Ascent of South Silver Peak on 2015-06-05
|Date:||Friday, June 5, 2015|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
|Peak:||South Silver Peak|
| Elevation:||5040 ft / 1536 m|
Ascent Trip ReportEven though it was a Friday, I left Seattle at 4:20 AM to ensure I wouldn’t have too much company on the trail. Hiked in along the PCT and found the cairns for the Silver Peak trail very easily at 1.7 miles. It’s pretty mild class 1 other than about 10 ft. of class 2. It was about 3 miles total to the top, which took 1 hr 40 minutes with copious stops for photos.
After a break on the top of Silver, I descended to South Silver Peak, which is nothing more than a treed bump in the ridgeline. Continued on to Abiel (class 2), reaching the top at the 3 hr mark and 4.19 miles. From there I backtracked to South Silver and headed up the ridge to Tinkham. I got myself stuck on a ledge at one point when I thought I’d take a more exciting shortcut and then had to backtrack to the bootpack. All of these peaks had well-worn paths to the top, with no route-finding needed. Reached the top of Tinkham (class 2) at 4 hrs 22 minutes and 5.37 miles. The sheer north face is pretty impressive! There was a lot of Phyllodoce glanduliflora blooming at the top, plus the first Lloyd serotina I’ve ever seen (I found that while stuck on the cliff ledge).
From there I took the pleasant ridge walk over to East Tinkham (arriving at 4 hrs 45 minutes and 5.66 miles). There were some beautiful Erigeron aureus on the ridge. From there I contemplated taking the ridge down to Mirror Lake, but then decided to backtrack back down to the PCT.
At the PCT I headed south to the ridge above Mirror Lake and then headed ENE to bag “The Tinklet”. This actually ended up being a really fun ridgewalk, especially if you’re into wildflowers. There’s a lovely dry Phlox diffusa / Festuca viridula meadow with lots of Penstemon (davidsonii, procerus, and rupicola), Lomatium brandegeei, and other south-facing wildflowers. Just be sure to stay on the south side of the ridge as you scoot across. There’s an obvious rocky knob that appears to be the summit as you approach (there’s even a cairn on top, so apparently others thought it was the top, also), but the true summit is on the far east side of the peak. My gps watch died on the way to the Tinklet.
I headed straight south and downslope to Cottonwood Lake for a dip, then intersected with the PCT and followed it back to the trailhead. Total stats: ~ 7 hours, 10.73 miles, 4584 ft of elevation.
The wildflowers were off the hook for this time of year!
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