Climbed on the same day as Whitetail from camp at Shadow Lake
Took the route via Lake Fork and camped at September Morn. Made the morning climb up Sundance pass and over to both peaks. After bagging the peak we decided to check out the view from atop the Silver Pillar at the end of the Timberline Drainage before heading back.
My wife, two sons (16 and 13) and I had a great time ascending Silver Run Peak from Timberline Lake. It has to be the most accessible and direct way to get on top of one of the highest peaks in Montana without a rope.
We camped at the lake the night before and did the climb and descent back to the trailhead with packs in about seven hours. We are fit but hiked at a moderate pace. At this melted-out time of year, the hike was comfortable in running shoes. But every silver lining has a cloud: the lack of snow was accompanied by a surfeit of mosquitoes at the lake and until we got up high. If you decide to day hike it from the Timberline trailhead, make sure you get going early: it rained and hailed on us a couple of times in the afternoon.
Ascent from the lake is as shown in the map attached to the route description with one small difference. Important to note that the only really unpleasant part of the climb is the bushwack and scramble up a talus field from the lake to a lovely intermediate meadow (see photo), the right way marked with cairns. From there there are two choices to get to the Silver Run Plateau avoiding the permanent snow cornice: left is the route on the map, up a low ridge and avoiding snow on a rock band. We went all the way around to the right, which added about .75 of a mile to our walk and is only slightly less steep than the left route.
Once on the Silver Run Plateau the route is very clear to the true summit (see photo). Keep the 1500-foot foot cliffs that culminate in the Silver Pillar close to your left and look for meadow where you can. Which is important since the route is at least half on boulders and scree affording good dry traction. The summit is obvious and the views of Whitetail and all the way across the Absarokas is spectacular.
summit both acheived
Climbed from the Timberline Creek TH. Which summit is higher I don't know I climbed them both though.
Climbed from sundance after summiting Whitetail. Great views.
After a morning climb up Whitetail, I quickly climbed Silver Run Peaks again from the Sundance Pass. Very fast and easy, not that Timberline was hard (last time), but this was even easier. Stick to the grass when you can, to speed things up (West edge).
Climbed Whitetail from Sundance Pass and then since the weather was outstanding, climbed the other side up to Silver Run Peak West and East. A twelve hour day back to camp at September Morn Lake.
Wow, must have just missed evant. Did exactly the same route, just a little more than an hour apart. Left the Timberline Lake trailhead solo at 6:30 am, took Beartrack trail to the top of the plateau and arrived at the summit at 10:50 am. Spent about an hour up there and hiked over to the slightly taller west summit before heading down the northern side of the plateau and dropping down to Timberline lake. Took about 4 hours to get my hurting feet from the summit back to the car.
Started at the Timberline Trail head at 7:45 am. Ascended to Silver Run Plateau via the Beartrack trail. Walked cross-country across the plateau to the east summit (slow going in the massive boulder fields on the SE ridge). Descended along the north plateau through several snow fields which made progress fast, before dropping down near Timberline lake. Then followed the trail back to the start. 18 miles, took 13 hours at a fairly casual pace. Wonderful, but challenging loop.
After climbing Whitetail in July I decided Silver Run would be next. I found a climbing partner in My mother in laws husband Shane. He`s 58 years old and in good shape for is age. We climbed Rearguard a few weeks earlier so I could see what kind of shape he was in. He did okay and said he had another 1000 feet in him. Anyway I talked him into Silver Run. We decided to do it as a dayhike as we didn`t have time for an overnighter. Took off from the West Fork trailhead a 5 in the morning with flashlights. Reached the top around 2 PM. We got back to the trailhead in the dark about 9 pm. Around 22 miles round trip. My new climbing partner was blistered and could hardly walk. He has the climbing bug but said this was a little much. I say he did alright for a 58 year old. Were planning peaks for next summer.
10 mile hike up the Lake Fork drainage to Sundance Pass, then up to Silver Run Peak. No trail and plenty of boulder fields once you leave Sundance Pass behind. The topography is somewhat confusing and there are, as someone pointed out, two peaks. The more northeasterly high point is the official USGS summit, and is harder to get to from Sundance Pass. The other high point is the one pictured in the lead photo (on the left), with the vertical west face, and is actually 42 feet higher than the official summit. Returned via Lake Fork for a long day. Beautiful views and plenty of water below Sundance Pass. Small water sources -- probably not very reliable -- are present above Sundance Pass.
Via Sundance Pass.
It was cloudy and sprinkled the night before, but by morning the weather looked pretty good. Because of the clouds it was a warmer 35F (2C). We headed back up towards Sundance Pass, but it was more challenging than the day before because we were carrying our big packs. We dropped our packs at the pass and headed up south towards Silver Run Peak. The weather was good and we made our way across the boulderfields to the summit.
The summit of Silver Run Peak is a spectacular place to be because although the east slopes are gentle, the west face drops down to the West Fork Lake Fork below in a steep cliff nearly 3500 feet (1066 meters) high. Although it really isn’t completely vertical, it sure looks like it from the top and the summit is an exciting place to be.
After enjoying the wonderful views from the summit and having a nice lunch we headed back to Sundance Pass where we left our packs. There were two mountain goats at the pass and we spent a few minutes watching them before reluctantly shouldering our big packs and heading down the 30 switchbacks down to the West Fork of Rock Creek.
It was getting late and there were two people (a teenage girl and her father) camped near the stream crossing (9550 feet/2911 m), but they said they didn’t mind company and we shared a campsite. We talked with them and shared our dessert with them before going to bed.
After camping at Timberline lake, daughter #2 - age 18 - and I scrambled up the slope from the NNW corner of Timberline lake and made the plateau between Pks 10797 and 11184. After that, a straightforward trek to the summits. Since this was our first real summit in the Beartooths, I will say we were a bit surprised by the size and steepness of the boulder field at the top of the East summit - I think the final 10 minutes took us closer to 40!
Brice, thanks for your input as I planned this trip - very much appreciated.
Camping at September Morn Lake made this an easy day, Great views of West Fork Drainage, the Bear's Tooth, and of course, Whitetail Peak.
Was a great day hike. Hiked in from the west fork of creek, up sundance pass, then the nice scramble up to Silver run. Exited through Lake fork Trail. Great weather all day.
We ascended from Sundance Pass and descended down to Timberline Lake. We climbed both the east and west Silver Run Peaks. Very exposed and slow going in the boulder fields.
Scrambled up from Sundance Pass, then descended via a buttress above September Morn Lake. Storm chased us off the summit. Easy walk up (if any activity above 12,000 feet can be called easy) with a magnificent view.