"Silver Peak"  
Condition Updates  
Route: From Mt Marcy, down Lake of the Clouds
Posted On: 2021-10-16, By: WildWanderer
Info: Dry from Mt Marcy to ridge. The ridge has snow, but if you have winter climbing skills you can keep it class 3 by sticking to the top of the ridge. I was ok in microspikes, but relied heavily on hand and foot placement in areas. An ice axe (etc.) will probably be necessary after the next snow. I DO NOT recommend descending to the lakes: the avalanche chute already has quite a bit of snow up top, and the rock-hopping/large rock/gully areas are covered in several inches of sugary snow, making careful route finding/watching where you place your feet a must. I spent a lot of time using my trekking pole and gloves to move snow to figure out if I was stepping on a stable rock, a loose rock, or a void before making each move. The trails below treeline are slushy and muddy, and the stream crossings are icy. 
Route: From Mount Marcy, Lake of the Clouds Descent
Posted On: 2021-09-01, By: supranihilest
Info: The first two thirds of the distance to "Silver" is easy tundra. The ridge up "Silver" looks like it might be difficult and scrambly but it's quite easy. The knife edge quality to the ridge is deceptive and can be kept to Class 2, mostly on climber's left, simply by finding small trail segments and using the angling, broken cracks and slabs for balance. There's some scrambling along the knife edge if really desired but it didn't seem worth it. The last pitch to the summit is just a talus walk. To descend I took the northeast ridge of "Silver" down into the eastern basin. Mostly tundra with some scree and talus until I got into the willows and then had a protracted battle with willows a foot taller than me for the next hour. I made it to the westernmost lake and then the willows got even more intense. I had to pick my way through marshes in an attempt to get to pine trees, which meant dry ground and no willows. In hindsight instead of beelining it straight to the lake I should have swung northeast then southeast in an attempt to avoid the willows. I eventually picked up the Lake of the Clouds trail in between two lakes then followed it to the Swift Creek trail, then to the Rainbow trail and back to the trailhead. Neither Lake of the Clouds trail nor Swift Creek trail are very runnable due to the high amount of large, loose rock, but the Rainbow trail is a little better. 
Route: Cotton creek
Posted On: 2021-06-16, By: 9patrickmurphy
Info: The Cotton Creek trail is in rough shape. Really great, cruiser trail until about 4 miles in at the 4th creek crossing: the logs are in a very precarious position so take your time. Immediately after the 4th corssing there is an impressive amount of fallen trees making the trail difficult to find. Once you find the trail, there are still tons of downed trees rather continusly for a few miles. I camped just after the 5th and final creek crossing at 10,200. More (lots more) deadfall to the Horsethief trail junction. The junction itself is blocked by about six massive downed trees, and the trail marker is very easy to miss, especially in the dark. Once on the horsethief trail (just bushwhack around the trees) there are a few more downed trees. Most maps don't accurately portray the amount of switchbacks and might make you skeptical you are going the right way, check out the most recent Forest Service topo, it is accurate (though it doesn't show the spur that heads East near some campsites near 10,900; don't take this). The horsethief trail is phenomenally well-built. I'm not sure of its history, but it seems the current trail replaced an older, steeper trail with less switchbacks. You'll find this trail from time to time and can take it if you like. Getting to DeAnza from the top of the horsethief trail is trivial. I continued on to Gibbs, Marcy, and "Silver", snow is either all gone or inconsequential in trail runners, all class 1 or 2. From the pass between Cotton and RitoAlto creeks, there is a good amount of snow on the Cotton Creek trail above the lake, then the trail is super wet for a while, then it's just very long. I saw fresh bear poop on the trail near the lake. I encountered more deadfall starting on the switchbacks below the lake, and then progressively more until I got to camp. I had planned on attacking the Mount Owen group from the same camp, but this day took so much out of me that I decided against it. The deadfall is obnoxious and this heat wave we're in makes for very fatiguing travel up high on a ridge. A bear spooked me around 7pm near camp, so I decided to pack out since I was really startled. Saw more bear poop on the trail on the way out. 
Route: Via Swift Trail
Posted On: 2019-11-10, By: Tornadoman
Info: Accessed the Swift Trail after about 1/2 mile on Rainbow Trail. Rainbow Trail mostly dry, Swift trail is mostly snow covered. Trail has a great pack all the way to the lower Lake of the Clouds. From there we booted through 6-12 inches of snow (a few deeper postholes where snow had drifted around some rock sections), to the ridge. With 4 of us we put in a bit of a booter, although maybe not the most direct line as we weaved around some, and also went up and over a couple minor rock obstacles. None of us used snowshoes or traction, although some folks would probably like spikes. Almost completely bare from ridge to summit. 
Route: Southeast Slope
Posted On: 2018-04-28, By: desertdog
Info: I climbed from the Gibson Creek TH, then the Rainbow Trail to Swift Trail to Lakes of the Clouds trail. The upper approach trails have some snow, but it was boot packed. Snowshoes not needed. Hike on the north side of the first lake and continue west. Look for the low point to gain the ridge. You may need snowshoes once past the lake. I did on the way down. Once on the ridge head north. You will boulder hope a little then hit Silver's grassy slopes. You can climb some snow fields on the slopes or avoid them to the summit. 
Route: NW Ridge
Posted On: 2017-12-05, By: Santanoni
Info: A word of caution, the little North facing couloir on Silver Peak that leads to the summit had an avalanche sometime before I was there on 11/26. Much of the upper slab remained in place. If it gets covered, could make for an unseen hazard going forward. 
Route: Gibson Creek Trailhead
Posted On: 2016-07-23, By: JasonKline
Info: Snow-free summer conditions. 

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