|2017-02-01||Route: Scott Gulch
Posted On: 2017-02-01, By: demoorj33
Info: Snowy, windy, did not come across any Avy danger, overall a fun hike.
|2016-11-25||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2016-11-25, By: Trotter
Info: About 1-3 inches on entire mountain. Snow is powdery, and fairly slippery on the steep parts. Microspikes were helpful.
|2016-08-28||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2016-08-28, By: mspalding
Info: The steep climb up the side of Mt. Silverheels has lots of old snow. As you get further towards the top it becomes too hard to kick steps easily. Microspikes make a huge difference. Today another inch or two of new snow was added as we hiked. There is a new trail being built that may cut off a bit of climbing followed by elevation loss. You can find it by leaving the road at the double cairn about half way to the radio towers. It will get you to the edge of a bowl. If you then go around the outer part of the bowl you will save a lot of misery. Cutting across the bowl will repeatedly put you in chest deep willows and marshy soil. Go around to the low point on the other side, then head toward Silverheels. Also, don't ascend the really steep recommended part of Silverheels. If you take the buttress to the left it is a bit further, but a lot less steep. The current recommended trail works well too. Just don't be tempted to take shortcuts. The recommended route avoids a lot of loose rock. And again, at the point you climb the side of Silverheels, it is easier to go up the buttress to the left.
|2016-07-08||Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2016-07-11, By: flyingmagpie
Info: Climbed Silverheels via the South Ridge route described by G & J Roach in "Colorado's Thirteeners." This is a fine route, and I am surprised that more people don't use it. Caveat: Beaver Creek is running full with spring runoff, lasting late this year. A capable 4wd, like my Jeep Wrangler, is necessary to reach the trailhead and ford the creek. I had no problems. Found the trailhead just fine, marked by two red plastic diamonds tacked onto the root of an upended stump in a wide meadow suitable for camping. My vehicle was the only one there. Route described by G&J is straightforward and easy to follow. There is no significant elevation loss to cross Beaver Creek, as there is on the other 2 routes described by G&J. That is why I think this route is better. Still long and tiring. I was the only one on the route and summit that I know of. Camped the night in the meadow, headed home the next day. A fine climb.
|2016-06-12||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2016-06-13, By: bunny256
Info: 99% free of snow, some marshy areas from rapid melt.
|2016-05-14||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2016-05-15, By: Grover
Info: Skinned up from the gate at Hoosier Pass to the first bench on Hoosier Ridge. There were only a couple spots were I had to billygoat over grassy sections. If you are skiing or riding (heck, or even using snowshoes), I suggest leaving the ridge and heading straight towards Mt. Silverheels from this bench. The basin is filled with snow and you can save time by heading directly towards the power line tower in the basin (not the one on the North Spur ridge proper). I switched over to microspikes for the climb up the snow to gain the upper ridge on Mt. Silverheels. The ridge to the summit was dry, so you can walk up to the summit. The ride back down into the basin was soft and in great shape. The ride from the first bench back to the gate on CO 9 was also good, but when you get into the trees, keep your speed so you can make it all the way out.
|2016-04-14||Route: West Ridge via Scott Gulch and North Spur
Posted On: 2016-04-19, By: eskermo
Info: West Ridge via Scott Gulch and the North Spur 7.2 miles 3,300' elevation gained total ~1,500' total snowboarded ~1,000' sufferfest that I thought I could snowboard down 7 hours 35 minutes total I took the splitboard up Silverheels, hoping to get a nice mellow skin/climb and snowboard descent on a Centennial. While everything east of Beaver Ridge was quite awesome, everything to its west was miserable. I started up the trail at 9:00 AM and met deep, punchy snow almost immediately. I quickly transitioned into skins and planks and started up. There was a pretty decent freeze and clear skies that night, so the crust was mostly supportive, save a few random knee to waist deep post holes. A faint trench appeared and disappeared at times. When I could stay in it, it was very supportive and way easier to skin. When I lost it, things quickly ran into suck-mode with a lot of bushwhacking. Although the snow was getting thin is some spots, I was able to stay on frozen stuff the entire time up to just below the saddle on Beaver Ridge Just before cresting the saddle on Beaver Ridge, my climbing wire bent and broke off of my binding. Keep that in mind if you are considering the Spark R&D Arc bindings. This was around my 10th time touring on those bindings, and I was really surprised that it didn't hold up better. Aside from that one mishap, I love those bindings - they thought of just about every consideration for making an excellent binding (except a sturdy climbing wire!). From Beaver Ridge, I strapped in and rode almost 300' down into the basin, heading east and holding high and skier's left until I ran out of gravity just shy of 