Trip Date: January 7, 2012
Participants: Brittany Zenger, Ed Zenger, Geoff Zenger
Report: Seeking a reasonable destination for a day with a poor weather forecast and with high avalanche danger in the alpine, we settled on a trip to Silverdaisy Mountain, via the Cayuse FSR. Setting out from the car at around 9:30, our first observation was that the snow level was extremely low, even for Manning Park, with only around 40cm of snow on the ground at the parking pull out. There was a small amount of fresh snow on the ground in that area, and the going was quick for the first few km up the road, but the amount of fresh snow increased steadily as we ascended, and by the time we reached the old mine location, amounted to around 8-10 inches. Yet at the same time, there wasn’t enough snow in the trees to ascend the ridge above the mine as Baldwin recommends, and had no option but to follow the roads towards the Silverdaisy-Claimstake col.
Needless to say, with nearly a foot of powder, breaking trail was extremely tiring and very slow, and although the road system was easy enough to follow, reaching the col requires over 10km of skiing on the road. We reached a cluster of plywood shelters (for tree planters, I presume) approximately 150m distant (and 30 feet vertical) from the col around 2:30, which was our turnaround time. Skiing back down the road was fun with all of the fresh powder, and took only 1 hour. Interestingly, on the way down we noticed from tracks that a marten had walked down our skin track for several km. In the future, I’d recommend that people only do this trip if either there is enough snow in the trees to skin directly up to the ridge from the old mine site, or if the snow is well settled so that the road up to the Silverdaisy-Claimstake col can be ascended quickly.