Peak(s):  Silverheels, Mt  -  13,822 feet
PT 13,001  -  13,001 feet
Date Posted:  06/05/2019
Date Climbed:   06/01/2019
Author:  bergsteigen
Additional Members:   SolarAlex, MonGoose, BillMiddlebrook
 Summer is cancelled!   

Mt Silverheels

  • mileage: 8.98
  • elevation gain: 3,642'
  • trailhead: Hoosier Pass
  • partners: Bill, Nick, Alex, Hugh
  • May 31

Back in 2015, a group of us (Bill, Zach, Alex, Craig and Rob) had attempted to ski a north facing line off Silverheels, but a line of thunderstorms started up early in the day and we had to back off when our skis started buzzing and the storm hit us as we were down in the basin waiting it out. I have since gone and skied a SE line in 2016, but for Alex, he wanted another go at the northern line that rarely comes into condition. Too bad Zach couldn't get off work to join us. There was lounging.

So at a reasonably early start just before sunrise, we got on our way. Well Bill and Nick got on their way, I had a series of ooops's. Wrong skins for my skis, and dead batteries kept me going back to the car. At least Alex was able to fix one ooops as he arrived later with Hugh to catch us on the uphill.

The sequence of issues that made me late in starting, also allowed me to capture a very cool fox. I had stopped to take off my shell, when this fox comes running up from my right. He had a look at our skin track, and looked like he might want to come with us, when he went over to my left and started listening for movement under the snow. He didn't seem perturbed by my presence, until I got up to start skinning uphill again. Then he ran back over to my right to wait my passing. After I was further uphill, he resumed hunting back to the north again.


19404_01
Hello there!
19404_02
Walking closer


19404_03
Let's go skinning!
19404_04
Hunting with a birdie


19404_05
Fox waiting me out

After the fox distraction, I continued uphill to catch Bill and Nick. Nice views of the Mosquito and Tenmile.

19404_06
Pano west

Higher up on the ridge, we finally started getting views of Silverheels and Alex and Hugh caught and passed us.

19404_07
Silverheels north face looking flush with snow
19404_08
Skinning closer to the peak

After some downhill skin skiing, which is always tricky, we were ready to start the final uphill to the summit. Here Alex and Hugh put in the skin track for us, as promised. Had a few other animal visitors along the way.

19404_09
Animal kingdom
19404_10
Nick heading up, with the long ridge behind

After plenty of switchbacks, and only a couple slips, we made the breezy summit.


19404_11
Pano west


19404_12
Pano east


19404_13
Nick summitting

Since Hugh had to get to work, him and Alex took off quickly off the summit to ski a north east line that required a reascend to the ridge from the east. Bill, Nick and I were going to ski a more NW line and hung out a bit longer on the summit.

19404_14
Pointing out our intended descent line

The snow was pretty money for the descent. A little crusty but my DPS skis plowed through it quite nicely. I did have to hold them in check a bit, as they did want to charge the slope. In perfect powder I likely would have charged. Not quite ready to test the release mechanism of the new Shift bindings!

19404_15
Me skiing - Photo Credit: Bill
19404_16
Nick kicking up the snow


19404_17
Bill
19404_18
Bill throwing snow in front of his "favorite" 14er
19404_19
Bill laying out a turn


19404_20
Me skiing - Photo Credit: Bill


19404_21
Nick
19404_22
Nick skiing with a view


19404_23
Me coming down the last bit - Photo Credit: Bill
19404_24
Me enjoying the ski - Photo Credit: Bill


19404_25
Our turns
19404_26
Nick airborne!

Today was my first day with my new Canon M6 camera. I can say that I'm quite impressed with it! The rapid fire option to capture skiing action is amazing. It also leads to almost 400 shots to sort through. With Bill being such an amazing skier, it becomes hard to pick the best shots!

19404_27
Our ski strokes on the canvas of snow

At the base of the line, we decided to regain the ridge immediately instead of dropping lower into the drainage and ascending to the last high point before the final ridge drop. With all the ups and downs on the ridge, in hindsight, I probably would have dropped lower and reascended later. But we were also wondering at snow quality lower down too. Would have been no downhill skin skiing the direct way. Pick your poison!

19404_28
Regaining the ridge

After the long ridge, we finally reached the spot where we could take the skins off for the last time. There was some lounging!

19404_29
The Quandary trench is IN
19404_30
Zach, there was lounging

The final drop down to the cars was money! Perfect corn turns all the way home! Great day out, getting retribution on a line that had shut us down a few years ago.