12,000'. From there I booted east into the well defined gully before turning southeasterly and gaining more dry ground as the pitch got steeper. Around 12,280' I angled up and climber's left onto the mostly dry tundra and shortly thereafter found the standard route's trail up the North Spur. Connecting trail segments on mostly dry ground, I gained the West Ridge around 13,560', where I dumped off my snowboard, microspikes, and ice axe for the quick push to the summit. The remaining hike was almost completely dry and a mere talus hop. I arrived back at my board, gathered all my gear, and took off downhill looking for a decent place to drop in. Around 13,240' I finally found a spot that looked to be continuously filled in and subsequently strapped in. After a few ski cuts across the top of the slope, I took off. The upper 600' were glorious - the best part of the day. The remaining ski down into the basin was also great, even though the light was extremely flat and I could barely make out features in the snow. The snow in this area felt solid, consolidated, and had just a little bit of soft blown in pow to make it ride like a dream. I never used microspikes or my axe on any portion of the climb, and never felt they were necessary. Around 11,880', I strapped my board to the pack and began the approximately 330' climb out the basin, back to the saddle on Beaver Ridge. The snow was perfectly supportive half of the time up this hill, and the other half left me crawling on hands and knees to minimize the post hole misery. Upon cresting the hill, I needed to drop down 100' or so in order to find continuous, skiable snow. I strapped in again and thought to myself "sweeeeet, I'll be back to the car in 5 minutes!" HA! An hour and a half later I arrived back at my car. The first stretch from the top was fast and fun. But it didn't take long for me to be cruising, then immediately the snow would collapse below me and I would sink into the snow. 6" of crust with knee to nipple deep sugary, crystally, loose snow. Keep in mind, I ride a 1" setback, flat-as-a-pancake rocker 162 CM board with bindings set another 1" back - it's not like I'm riding a baby board, a cambered board, or I weigh a lot or anything (6' 1", 165 lbs). I had no idea that crap could even happen to that degree. At one point it took me 10 minutes just to dig out the snow, unstrap my bindings, pack the snow down, and stand back up/strap in again. After a couple of these incidents, I took the board apart, put my skins back on, and resigned myself to "snowshoeing" out of Scott Gulch. The crust was unsupportable all over the place. I got a lot of practice skate-skiing and practicing my pizza-french fry (I've never skied), but they always came to an abrupt and uncomfortable ending with snow cracking and collapsing everywhere. I was pretty glad I was in low angled terrain, because the huge cracks in the snowpack were terrifying, even on near-flat terrain. Note to self: even though the terrain is low angle, there is still a chance of getting buried under crap like this. I eventually regained the skin track a few hundred feet above the trailhead. However, this late in the day there were still sections where I'd punch several feet through the trench. At 4:35 I finally made it back to dry ground and the car. This was before the multiple feet of snow fell this weekend. I think it'll be a LONG time before the snow settles and consolidates enough to make this route not a complete sufferfest. That being said, in good condition, I bet this route would be a lot more fun.
|2016-02-28||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2016-02-29, By: michaelgrundy
Info: The beginning of the route is in good shape in the early morning. There is a pretty defined path that is packed in well enough that you do not need snowshoes. At treeline and slightly above, the snow is horrible no matter what time of the day. The snow is very faceted and I am not sure that flotation would help much. We were reduced to crawling and post-holing for about a quarter of a mile until we got higher up in the basin. Once on the ridge, the rest of the route is in good shape. There is a pretty large cornice on the south side of Hoosier ridge that will prevent you from cutting the corner towards the north spur. Most of the connecting saddle is snow free on the windward side, but there are a few patches that are easily avoidable. The North Spur has a few patches of snow on it but they are easier to climb than some of the rocks. All in all, the route was in good shape. No traction or flotation was used and I am not sure how good snowshoes would do you down low. Ski's may be a different story but everything is useless once you get on top of Hoosier Ridge and for the remainder of the route.
|2015-11-22||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2015-11-22, By: fakejox
Info: Scurried up Silverheels this morning from Hoosier Pass. Snowshoes were useful for the first mile as we gained Hoosier Ridge. After that, it is so windswept that we were fine in gaiters and hiking boots (brought microspikes but didn‘t use them). We postholed through a one or two sections in which snow had accumulated, but otherwise we were mostly hiking on rock and dirt dusted with 1-2" of snow and ice. It was quite blustery and cold up top, but it warmed up considerably on the "descent" to the pass. There was 0 avy danger on this route today.
