Date: April 26, 2015
Participants: Brittany Zenger, Geoff Zenger
Report: Silverdaisy attempt #2! We tried skiing Silverdaisy just after new years a few years ago but it had snowed heavily in the few days before our trip and we ran out of time after slogging up the old mining/logging road from Cayuse Flats. This time we’d be much more successful ascending from the other side
We arrived at the Sumallo Grove parking lot at about 9am and 10 minutes later were on our way. We were a bit worried about recent snowfall and whether the trail through the forest would be followable, but it turns out that the trail is well defined (generally on an old double-track path) and well marked and we had no problems following it even once we encountered deep snow at about 1400m. The trail is a starting to get quick a bit of deadfall on it, especially lower down so if anyone wants to organize a trail clearing day this fall and is wondering where to go, keep the Silverdaisy trail in mind.
Leaving the car at 9:10, it was a bit under 20 minutes to the Silverdaisy trail turnoff. The trail switchbacks steeply up the side of the mountain before easing off slightly as it heads into the long valley splitting Silverdaisy and Hatchethead. It wasn’t long after entering the valley that we first encountered snow, at first a little and soon a lot. There were a few places we had to look around to find the flagging early on, but the trail quickly reaches an old road, at which point it’s obvious where to go to ascent to the col between Silverdaisy and Claimstake mountain. About 200m below the col the snow became extremely mushy and we put on snowshoes to ease the ascent. Looking over at Claimstake/Hatchethead on the ascent, it looks like in the winter there could be some really nice ski lines available.
Total time to the col: 4 hours. From the col it’s an easy broad ridge ascent through sub-alpine terrain to the summit and we had a great day for it. Light overcast, cool, completely clear views. Ascending the ridge took nearly exactly an hour, and at about a quarter past 2 we were on the summit, gazing at the views of Hozameen, Silvertip, Frosty, Brice and Outram. Brice in particular looked like it’d have some fantastic winter ice lines on it for the hardcore crowd.
We didn’t linger long on the summit because the wind picked up, and headed off down the snow. Descending the snow was no problem at all and very fast. The trail out was a real slog once the snow ended, but easy enough, and we made it back to the parking lot right at 6 o’clock, for a total round trip time of just a bit under 9 hours. I probably wouldn’t spend a summer day on this hike when there are more exciting ones to do, but for an early season ascent, this was a great trip!
P.S. I found out that on the same day we did Silverdaisy, another party took the same trail up but cut off of it to do a traverse of Hatchethead and Claimstake mountains, descending to the Silverdaisy-Claimstake col, and then back down to the cars… an idea for next year?