My California - The Silliman Crest
For this weeks Show Us Your California contest by @socalsteemit I head out for and adventure on the...
I headed up the Twin Lakes trail from the Lodgepole campground. I climbed up passed Willow meadow, crossed Silliman creek, and then headed up to Cahoon meadow. I took a quick break at the meadow and then climbed up over Cahoon gap, dropped down across Clover creek and then made the final climb up to Twin lakes. I scoped out the lakes and found a nice spot to setup my camp at the big lake. Then I spent the rest of the day picking wild blueberries and fishing for trout.
Twin Lakes Trailhead at the Lodgepole campground
Arriving at Cahoon meadow
Overlooking Cahoon meadow
Little Twin Lake
Picking wild Blueberries
Overlooking Big Twin Lake
More trout fishing
The next morning it was a cold morning, but I got going early. I left my camp and climbed up the trail to Silliman pass. From the pass I started my adventure along the crest. The views were huge off both sides. The terrain was fairly easy until I got just above Little lakes. Then I got to a section that was quite technical and had huge exposure. There were a few times I wasn't sure I was gonna be able to keep going, but I found a way over it without dying and then made my way over to the base of Mt. Silliman. I climbed up onto the east ridge, which I had read (in RJ Secors guidebook) that there was a class 2 route up. But upon getting there it looked like all class 5. I saw one possible line and I gave it a try, but some of the shady ledges were still covered in ice. Making it way too dangerous. So I had to retreat. I was feeling pretty defeated, and was ready to totally give up on Mt. Silliman. But I decided to keep making my way around and take a peak around the ridge. And I was able to find a chute leading up to the south slope! It was packed full of icy snow, so I still wasn't sure it would work, but I went for it. It got a little technical, and at one point I even had to squeeze through a tiny cave in the ice and rocks, but I made it. From the top of the chute it was an easy walk up the south slope to the summit(11,188')! There were epic 360 degree views from the top. Some of the hugest I've ever seen. I could see all the way north to the peaks of the Ritter range and all the way south to the peaks above Mineral King.
Morning time in the tent
Climbing up to Silliman Pass
Views looking north on the Silliman Crest
Views looking south from the Silliman Crest
Overlooking Little lakes
Views from Mt. Sillimans east ridge
Climbing up the chute
Views from the summit of Mt. Silliman
Me on the summit of Mt. Silliman
After enjoying some time on the summit I headed back down. On the way back along the crest I took a lower route that avoided the technical climbing and went by some beautiful little unnamed lakes. Then I got back onto the crest and headed back to Silliman pass. From the pass I decided to try to climb up to the taller of the two Twin Peaks(10,479'). The route I took up the east side was really fun class 4. Full exposure. The top was awesome. Not as huge of views as Silliman, but still amazing. And especially rewarding because of the difficulty of the climb.
Crossing a snowfield on the lower route
Unnamed lakes along the lower route
Approaching Twin Peaks
Looking south from Twin Peaks
Looking east from Twin Peaks
Overlooking Twin Lakes from Twin Peaks
I climbed down on the west side of the peak. Mostly on steep smooth granite slabs. Then once off the top I cut over and met the Silliman pass trail for the rest of the descent back down to Twin lakes. I was pretty tired after such a long, awesome day. But I still got out and had more fun trout fishing before calling it a night.
The next morning I packed up my camp and headed down the trail. Back by Clover creek, over Cahoon gap, past Cahoon meadow and Silliman creek, and finally back down to Lodgepole where I got some lunch and then headed north for my next adventure!
Big Twin Lake in the morning
Back at Cahoon meadow
Dropping back down to Lodgepole
Map(click to enlarge)
Until next time...
I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into
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