|2015-03-21||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2015-03-23, By: adamjm
Info: Hard packed snow up to the radio towers and on to the first point on the ridge...No flotation needed in the morning but was necessary in the afternoon (3 PM or so). Some sketchy looking/feeling south facing slopes prevented us from cutting over to the saddle between Hoosier Ridge and Silverheels early, so we followed the ridge up to 13K and turned north towards Silverheels. The north spur itself is relatively dry, and the snow that is up there is pretty shallow.
|2015-03-14||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2015-03-15, By: Monster5
Info: Left the ridge up to Heartbreak around 12600 and did a descending contour down to about 12100 and booted up the north spur from the saddle. Stayed more to the ridge on the way back and regained my steps around 12350. Avy conditions good on route. Not much snow and a few inches of quickly melting fresh. Sort of pick-your poison as per the regain. The ridge from Heartbreak might be easier and less snow but longer. Snowshoes used from treeline to summit but not really needed on the spur. You MIGHT be able to get away without them by following the N ridge. About 5 hrs RT. A couple friends did Hoosier and the Reds after we split up on Heartbreak.
|2014-12-17||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2014-12-19, By: fakejox
Info: Beautiful day on the mountain. Knee/thigh-deep postholing for appx. 1-1.5 mi until we reached the "heartbreak hill" ridge. Snowshoes definitely make for a better time. We skirted around the south face of the ridge and encountered variable conditions--rock and more postholing until we reached the powerlines. After the powerlines it was mostly windswept--got awesome traction with microspikes on the grass/thin snow on the summit push. Not sure how much snow has fallen in the past 36 hours but we left a pretty solid trench in the deeper areas.
|2013-06-23||Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2013-06-23, By: wildlobo71
Info: Dry Dry Dry... The route is fairly straight forward on the ascent but you will probably end up descending too far north - just keep working down the drainage and you‘ll be fine. The crossing at Beaver Creek is about 4-5 feet wide, no issues.
|2012-12-12||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2012-12-12, By: B
Info: Finally, some snow! I didn‘t take or feel the need for snowshoes--on the lower portion of the route, the snow was mostly slightly above my ankles. I post-holed several times in the willows, but snowshoes wouldn‘t have been much help. On the ridge, the snow was quite wind-blown; there are some cornices developing but these sections of deeper snow can be avoided. I didn‘t see any ice and didn‘t take my microspikes out of my pack. **I know the forecast is for more snow this weekend, but hopefully these pictures can give you an idea of where the older snow is.**
|2012-11-10||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2012-11-11, By: forbins_mtn
Info: Beautiful day, with a horrible forecast. It was forecasted for 8" of snow and we didn‘t get anywhere close to that. Storms were coming in chunks separated by wonderful hours of blue sky and sunshine. However - white out conditions up top. Winds in this area were serious. As soon as we hit the summit ridge we couldn‘t see two feet in front our face and were constantly leaning into the wind. I wore microspikes the whole day and wouldn‘t have thought of taking them off. Snowshoes are unnecessary. At most, there was 1-2‘ of snow - but that only came in small patches. You can easily walk around the deep drifts and stay on solid ground
|2012-10-21||Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2012-10-22, By: jeremy27
Info: Snow free the whole way. Trails above timerline are hit or miss - just follow the ridge. Beautiful hike. 4x4 approach was doable in a stock Ford Ranger. Hunters everywhere so you might want to wear something orange. Good luck.
|2012-05-16||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2012-05-19, By: JasonKline
Info: Snow was easily avoidable on the route. No snowshoes or microspikes necessary. There‘s still a great glissade down Silverheels. Pictures are at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3977853335218.167486.1547160987&type=1
|2012-05-13||Route: West Ridge
Posted On: 2012-05-13, By: mrickers
Info: Made it up Silverheels today before the weather hit. Silverheels‘ West Ridge is mostly snow free if you want to weave around small snowfields, with the caveat that it was snowing pretty hard at the Eisenhower tunnel on the way out. Any snow that is left is avoidable or very short/easy to cross. Did not need any sort of traction.
|2012-01-04||Route: North Spur from Hoosier Pass
Posted On: 2012-01-04, By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: Hiked Silverheels from Hoosier Pass (via Hoosier Ridge) and never needed snowshoes or microspikes. Snowshoes could have been helpful for the willows near treeline, but I never put them on. Snow along the ridge was pretty firm and there wasn‘t much snow between Hoosier Ridge and the summit of Silverheels. link Route Description on 13ers.com
Posted On: 2011-06-24, By: denvermikey
Info: Southern route is 99.9% free of snow. Very small pockets left that are easily avoided.