Mount Silverheels – 13,822 ft.
Date: June 2, 2013
Team: Christy, Ted, Colleen Ihnken
Route: North Face
Some years the spring season wraps up around late May, but this year’s April snowstorms have kept some skiing options open later. Since we’re still staring at a sizable list of Centennial Peaks to ski if we hope to finish next year, any extra summits we can still get are a welcome bonus. To start off this “June Bonus Round” we went to Mount Silverheels.
We were happy to get this one done. It isn’t that it’s technically challenging, hard to reach, or that it falls in the category of being an interesting summit. We’ve found in our experiences here (and Colleen attested to it as well as a former Alma resident who lived right across the valley) that Silverheels can be brutally windy. Earlier this spring Christy and I were forced to turnaround when the winds proved to be too much. The short video below shows what it was like at our turnaround point. Turn the volume on for full effect.
It was a sunny day yet we could barely stand, let alone skin, and we were only at 12,000 feet on the South Ridge. In 2002 I was also forced to abort because of wind, and Christy had similar experiences when she hiked here a few years back. On the wrong day Silverheels is simply impossible to ski, and judging by some of the wind-sculpted Bristlecones in the area, it’s clear that this would also be a really tough place to grow up as a tree.
The three of us were thankful to catch well covered, in calm conditions, and with good snow. And it was great to get out with our old race friend (and Global Extremes teammate) Colleen. Christy, Dav and I are still eying a few more summits for the June Bonus Round, but from the looks of things up high, in another two weeks time things will probably be done for 2013.
It’s been a good spring. Thanks for following along,