Silverheels, Mount

elevation: 4,212 m.  height gain: 1,070 m.
area: Hoosier Pass,Colorado,USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Alma, CO

our attempt

On our attempt, you can tell it's windy just by looking at the snow plumes from Mounts Bross and Lincoln.
Snowshoe trip: RT 8.5; 4.5 up. Some things are just better the second time around! After our failed attempt a couple of days ago due to unbearable wind, check out this VIDEO and judge for yourself, it was understood we'd be back to settle the score but I didn't know we'd come back so soon. Once again, the weather was unsettled and committing to a longer trip wasn't an option; hence we decided to return to Mount Silverheels. This objective is straightforward and starts high from Hoosier Pass, with less wind luck was on our side. Like a déjà vu, we left from Leadville eating breakfast on the road. The initial part of the hike carried on with less hesitation and more optimism, we reached our turn around point in good time. The following ridge walk was pleasant but visibility was reduced higher up by homogeneous cloudcover; like all the surrounding mountains, our objective remained shrouded. As long as we could still see the terrain in front of us, there was no reason to turn back. The landscape and atmosphere had a lunar feel to it. We continued down to the saddle and started climbing to the summit ridge. As we got higher, we entered the cloudcover and lost some visibility. The broad summit ridge appeared featureless, we wanted to mark the area where we crested from the climb so we didn't overshoot it on the descent. Tim built up a cairn with the snowshoes and alpine axes, dotting the ridge with an impressive marker. We then carried on to the top. It was snowing by now, I took a couple of pics and back down we went. We hiked the broad ridge slightly spread out in order to find the cairn Tim built, the terrain was indeed featureless and had he not built that marker, we could have easily missed our descent gully; I was impressed by Tim's ingenuity! We picked up our stuff and aimed for the snow gully alongside the ascent. The glissade was a hoot and put a smile on our face, we made it down to the saddle in no time. After some delicious chocolate cake, we climbed back up to the access ridge. We encountered the first "hiccup" of the day on our way to the road; because of reduced visibility, we veered too far north. Lower down, when we got glimpses of the terrain below, we realized we were heading towards Quandary Peak; we corrected with a traverse and located the radio towers soon thereafter. We were happy to have pushed on with this centennial 13er, we had settled the score despite the weather. We celebrated with some Mexican food in Frisco!
snow transport

Snow transport.

leaning into the wind

Leaning into the fierce wind, we decided to turn around.

mayflower gulch

Supplemental walk in Mayflower Gulch on our way back to Leadville.

silverheels take 2

Mount Silverheels take II.

less wind more clouds

Less wind, more clouds...

looking back

Looking back at Mount Lincoln and North Star Mountain (right).

our attempt's turn around point

Reaching the turn around point of our attempt.

it's a go

This time "it's a go"!

pleasant hiking

This wind-scoured ridge grants pleasant hiking.

broad basin

A vast basin south-west of us.


Impressive powerlines on the access ridge.

ready to climb

Ready to climb to the summit ridge.

going up

Ascending the centennial 13er.

tim's marker on the ridge

On the summit ridge Tim marked our access/descent snow gully by stacking our snowshoes and axes.

into the cloud

Into the cloud, walking the broad featureless ridge.

at the top

At the top for a brief moment.

heading down

Heading down, looking for Tim's built up marker.

steering to the descent gully

After finding the marker, we steered into the descent gully for a fine glissade.

fine glissade

Glissading is good for the soul!!

break time

I bet Tim is pulling out home-baked chocolate cake.

resuming the descent

Time to resume our descent.

a glimpse of sun

The sun makes a momentary appearance.

no more visibility

No more visibility for the remainder of the hike.

back on familiar ground

After veering off route higher up, we're back on familiar ground.

another spring storm

Another Colorado spring storm.
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