Silo Mountain Highs and Lows / 賽洛山中起起落落

Hello, weekend! We had a sunny outing last weekend. But the midweek snowfall meant that we’d see more of it in the mountains. So we turned to what some refer to as a dumpster dive. A place like Silo Mountain was perfect for avoiding the mass.

Silo Mountain
Silo Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Which was better? To break trail hours on end through logging territory, so we could truly enjoy solitude? Or, follow a well-beaten path half the distance, and be on a popular and noisy summit? But like Lyman Hill, the 14-mile round-trip road walk was tough to swallow.

Silo Mountain at a Glance

Access: Gilligan Creek Road
Round Trip: 13.8 miles
Elevation Range: 120′-4150′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

The Road Walk to Silo Mountain

There was still snow on the road. So it kept me from driving the last 500′ to the gate. I could have put on snowshoes from the getgo. But I waited until we came up to the first clearing with logging debris. Ample snow made it possible to cut the first long switchback. Then we got our first sighting of Mount Baker.

We went back on the road at 1100′. Then we had no other shortcutting options but to stay on the roadway. In part because of the dense vegetation between switchbacks. It just wasn’t worth the time and effort to fight through. At the 1800′ gravel pit, we tried cutting uphill to the minor ridge. But we gave up after the struggling through soft snow.

Taking the shortcut
Taking the shortcut

See more trip photos here.

The Never-Ending Journey

We continued on the road for a while. Soon, it became clear that the snow wasn’t going to be any firmer. But we still have a ways to go. So we made another shortcut attempt at 2200′. This time made it up on the minor ridgeline! Hooray! Perhaps we should have gone to Big Cultus Mountain instead. It looked so much closer.

The unmarked road on the ridge had less snow. But there was still plenty of it to send our thighs and paws into overdrive. The mile between Point 3302 and Haystack Mountain’s south saddle took the longest. The last mile up to the summit had the steepest snow out of the entire seven-mile stretch. So we cut the first switchback up through the semi-open forest.

Haystack Moutain from the road
Haystack Moutain from the road

See more trip photos here.

In Search of the Summit

At one point, we went back into the forest. Then we moved through shallow snow for a short while. But when the vegetation became dense again. So it wasn’t worth the extra effort. Fighting our way through branches and stepping through the snow wasn’t better than plowing the road.

We came to the base of Silo Mountain at last. Then it was only another 200′ gain to go up to the top. But there was a considerable amount of snow and trees covering the steep west slopes. So it wasn’t conducive to finding a good entry. Instead, we went on another unmarked road around the south. Then we went into the forest there.

Mount Baker and friends
Mount Baker and friends

See more trip photos here.

Silo Mountain Summit Plus Outro

It was amazing the amount of fresh snow we had. But, surprise! It was another sub 5000′ high point with spotty views. But it just so happened that the only small opening faced the northeast. It’s the side with Twin Sisters Mountains, Mount Baker, and Mount Shuksan. We stayed long enough to rest our limbs before going back down.

The walk-up was painfully slow. But we made use of every one of our tracks to go back down to the car.

Leaving Silo Mountain
Leaving Silo Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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