Highway 4 opened a week or two ago up to the Silver Creek campground, and I saw an opportunity to try my luck with Silver Peak, hoping to do a little scouting mission of glider chute.
I woke up at 5 Saturday morning and left Meyers at 5:30 with my friend Mike, looking forward to a long day filled with excitement and adventure; I was not disappointed.
We got to the trailhead (road closure) at 6:15 and started hiking at 6:45
Within 15 minutes, we found ourselves at the first of many stream crossings, some of which looked more like rivers.
Once that debacle was over, we actually started gaining some elevation, revealing a startlingly dry valley to the northeast
We made it to our waypoint at pk 7844' just before 9, and soaked up the awesomeness of the whole region, where we were probably the only people within 10-15 miles.
our destination loomed large above us
Some neat runnels
Tons of sick lines dropping into Noble Canyon
Then we started hiking again, aiming to catch the painfully obvious summit ridge.
Along the way, Tryon peak poked out to the Southwest
We made it to about 10300' or so before the snow was ready and we got 1000' or so of killer riding in on great steeps with nicely timed corn. It took us probably 5 or 6 hours to get up to where we turned around, and it would have been another hour or so at our pace to get to the summit. To reach the summit, I'm guessing sleeping at the road closure in the car is necessary to get an early enough start.
Part of my line through the rougher snow (most of it was smooooth)
Trying to traverse over to the exit of Glider Chute, this is the best I could get. Those walls are HUGE!
We decided to ride out through the main gully as far as we could, as the coverage looked pretty decent through most of it. This turned out to be a terrible idea, as the gully soon turned into a stream.
We figured we would hike out to the ridge on the north and ride out some more, but ended up on a 2-3 hour journey through the enchanted forest, as we called it. Enchanted because it seemed to destroy all ability to read a map, and we somehow made 5 stream crossings where technically only 1 was required.
It was pretty however...
Here's me crossing over
We started to get sick of this after a while, especially after mike ate it and soaked his boots and lower pants in a failed crossing attempt. We finally hit Silver Creek, only to find it was looking more like the Carson River than a creek.
Luckily, there was a big log that we were able to utilize.
We hiked up to the campground and onto hwy 4. I don't think I've ever been so excited to see pavement before.
So in conclusion, we managed to turn a 3500' climb into a 9 hour death march for maybe 1500' of good turns. If it wasn't so damn beautiful, I think I would have sat down and cried at hour 8 or so. Next time, better routefinding could shave 2, maybe 3 hours off the trip, but it was still totally worth it.
Sorry there were no pics of glider in its entirety, but it is obscured from view at all angles. Bummer.
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1619 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Hey Roman, nice TR! Way to put the "earn" in earn your turns. Though it sounds like on the way out you were bordering on Type 3 Fun. I like the picture of the weird runnels - are you sure there wasn't a Zen rake around there somewhere? In your second picture of the Noble canyon lines, it looks like there's a sweet chute dropping about 1/3 of the way over from the right of the pic. Sounds like access might be an "issue" though. Anyway, way to go for it!
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:37 pm Posts: 1865 Location: in between
dibiase, is your approach route the recommended one in Hurchalla's book? Looking at his map, I thought you'd follow the farther ridge (west ridge) that you can see in this pic. But from the pic it looks like the approach you took is quicker and a more direct approach. Was considering giving it a go this weekend.
The one I took is the one in hurchalla's book. You can take the far ridge as well, but it starts about a kilometer to the south of hill 7844'. I would only recommend it if you want to ride the bowl far lookers right (which looked a little less fun, but more continuous)
so above (in the flat area southeast of 7844') you'd want to head directly south until you caught the next ridge.