Silent Mountain

elevation: 2,649 m. height gain: 1,035 m.
area: Parson,BC map 82 N/3
2014-Aug-18


Drive to Parson on highway 95 and continue west on Parson River Crossing which becomes Crestbrook Road. At Kilometer 17, the main road switchbacks and heads down; go north-west on the Spillimacheen River North Fork FSR. Drive to the McMurdo FSR turn-off, 942643 (Km46) and follow to the trailhead, 886572; the bridge is out, park here. Follow the road passing by the McMurdo Hut's access, 890565; continue up the switchbacks to a landing, 882566. A nice trail goes to Silent Pass. From the north end of Silent Lake, a broad grassy shoulder leads to bluffs that precede the top. It is possible to scramble in a shallow gully (see pictures) to reach the upper slopes and summit.   trailhead
Trailhead on the McMurdo FSR.
Scramble: RT 8.5; 4.25 up. Silent Pass wasn't so silent this weekend! After taking our hounds to the kennel last week, we decided to give back and bring them on a long hike; maybe the terrain would be easy enough to attempt the summit as a pack! We left early, the dogs got excited when we turned on the gravel road. We drove to the trailhead and started hiking the overgrown road to the landing where the trail starts; the trail is in fantastic shape and easy to follow. We had the hounds off leash; they stay close and have a good recall, still, we always worry about encounters with wildlife... As it turned out, today was one of those days where our worries materialized. Lincoln met a porcupine and had over 20 quills deeply embedded in his right side, we pulled them out with ease. Luckily it wasn't Daisy that met the quill pig, the outcome would have been a lot more serious; with a high prey instinct, she would have bit down on it. Anyway, dogs were leashed from there on. We made it to the lake and followed open terrain towards the mountain. The terrain above treeline didn't look dog friendly, Fabrice decided to hang back with them. He set up close to some water, we pulled out the hand-held radios and off I went to investigate. I handrailed the base of the bluffs trying to find a safe place to scramble up, I settled on a shallow gully climber's left. I started to ascend, uncertain about the feasibility of this route. A way presented itself as I proceeded; I placed a couple of cairns for the descent. I was thrilled to reach the laid back final slope to the summit; whoa, didn't think Silent Mountain would offer a challenge. I plodded to the top, took pictures, signed the register and started heading back to rejoin the pack. Descending was straightforward, I quickly made it down and was greeted by my hounds partway. We relaxed and took advantage of this nice day with the dogs. We lollygagged to the lake and put the dogs back on leash after some playtime in the water. decommissioned road
Hiking the decommissioned road to the landing and trail.
on the trail
The trail is wide enough for an ATV at first.
silent lake
Silent Lake and Twin Towers Peak.
silent mountain
Continuing towards Silent Mountain.
broad shoulder
Pleasant trekking along a broad grassy shoulder.
continuing solo
Fab stays with the hounds while I investigate further.
route
After walking along the base of the bluffs, I checked out a gully climber's left.
shallow gully
Broken enough to continue further.
carrying on
Still can't see the upper gully but I carry on.
easy moderate scrambling
Easy-moderate scrambling.
from below
Close up view from below, I'm slightly visible (circle).
top of the gully
Almost at the top of the gully.
summit ahead
Summit ahead.
view west
Mount Duncan on the left and Sugarloaf Mountain (center).
north-eastern view
North-eastern view from the cairn.
register
Very wet register.
view north
To the north, Glacier National Park beyond Caribou Peak.
heading back
Heading back down towards a cairn I rebuilt.
upper gully
Upper gully.
backtracking
Another cairn helps with backtracking.
more of the descent
More of the descent.
good snowmobiling here
Silent Pass is a popular snowmobiling destination.
back with the pack
Rejoined with the pack, we go back down to the lake.
smoky sky
The sky is smoky but the dogs don't mind.
playtime
Some playtime in a pond.
back on leash
Dogs back on leash to avoid a meeting with mister quill pig!
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