YDS Class: 1-2
Elevation Gain:1900 feet
Total Elevation: 5605 ft.
Mount Catherine in the distance
Here is a peak that I wanted to tag for a long time. Last year I attempted this peak with Magellan but because we didn't have an ice axe on us we could only barely get past the Pacific Crest Trail. With redemption was on my mind all year and when the group TNAB (Thursday Night After Burners) mentioned Silver Peak was there. The only problem is that TNAB hikes very quick and last year when I hiked with them I quickly discovered I was not slowest one.
Well hopefully me being 30 lbs lighter and hiking at least once to twice a week and exercising on all the others should have me keep pace with these speedsters. Magellan and I did cheat a little and took a 30 minute lead. The Pacific Crest Trail is very level and as promised never took a grade above 10 degrees. This was a very easy start to the mountain. However Magellan and I were looking for a small bootpath in the scree and could not find it, nit realizing that the cutoff to Silver Peak was really a very organized trail. This allowed two of the other TNAB'ers to catch up. One of them directed us to the true cutoff trail and from there it was mostly a walk up. Once out of the woods the trail went up the scree path with well established switchbacks and then went the finally simple walk-light scramble to the double summit of Silver Peak. This last section was at hardest a borderline YDS Class 2.
Once on the summit, great 360 views came alive. Rainier was out in full force that day and the rest of mountains looked amazing in their evening glow. We waited a couple of minutes for the rest of the speedsters to come up the mountain, one which tagged Tinkham along the way. He still beat a couple of others. The only problem here was the bugs. Man they were out in full force today. And I was the only one to bring bug repellent. Because of this problem, everyone in the group was quick to shoot some picture and head off the mountain as quick as possible. Even the bug repellent I had (Jungle Juice) was not strong enough.
And they speed down the mountain. I went to take a couple of pictures and they were quickly 100 feet below me. At times I had to run to catch up. But I did and we cruised down to the bottom in well under an hour. Most of the group went out to eat afterwords but I had work the next day.
Overall it was a great trip with some great hikers. They are fast but a very nice group to be around. Hopefully I will be able to many more hikes with the group. One suggestion I can make for other going up Silver Peak is be patient on the PCT, go past the downhill switchbacks and the side trail is a quarter mile on your righthand side past the switchbacks.
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