19404_31
Last ski down the ridge was $$$$$$$

Pt 13,001

  • mileage: 7.06
  • elevation gain: 2,715'
  • trailhead: One stop west of Independence Pass
  • partners: solo
  • June 1

I've been skiing off Inde Pass for quite a few years now. Opening day/weekend can be a real treat. So I headed up as soon as I saw it open!

I've skied all of the 13ers off the pass, and a bunch of unranked 13ers and 12ers too. For a few years I've had my eye on 13,001, a favorite from scrambling it a few summers ago. The SW face that is easily accessed from the pass doesn't always come into condition. Last year, the snow was so horrible, it was difficult to even find something to ski, and the view from East Geissler was dry and rocky. This year I figured it had to be in.

I met Brad and Ryan going for a traverse early that morning, and they took off a bit before me. As I was getting ready, I ran into Lou Dawson, and he assured me that 13,001 would be in this year. So my adventure of "IF" was less so, but it was reassuring to know I had a good chance to ski the peak today.

19404_32
Brad and Ryan going for their objective

The surrounding hills looks pretty white with snow, and I was pretty excited for a willow free ascent and descent in the drainage.

19404_33
East & West Geissler
19404_34
The south side of the pass with Grizzly distant


19404_35
The hordes!!!
19404_36
Lone skier with Grizzly


19404_37
Group skinning up East Geissler, with West behind


19404_38
Twinning looking stacked
19404_50
Grizzly zoom

I made pretty good time up to the pass, where I got my first view of 13,001. It was perfectly in from the summit! A bit of slide debris to the east of the line from the pesky rocks, but it would go nicely!

19404_39
Pt 13,001

Of course, with every project, I spot new ones. Some tasty lines surrounded me!


19404_40
Hot damn, that's a sexy peak. My next project in the region!

I transitioned to ski down the firm north slope and traversed as far as I could over to 13,001's slopes. From there I donned my crampons and did an ascending traverse over to the line on firm but previously slid snow.

19404_41
Looking at the steep SW slopes of 13,001
19404_42
Back sides of the Geisslers

After a short uphill, I was on the summit 6 years after the first time I was on top!

19404_44
Pano south


19404_45
Pano west


19404_43
New project looks IN

Since the east ridge I had to ski down to my SW face was hot already, I skied down it quickly and over to my line to wait for it to warm a bit more.


19404_46
Dropping from the summit


19404_47
Waiting for my line to warm

There was a light SW breeze coming up my line that was keeping it quite firm and a bit icy. I waited along as I could, but I knew the basin below would be a sauna and the snow would be cooking. My ascent back to the pass was safe, but I also didn't want to skin soup. So after about 20 minutes, I had to ski it. The upper narrow section was firm but edge able, and the lower part was nicely corned up since it was out of the wind.

19404_48
Pt 13001, from the base of the line Here
19404_49
Pt 13,001 from back on the pass

Once back on the pass, it was delightful corn turns all the way back to the trailhead. No willows, stream crossings or thin snow like last year! Had a great time catching up with friends at the trailhead for a little BBQ!

Till the next time Inde!


My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50


 Comments or Questions
MtnHub

One Fox to Another
06/05/2019 20:50
Great shots again, O!

But please don't cancel summer!


d_baker

searching for Batman
06/06/2019 05:56
The fox was looking for that Batman shadow moment.


Jay521


MtnHub stole...
06/06/2019 09:00
... my line!!! Nice one, Otina!


koeffling

Awesome
06/06/2019 09:07
Really cool shots of the fox! Nice report!


lodgling

Wildlife
06/06/2019 18:51
You have the best luck coming across the animals. Careful IDâing projects in current conditions, it might be another decade before the line is in again! ðŸ˂


ctlee

Thanks for the inspiration
06/09/2019 09:52
I've dealt with major orthopedic injuries and 6 surgeries since 2015-your trip reports always provided a wealth of info and eye candy for me when I was healthy but these past four years, I've lived vicariously through them! Also, I know you were injured several times and seeing you come back to killing it on skis helped motivate me! I'm ready to get after it again this year and just want to say thanks for sharing and keep the awesome reports coming!


bergsteigen

Thanks!
06/10/2019 15:30
Doug and Jay - This is why itâs good that I donât decide the seasons. Or as the Marvel fans might say - Donât let me have the infinity stones!

Darin - It did seem the Fox was posing for me!

Lodging - yes, always a bad idea spotting lines when itâs not a drought year! I can hope itâll be in next year.

Koeffling - I got sooo lucky with my timing and the Fox!

Ctlee - The inspiration is both ways! Knowing I have so much support in the community keeps me coming back! Though I do hope this is the last time. Iâm not quite back from this most recent injury, but itâll happen! May you recover strong too! Keep at it!



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