Peak(s):  Silverheels, Mt  -  13,822 feet
Hoosier Ridge  -  13,352 feet
Date Posted:  10/28/2015
Date Climbed:   10/24/2015
Author:  Stone Climber
 Not Another Soul In Sight!   

Not Another Soul In Sight!

Last week I had plans to go for a few peaks in the Gore Range. But due to all the recent snowfall, that plan was canceled on Friday. So once I was back from work that night, I began looking at peaks that I could go for instead. Being so last minute, I was doubtful about finding partners, so I decided on Mt. Silverheels. The drive wouldn't be too far, so I decided to drive there in the morning. There were several cars parked at Hoosier Pass when I arrived. While getting my gear ready, I met a hiker on his way down and briefly spoke with him. He postholed a little ways up the road but turned back due to not having the necessary equipment. There was also a group getting ready for their hike as well. I was starting later than I wanted too, so I quickly crossed Hoosier Pass and started up the road. Little did I know, I wouldn't see anyone else for the next 11 hours.

I had my snowshoes and made great progress up the road, passing where the other guy turned back. I was really surprised that there was no snowshoe tracks or boot pack ahead of me. I guess I thought being so close to Breckenridge, that there would be more people hiking through here. I turned left with the road ( I used a path through the trees on descent) and continued past the willows then turned right and started up the drainage. I continued up the drainage for some time then saw a better line and crossed the drainage again. If you just go through the trees and head straight up the ridge you'll save some time.

This is looking back on the route up after recrossing the drainage. On descent I found a path throught the trees ahead.

The next few hours consisted of me of huffing and puffing as I continued up Hoosier Ridge, then turning right to head for the North Spur of Mt. Silverheels. I dug out the rock shelter near one of the 12,000' points and refueled their. Great spot to get out of the wind! I summited Mt. Silverheels at 2:00pm. Along the way, I drank a Hydroflask of coffee (and water), and ate a Snickers bar, two trail mix packs, and some Oreos.

Mt. Silverheels as seen from the lower end of Hoosier Ridge.

At the power line crossing, looking at Mt. Silverheels. I pretty much took a direct line up the North Spur connecting patches of snow.

View from the summit of Mt. Silverheels of the route to Hoosier Ridge summit (right) and the descent route (left)

Mosquito Range from the summit of Mt. Silverheels.

Once on the summit of Mt. Silverheels, I looked over at the summit of Hoosier Ridge and began to evaluate my current condition. I felt great, the weather was great ( aside from the usual wind up there) and I had plenty of food and water left. I soon began to head down the mountain, following the trail I had broken through the snow. I rejoined the lower end of Hoosier Ridge and began the race against sunlight for the summit. I summited Hoosier Ridge close to 6:00pm. I didn't waste anytime and I headed back mostly using my tracks from before. I had to use my headlamp before I hit the Mt. Silverheels split and continued down the ridge towards my car at Hoosier Pass. I had the most incredible views of the surrounding mountain ranges. I was finally back to car around 8:00 pm and I was completely exhausted. From the time I left my car to return I didn't see anyone up there.

Summit of Hoosier Ridge looking toward Red Mountain C.

Here are so more shots of the trip.

On Hoosier Ridge.

On Hoosier Rdige looking at Mt. Silverheels.

A plane flying above the Mosquito Range at sunset.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

10/29/2015 08:33
Had to comment on a user name like yours...well done. You know why you didn’t see any other snow shoe tracks?....because it’s SNOWSHOES, who the hell enjoys snowshoes?...Sorry, who am I to say whats fun and whats not?
Keep hiking, be safe, and stay stoned!
One more thing, great photos.


Way to make
10/29/2015 17:08
both Silverheels and HR look good – great photos. It was horribly windy when we hiked Silverheels around this time a few years back.

Stone Climber
10/29/2015 20:33
Yeah I agree, snowshoes are pretty awful! And thanks.

Stone Climber
10/29/2015 20:40
Thanks SnowAlien!


10/29/2015 23:06
So beautiful!


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