughly snow-covered. We opted to put our crampons on to traverse the somewhat icy snow and grass and it was glorious. The grass traverse was infinitely easier as we could get good traction with every step. We made short work of it and made our way just below the final ridge to the false summit. We had a late lunch here and ditched our overnight gear so that we could head for the summit with lighter packs.
The ascent to the false summit was straightforward and the descent was not as difficult as it seemed from previous TRs (and amplified by the snow). The main summit looked quite difficult, but it turned out to be easier than expected. We topped out around 4:30pm, glad that we only had a short descent back to our high camp. We made it to camp right around sunset, which made for some amazing golden hour sunset pictures with the partial cloud cover. Thanks to the snow, we were able to camp in a very pleasant flat spot with a stunning view to the south as we had plenty of fuel for melting snow for a water source.
After a chilly but comfortable night, we broke camp and descended into the warming morning sun. The descent was much more difficult than the ascent with a number of butt slides by both of us at all points of the descent. Lunch in Hope at a diner was a well-deserved reward for all of our hard work.
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