Elevation Gain: 1,295m
Total Time: 6 hours 46 minutes
Date: February 16th, 2023
I saw Silverdaisy Mountain for the first time while making an ascent of Mount Brice with Matt, Steven, Elise and Chris back in early January. Elise and I had actually been planning to do a ski ascent of it, but changed our plans to Mount Brice in the previous days. The summit is quite tame with a protected ridge line and and open trees lower down. However, to reach it requires the same 10km of logging road that Mount Brice did. Those factors made me think it’d be the perfect ski ascent as one can bypass that entire boring road descent with a fun ski ride down instead. There is also another route, from the Silver-Skagit FSR that was more common in prior years, however that road has been out since the 2021 floods.
About a month after being in the area Andrea and I were floating around ski ideas for the week and I immediately jumped on to Silverdaisy. The avi forecast in other areas was looking suboptimal anyhow, so might as well pull the trigger on this one. Andrea was keen and so we made the plan to drive out mid-week and enjoy one of the last few week day ascents before I started my new job.
On Thursday we pulled up to the familiar trail head for around 9:40am and started the long plod up the Smitheram Creek Road. There’s not much to speak of on this section as it’s just a 10km auto-pilot type of ascent. At around 1:30PM things got more interesting as we forked off onto a minor spur road towards the Claimstake-Silverdaisy col. There was a previously broken trail from earlier in the morning, so we just followed that until the top of the col and then it was untouched snow up the ridgeline towards Silverdaisy.
We more or less followed the buried summer trail route up the Silverdaisy ridgeline, but had to cut a little early underneath the ridge line to avoid cornices. Up and through the forest we found tame terrain and straightforward skinning. At around 1870m we popped out onto a flat meadow area and had a better view of the summit ahead. This section had a small dip that would necessitate a brief walk up on the descent, but we’d deal with that later.
From the meadow it was another kilometer of nice ridge line terrain before we reached the summit. The views were partially obscured by krummholz, but we had a wide open vantage looking North. The wind was pretty stiff up top so we took our summit shots and skiied down to a more protected area. Here we had some lunch and then prepared for the nice 11ish km ski run ahead of us.
Andrea lead the way carving some turns with Eastpoint Peak and Hozomeen offering some “I can’t believe we’re here” kind of backdrops. I followed suit and we leap frogged our way back down to the service road. Once on the road we skiied at will all the way back to the car; pausing every once in awhile to keep eyes on each other. Our return from the summit was only 45 minutes or so. Not a bad way to dispatch with 11km of descent!! I remembered how badly I wish I had skis on return from Mount Brice (the road section at least) and now to get to use them was a real treat.