Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Vacation's Silver Lining 7.23.13

 After last year's wonderful time at Lake Pend Oreille all the same cast was eager for a repeat visit

We had a wonderful addition this year with  a bayliner, giving us more fun options. We spent a wonderful 6 days enjoying the lake and each other. But as it usually goes time goes way too fast. Before I knew it we were sadly packing up for the long drive home. Sunday was an emotionally draining day coupled with the 6 hour drive home I was spent by the time I unloaded in the wee hours of Monday morning. I had hoped to do an overnighter with the balance of my time off but with such a taxing day I wasn't eager to make it out. I instead ran up Cougar and called it good. My wife had planned a family swim party for Tuesday and it is sometimes better If I take the dog out alleviating some potential problems. With an unexpected window I quickly made plans for a return attempt of Silver Peak. I had made it up the climber's trail a couple of weeks ago but had to turn back due to various reasons.
   I was able to make it to my starting point at a reasonable hour and shortly thereafter I was heading South on The PCT.  It seemed like the climbers trail was much further along the trail on my last visit and I completely walked by it without noticing it. By the time I realized my mistake I was nearly to Mirror Lake. Since I hadn't been before I decided to descend to the lake to check it out. The bugs were out and even a stiff breeze couldn't keep them at bay. I decided to get moving and backtrack to the climber's trail. The climber's trail was much different than a few week's back since most of the snow has now melted out. Soon I found myself on the ridge at a junction, I decided to head towars Silver since I was a bit behind and didn't feel like I had enough time to do a multiple peak day.  The trail along the ridge had some short class 3 sections and I  again found myself at a junction which I headed right. Soon Silver came into view. The first portion of the climb is on loose talus which was a bit tedious with trail running shoes on. I had forgotten to bring my boots so I was forced into using something less desirable. The trail was easy to follow and without any issues I found myself on the summit. There was  a nice couple on the summit that despite the stiff breeze was home to plenty of annoying bugs. I dropped pack for a short time and surveyed the North Ridge which I had hoped to use for my descent route. Feeling it best not to attempt without my boots I decided to instead retrace my route for the descent. Once off the loose talus I enjoyed the nice stroll back to the car.
Approx 9 miles 3400ft of climb

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