Peak(s):  "Mt. Silverthorne"  -  13,357 feet
"Hail" Peak - 12904
Date Posted:  10/24/2012
Date Climbed:   10/20/2012
Author:  Furthermore
 Southern Gore Excursion   

Silverthorn Peak 13,357
Hail Peak 12,904

October 20, 2012
~13.9 Miles, ~5,200 Gain
TH: Gore Creek TH (2WD, 1.5-2 hours from Denver)

Crazy sunset on the drive in.

More crazy sunset.

Since I had to work at midnight on Saturday, we decided to get an early start which required camping near the trailhead. We assumed the Gore Creek Campground would be open but it wasn't so we slept at the trailhead. I'm not sure why anyone would want to camp at Gore Creek campground due to the close proximity of I-70. Every trucker and their Jake Brakes can be heard. I slept well, Al did not.

We woke up at 4:00 AM and started hiking at 4:30 AM up the Gore Creek Trail. The hike up the trail was a long and dark approach and just at daybreak, we reached the trail junction for Gore Lake. Near the Gore Lake junction, the first sign of snow appeared.

Working our way up the Gore Lake trail we had two options for approaching Siverthorn. A direct steep talus route to gain the east ridge above Gore Lake or follow a mellow route to gain the south slopes. We decided to climb the mellow route, departed the Gore Lake trail around ~11,000 and headed for the mellow south slopes that led to Silverthorn's south ridge.

First bit of snow at ~10,000 on the Gore Creek trail.

Neat view from the Gore Lake

First light on Silverthorn.

Looking up the mellow south slopes up Silverthorn.

Climbing up the mellow slopes on Silverthorn. (Photo by Al)

Al climbing up mellow slopes.

Out of treeline.

Staying on grass until ~12,500, made the travel enjoyable. Once at the saddle of "Zodiac View" and Silverthorn, the class 2 talus climb started. Fortunately, there wasn't much snow due to the south facing slopes. We worked our way up the steep talus slopes and bypassed Silverthorn's false summit to the south.

Nearing 12,500 on Silverthorn.

Al on the south ridge on Silverthorn.

Due to questionable rock quality, we stayed off the ridge crest and worked our way up a class 2 talus weaknesses on the south face of the summit massive. With a cool breeze, we arrived on the summit of Silverthorn at 9:40 AM. We returned down our convoluted route down the south face of the summit massive and bypassed the false summit to the north. Travel went a bit slower on the north slopes, as the rocks were covered in a light rim ice/snow.

Route up Silverthorn.

Me climbing up the south ridge on Silverthorn (Photo by Al)

Zodiac Spires.

Al working his way up Silverthorn.

Summit benchmark.

Al nearing the summit of Silverthorn.

Nearing the saddle between Silverthorn and its false summit.

Once back on the west ridge of Silverthorn, we descended to the Silverthorn-Hail saddle bypassing two towers on the south side of the ridge. The climb to the summit of Hail was class 2 but on very large talus blocks, some of which were questionable. We arrived on the summit of Hail at 11:05 AM and took a short break.

Hail Peak.

Al descending to the Silverthorn-Hail saddle.

Hail Peak.

Snow Peak from the summit of Hail.

Silverthorn from the summit of Hail.

Returning back to the Silverthorn-Hail saddle, we descended a steep loose talus gully directly below the south face of Hail. Near a small pond, we were able to find an old trail which led as back to the Gore Creek Lake trail. At times, this older trail was a bit challenging to follow due to the light snow cover. Once we reached the Gore Lake trail we made the long trek out and arrived back at our cars at 2:50 AM. No gaiters needed yet.

Small pond on the south side of Hail.

Steep talus gully off of Hail.

Small pond and Hail.

Grave near the Gore Creek-Gore Lake junction.

Grave near the Gore Creek-Gore Lake junction.

Route Map.

GPX by Al.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Comments or Questions
Nice report, and cool graves.
10/24/2012 20:20
I googled the names from the old graves and found this.. Thought it was pretty interesting. Anyways awesome report as always.. Can't wait to get into the Gores someday soon.

Eagle County, Colo

Contributed by JoAnn Potter,

The following is taken from a book called: The Vail Hiker, and Ski
Touring Guide by Mary Ellen Gilliland, Alpenrose Press, Second
Edition, revised 1996, pp. 6 & 7. America's streets were paved
with silver for two young Swedes, Daniel and Andrew Recen, who
emigrated to Colorado in 1876. Dan promptly discovered the
dazzling Queen of the West mine on Jacque Peak near Vail Pass.
Andrew struck silver at the adjoining Enterprise Lode. Soon the
brothers tarried with 1880's silver magnates such as H. A. W.
Tabor and celebrities such as songbird Jenny Lind. The Recens
hired private rail cars for bachelor parties and consumed
champagne and oysters with extravagant regularity. After the 1893
silver crash, the Recens found themselves almost penniless. They
hunted and trapped all through the Gores till their deaths in 1912
and 1917 (It is not clear here who died in which year). Their
graves lie near their longtime cabin site on Gore Creek (see map).
The brothers, who lived and died here, left a legacy in Colorado.
When Dan died, his nephew from Frisco transported the body up here
for burial. A fierce October blizzard struck enroute and the
nephew, after digging the grave, waded through drifts all the way
back to Frisco. Half-frozen and exhausted on arrival, he was cared
for at Frisco's Excelsior mine till the weather permitted his
return home.

RECEN, Andrew---Photograph
RECEN, Dan A.---Photograph

Map of the location of the grave site.---Map

Any additions or corrections, please contact JoAnn Potter / last updated 20 February 1998

I didn't do my homework.
10/24/2012 20:30
That's interesting stuff about the graves. Thanks for sharing that info.

10/25/2012 01:44
We (Papperson Duo & Terri H.) missed you by hours, and I do mean hours! We were on the summit of Silverthorne sometime around 1pm(ish)...almost the same route too!
Fun last day in the hills of CO for me for a while, since I found myself in Nebraska the next day.
I like the photo of Snow, nice job!

Oh yeah....were you in the silver xterra? We slept at the TH too. A pickup showed up early the next morning with a 14ers & a 13ers dot-com sticker as well.

Oh man.
10/25/2012 02:15
That's nuts. We heard you guys arrive. Did you see Al's tent? I parked sideways so nobody would see it.

no tent sighting
10/25/2012 02:33
That explains the odd parking job the night before, and why it was parked normal Saturday morning! Hah...that would have been fun to run into you guys. Or, more like see you guys run up the mountain.

I was wondering about that grave thing too, so thanks dehlrich101 for commenting with that info. I thought I would send Gore Galore a message to ask him if he knew.

I give piper credit...
10/25/2012 03:05
Not only was that a noisy place to sleep (I thought it was very noisy in my car), but it was also pretty damn cold for 8700 feet.

Somebody rolled in around 1 AM and then abruptly left. John Wayne Gacy? The I-70 traffic made it hard to hear people come and go. I wouldn't want to sleep there alone.

Good to see you two had a nice outing. The metal sign was marked âPaul 1965❠and Darin believed it was stamped and not carved (as in not carved by somebody who likes to put their initials on trees).

10/25/2012 17:08
The camping was not great is right (not that I would camp in a spot where you had to hide behind a truck or something). I am a light sleeper anyway. The trucks, besides jake brakes, kept hitting the bridge joints and it sounded like someone was hitting the Xterra with a shovel. You pulled in just 15 minutes after we called it a night.

That was interesting about the graves. I like that and the visit to the cemetery in Tincup I had earlier this year was also interesting.

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