Home > Trip Reports > April 9, 2003, Silver Peak

April 9, 2003, Silver Peak

4/9/03
WA Snoqualmie Pass
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Posted by powderpig on 4/10/03 9:20am
This was a fun trip my parents finally let me do on my own.  I left Hyak parking lot at 10am following the Nordic trails I had raced on earlier this season, and what a sorry snow/ Nordic racing season it was.  But spring skiing... is always spring skiing, regardless of the winter weather.  I passed the Bombardier at Grand Junction and slid down the Mt. Catherine Loop trail less the climbing skins.  I stopped at the avalanche control tower and mischievously played with the bike pedal pulley system.  Now the workout really began.  From here(2800') it was a climb to 5605' atop Silver Peak.  At one of our Nordic races in February after a 2' dump, I remember seeing a spindrift plume streaking from the summit of silver peak giving it an almost Himalayan quality.  I resolved to ski from the summit then and there.  Not such an ambitious thing as I might intimate, as it is a common descent and I had done it 1 year earlier.  I slapped on the skins put my head down and used the classic tracks that were freshly set to stride up the hill.  In 30 minutes I was at Ollalie Meadows and in 30 more I was entering the trees on the northwest side of that expansive clear-cut.  Now I was really in the groove running uphill were I could.  I came to the first steep slope that was a bit concerning.  The sun wasn't hitting this north-facing slope but it had been.  I switchbacked up the right side.  The second steep slope is shorter but steeper.  I decided to play it safe and booted up the left side in the trees.  On top of this slope is a pretty bench with a view of the north face of Silver Peak.  The next slope to gain the final northwest ridge had been the site of at least one avalanche fatality so it disserved caution.  The sun had been hitting this slope all day so it was exceedingly wet, slushy snow.  I quickly booted up it and onto the wide ridge.  The final moves on the ridge are tenuous with a few well-placed vegetable holds.  At 1:00 I reached the top and cooled off in the strong breeze.  I spotted some tracks arching down Granite Mtn. across I-90 and thought it would make a fine descent on Friday of this week. (I'm on Spring Break).  I began the descent of the top to the east.  The east face of Silver Peak is a beautiful smooth treeless slope and on this day loose corn snow.  I followed the East Ridge enjoying the smooth genuflections and solar radiation on my bare back.  I found the appropriate gully and dropped of the north side of the ridge skiing down to Windy Pass.  A sandwich and a bit of skinning later I found myself at the top of my next run from Nordic Pass.  The snow was ok in the trees but even better on the Nordic trails.  Then from the top of Hyak I explored the broken down chairlift and let the GS turns loose back to the car.  Too bad they've stopped grooming; I'd be up there with my skate ski forshizzle.  A nice start to hopefully a long spring and summer ski season. 8)  
powderpig - nice trip, and thanks for the report. I'm wondering about your descent route? You wrote that you started down the east ridge from the summit, then dropped off the north side of the ridge. Is the "east ridge" the same as the "northeast ridge" (you wrote that you ascended by the "northwest ridge")? Also, did you drop into the north bowl from the ridge, or did you start down toward Twin Lakes (east facing slope) to get back to Windy Pass?

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april-9-2003-silver-peak
powderpig
2003-04-10 16:20:41