Plan was to backpack over Silver and Highland to camp at Noble Lake. My hiking partner was feeling done at the saddle between the two but he made the effort up Highland. Instead of continuing over Highland South and down the ridge, we left the ridge and tried the gullies to the west. This sucked, took forever, and left us on our asses more than a few times each. Once we made it down to the forest, our bad moods subsided and we found a great creek side campsite for the night. I slept like a baby, best night sleep under the stars of 2020.
Started at Ebbertt's pass and joined the PCT for the drop into Noble Canyon and the hike to Noble Lake [Pond]. Guide book said it was close to 7.5 miles out and back from parking lot to Noble Lake. It took about 2 hours each way. Left PCT 200 yards after Noble Lake, heading North to the false summit (I believe its called South Highland Peak). There was no trail, we walked to the base of the ridge line leading to the saddle and found kirans. Trail hunting to false summit. Push from false summit to Highlead Peak summit is long maybe .75 to a mile. No GPS but, phones said out and back was 14 miles; took 7.5 hours with a dog in tow. Already Snow!!!!
Last minute additions made for a group of 5 with varying experience levels. No real issues on the way up. Saw one other party at Noble Lake (a pathetic body of water, it must be said) but that was it for the whole day. The false summit was a couple people's first experience with class 2/3 scrambling. The actual summit was big and comfy so we dubbed it "Highland Peak Lounge" and hung out there for a while.
The descent sucked. Scree, brush, routefinding, that ascent back to the trailhead... we got there right at dusk.
Winter coming in. Started at Noble Canyon Trail. Took trail for several miles and then headed cross country up to ridge. Saddle is easy to follow once on the ridge between Silver and Highland. Filtered down into gulley back down to trail. Significant bushwacking from saddle down to the valley.
Route here: https://www.strava.com/activities/426704858
Up SW Ridge, and then continued across to Silver Peak. Not much in the way of use trails were found, especially dropping down from Silver on the return.
The trip from the false summit was a bit longer then expected. Cloud covered the summit while we were there.
Simple 4-wheeling from Ebbetts Pass NW road (8N04). hike up between the two peaks and looked west over Dorothy, Sherrol lakes then following in very loose rock on a fairly straight path to the summit. Extremely wind but quick and fun.
Pleasant warm-up for the 2014 SC
Long hike over the false summit, but nice views to the west. Continued to Silver. Trip report.
Made the trip on the PCT - quite a fun and enjoyable (and challenging) day. Trip report is up at http://www.mountainhiker.org/trip_report.aspx?id=98
Accompanied by my dog, we departed the Noble Cr TH at 9:30 to make an attempt on Highland and Silver Peaks. We followed Noble Trail toward Highland. After the trail crosses Noble Creek, we made 3 crossings of tributary creeks, topped off water at the 3rd, then headed up a spur ridge to the Highland Silver saddle, then followed the NW ridge to Highland's Summit, arriving about 12:15. After a 30 minute break we were off along the Silver Highland ridge to gain Silver's S Summit at 1:45 then the N Summit about 2:00. Returning to the S Summit, we descended talus (sometimes loose), sparse trees and meadow down a rounded ridge to Noble Creek accompanied by lightning, thunder and hail, feeling lucky that we did not dally on Silver. Arrived back at the truck at the TH at 3:30 for a 6 hr RT.
Left home at 3:30am and arrived the trailhead at 7:05am.
Plenty of snow on the way, but ridge was free of snow. Weather was nice.
Route: Ebbetts Pass TH - Noble Lake - Highland Peak - Silver Creek CG
Thanks for the man who drove BMW giving me a ride back to Ebbetts Pass! I forgot to ask his name.
Spent the night at Nobles Lake and climbed both Highland and Silver Peak the next day. Saw a bear going in my direction above Nobles Lake. No register found on Highland Peak. Silver Peak still has the old register in the rusty cans dating back to the 1980's. Made my way back to the mid-point of the saddle between the two peaks and descended into Nobles Canyon. Back up to campsite and packed out. 15 satisfying miles for the day.
Cut straight across Noble canyon from Ebbetts pass rather than detour to Noble lake -- saved distance but not sure it was worth it due to the extra elevation. Had to wait out a thunderstorm near the peak -- then ran down as another storm came in!
From Ebbets Pass/Noble Lake
Missed one thunderstorm that blew in through Sonora Pass before heading east towards Bridgeport. Got caught in the 2nd as I was hiking back up out of Noble Canyon. Freezing rain that gradually became a downpour.
OGUL Peak #53, 10 to go.
Pics commentary are here.
Climbed via the south west ridge. Still lots of snow in the area, used crampons in the early morning to help negotiate frozen snow fields. Great climb.
Snow covered the trail nearly entire way, making routefinding rather difficult. We were on PCT for a total of ~15 minutes. Amazing views once on ridge. Only spent 5 minutes on summit with Tang as we were pressed for time.
I left the PCT parking area at 7 am. About half way I met up with another guy and we ended up climbing together. I asked what other area peaks he has climbed and he said many. I asked about his favorite and his response was well I've hiked the 7 summits. His name was Doug Mantle. Very nice guy, what a great day!
Great hike up the southwest ridge, the day after Hawkins/Patterson and before Mokelumne. Good time of year for this area.
It was in the early 1990's when I lived in Auburn that I hiked up Highland Peak. The hike is awesome, going past Noble Lake and then up the ridge was a great experience. I remember the ridge as being very fun with spectacular views all around. I fun experience to remember. I went fishing at one of the lakes near the pass after the hike and I remember having bats fly by and hit my fishing line making me think I was getting bites.