My California - The Silliman Crest

in SoCal Steemit3 months ago

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For this weeks Show Us Your California contest by @socalsteemit I head out for and adventure on the...

Silliman Crest!!

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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

Cahoon Gap

Little Twin Lake

Picking wild Blueberries

Overlooking Big Twin Lake

Trout fishing

Trout fishing

Trout fishing

My camp

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.

Trout Fishing

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

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Map(click to enlarge)

Until next time...

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into

My California!!

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all photos by @derekrichardson

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Congratulations @derekrichardson, your post won 2nd prize in this weeks Show us Your California contest!!

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