Mt. Silverheels - West Ridge


Difficulty:  Class 2 
Summit Elevation: 13,822 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 10,900 feet
Elevation Gain:3,650 feet
Round-trip Length: 6.00 miles
Trailhead: Hoosier Pass (South)
Author: BillMiddlebrook
Route Added: 07/15/2005
Last Updated: 08/11/2012
   

Trailhead:  

From Breckenridge, Drive south on Colorado 9 to Hoosier Pass. From the top of the pass, continue south down Colorado 9 for about 2 miles. Look for a large parking area on the right (west) side of the road. Park here.

Details:

Photo #1 shows the route (except for the start) from the west. From the parking area, cross to the east side of the highway and walk about 100 yards down the road. Locate an old dirt road that starts up to the left. There may be dirt piles at the start of this road. The road enters private property. Bypass this area by walking to the right of the road - into the trees. Photo #2 shows the area. Parallel the highway for a few hundred feet and then turn left to begin climbing east up through the trees. You won’t find a trail here. Near 11,200’, cross an old road and continue up through a loose talus field. At 11,600’, the terrain eases as you get closer to the top of Beaver Ridge - Photo #3 and Photo #4. Depending on how you ascended, you may approach the top of Beaver Ridge from a little south of the top (marked as 12,033’ on the topo map). Continue up toward the ridge and pass tree line near 11,900’. About 100’ below the ridge, cross a jeep trail. Continue to the top of the ridge or turn left and follow the jeep trail north.

After a short hike north, follow the ridge as it starts to drop toward a saddle - Photo #5. There are some power lines off to the right. Photo #6 is the view of Silverheels from this area. Angle northeast down the east side of the ridge toward Beaver Creek. You may find some trail segments in this area. The goal is to continue northeast down to a point where it’s easy to cross the creek. Reach the creek, near 11,700’, at the base of the West Ridge. Begin climbing east up the ridge. There’s some talus near the bottom but most of the ridge is covered with grass. Photo #7 was taken near 11,800’ - looking up at the ridge. Continue up to reach a point at 12,984’ (shown on the topo map). Photo #8 shows the remaining route and Photo #9 looks back down. After the point, cross a small saddle (Photo #10 and start up the remaining 850’ to the summit - Photo #11. This final section is easier than the lower half of the ridge. Continue east all the way up to the large summit. From the top, Photo #12 looks west and Photo #13 looks east.

Notes:   

The east side of Beaver Ridge (above the creek), often holds snow into early summer. If you are hiking this route before mid-June, it may be helpful to carry snowshoes to Beaver Creek. This may save some post-holing on your exit from the creek.

 

Photo #1 Photo #2 Photo #3 Photo #4 Photo #5 Photo #6 Photo #7 Photo #8 Photo #9 Photo #10 Photo #11 Photo #12 Photo #13

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