Trying to take advantage of the last of the warm days, I headed out for a hike. I initially was going to hike Kendall Peak but I wasn’t really excited about the start of that hike. It was kind of boring as the last part of my 5 day sect J hike and couldn’t get excited to head back up that trail.
I have tried Silver Peak in the past but couldn’t find the cairn to turn off the trail to head up to the peak (possibly due to snow on the trail). I wanted to go back and summit this. Alex has done it in the past and took a group of some non hikers with him so I was not intimidated about this hike at all. In the morning while looking at the maps I saw the ‘pro tip’ that you could hike 2 other peaks along that hike, Mount Catherine and Tinkham peaks.
Alex heard me saw I might try 3 peaks and his comment that I would be pretty ‘bad ass’ gave me a little motivation. Anytime you can be considered bad ass by your 19 year old son, you kind of have to step up.
I headed out and got to the TH by about 8:15. I smiled as I saw 2 other gray Elements parked at the TH. It was a sunny morning, I had on my new hiking shoes and was going to try to “run” a little bit to save some time. I put my poles in my camelback (which I realized I could take in and out of without taking off my pack – bonus!)
The trail started off on the PCT headed South. The colors are all starting to come out and the trail was very ‘runable’ even for me. I easily found the cairn in 1.7 miles and headed upward. I easily found the “Y” in the trail, Left to Tinkham, Right to Silver. I headed right first thinking I would bag this peak easily. The trail ahead opened to a rock face and I could see the switchbacks going all the way up.
It got a bit windy so I put my arm warmers back on and take my hat off as it was surely going to blow off and over the edge. I easily made it to the top where there is a small patch of scrambling. It was a bit scarey to turn and look back down especially with the high wind. I held tight and scrambled up to the far end and tucked out of the wind. I met a nice guy there and we discussed names of peaks and compared apps. He was using “show me hills” app, I have to add that one. He was headed to Mount Catherine and I was going to attempt Tinkham and then Catherine.
I headed down quickly but had to keep stopping for pictures and then headed to the trail to the LEFT. I started up the described bootpath. I did not see any pole marks or disturbed ground cover. I took my pole and made some marks in the ground ‘just in case’ to reconfirm my direction coming back. As I continued on upward I could see the shear rock face on the left of the mountain and obviously no way up that. The trail eventually faded away and I was left with just hiking up in the woods w no trail. I do NOT like not having a trail. My instincts began to overtake me and I decided (especially after last weeks 30 mile mistake) that I NEED to follow my gut.
So for today I had to give up the ‘bad ass’ status and go for only 2. I headed down and had a snack at the nice waterfall. I ran a bit more on my way out. Got back to the car, drove about 1/2 mile back down the road and headed up Mt. Catherine. This trail started off with hiking on a wide road of rocks. It then turned into a boring trail with not a lot to see. I hurried up as quickly as possible, stopping only to add some padding to my heals which were starting to hurt (new shoes). After about .8 it evens out and you run along a ridge then a bit more up with the total distance of only about 1.5 miles. The last section there is a cable to help you up. (I am not sure how the girl behind me with the small dog got her dog up.)
Peak #2 done! There was an odd metal door at the top. Makes for an interesting picture. Tried to sit for a few minutes but there were 2 swarms of gnats or something that were so think and didn’t respond to my frantic arm waving that I retreated after a few pics and headed down.
9.6 miles hikes, 3,094 elevation gain and a report that I was still pretty cool even if I only did 2 of the 3. Good day!