Highland Peak Alpine County

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Vaca Russ
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Highland Peak Alpine County

Post by Vaca Russ » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:42 am

Last Saturday, July 29 I attempted to summit both Highland and Silver Peaks in Alpine County just south of Ebbett’s Pass.
I successfully summited Highland but turned around after seeing Silver peak and realizing I did not have enough time to bag both peaks that day.

I began the climb using the standard route described by Pete Yamagata, Bob Burd and our own Cefire (Andrew).
Hike the PCT south to Noble Lake and gain the saddle between Peak 10824 and Peak 9741.
This is taken from the above the tarn above Noble Lake.
This is a pretty straight forward hike until you start climbing the loose gravel slog up the slope to the saddle. Once on top of the saddle you can follow a very faint use trail (more like a game trail) along the ridge. There is more loose gravel that quickly turns to class 2 rock climbing.
Looking south into the heart of the Carson Iceberg Wilderness. Bull Lake is in center frame.
The true nature of this climb is revealed to you once you reach the false summit. That is Highland Peak with the two Silver Peaks in the distance.
At this point I realized I was overly ambitious by thinking I could bag both peaks and make it home that night. I had an issue with my phone and couldn’t tell those waiting for me that I changed my plans. (On a side note I am looking into a purchase of an InReach.)

The ridge hopping was a lot of tedious, but fun class 2 climbing.
I finally gained the summit and found the register.
It would take another over 4 miles with over 2000 feet of up and down class 2 ridge hopping to get to Silver and back. Silver will need to wait for another day.

This is a shot from Highland looking back at the false summit 10824. That is some very tiring climbing. If you want to climb some very loose talus go here. Imagine stepping on talus rocks weighing between 2 to 10 times your own weight and 80 % of the rocks move under foot!
“I’ll be back!”

Thanks for reading my post.

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Re: Highland Peak Alpine County

Post by cefire » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:46 pm

Nice pictures! =D>

'Tiring' is an apt word to describe the route. Even though I knew it was coming and had tried to mentally prepare for it, the view of the saddle between Silver SW and NE summits was still quite demoralizing :confused:

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Re: Highland Peak Alpine County

Post by Shawn » Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:54 pm

Hey Russ,

Great trip report and photos. I'm not at all familiar with that area so I also too a look at the Summit Post page for reference. Looks like a great day out....and a lot or exercise. I've seen Pete Yamagata signature in a few summit registers and of course as I think you had said, Bob Burd is not of this world. :)

Thanks for posting it up!


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Re: Highland Peak Alpine County

Post by giantbrookie » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:00 pm

I very much like Highland Peak. It and Silver stand out on the skyline for a very long distance. My own experience on Highland was bit mixed. I recall climbing it in the mid or late 70's and I made the poor decision of pushing on to the summit in a pretty nasty thunderstorm. When I reached the summit I tried to find the register but was distracted by this buzzing sound which I thought was coming from some radio repeater or something. In a few seconds, I realized it my ice axe was buzzing and I freaked out and flew off the summit. It was a long day, for it was an up-and-back dayhike from the Bay Area.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Highland Peak Alpine County

Post by mokelumnekid » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:26 pm

I've been up there coming from both the west as you describe, but also as part of a pleasant over-nighter coming in from the east up Dixon Ck. which itself is quite lovely IF you can find the hidden access trail ;-)

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