...and my snowshoes!
So I picked Silverheels as my first summit for the summer after a failed attempt of Mt. Adams the day before. I met up with Will (hunterwf) and Kay (trailsntales) in the Safeway parking lot near the corner of 31st Street in Colorado Springs and headed out around 5:15 AM. We then met up with another 14ers member Matt (Matt Lemke) in Fairplay and headed over to the TH on Hoosier Pass to go up the West Ridge. We started hiking around 7:30 AM.
So the journey began with only one smart hiker in the bunch Matt, he is the only one of us to bring snowshoes on the hike. Will and I left ours in Colorado Springs and Kay after much debate left hers in the trunk of my car. He we are getting ready for our little adventure.
Matt, me, and Will...photo credit Kay.
So after about an hour we reach our first snow crossing of the day. We didn't have our snowshoes of course so let the post holing begin.
So we continue on to hit the Jeep Road to see what we are about to face, a lot of snow going down to Beaver Creek. So Matt, being the smart one, strapped on his snowshoes and started heading down towards the creek. Will, Kay, and I walked up and down the road trying to find the path of least resistance. We finally settled on a place and postholed to our way to the slope to do our short glissade.
Looking back at our glissade...photo credit Will.
So now the real fun begins, we didn't glissade down to the actual ridge that is described on 13ers.com so we began our journey towards the summit. At this time Matt was way ahead of us so we 3 worked our way up trying to catch him. This part of the hike was referred to false summit USA. We kept thinking the summit has to be the next one...for about 5 false summits. Once hitting false summit 3 we saw Matt working his way back down.
Again not the summit...but close!
Finally summit success! We reached the summit just before 12 PM.
My infamous summit shot!
Kay's summit shot!
Me and Will on the summit...photo credit Kay.
We were rewarded with some nice photos from the summit.
After spending 15 minutes taking pictures and refueling we headed back down. Since we wanted to head back through most of the tracks we already at Beaver Creek made we found the quickest way back which meant crossing a couple fo snow fields that weren't too deep. We then followed Matt's tracks with some success until the snow became to soft and then we crawled up on our hands and knees back to the Jeep road. Matt waited for a while but then had to leave so he ended up getting back to his car before we did. Kay, Will, and I got back to the car around 4:30 PM.
The biggest lesson learned on this day was to carry your snowshoes even if you think you might need them, better to be safe than sorry!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):