SILVER PEAK (10,774') CLASS 2
Location: 3 miles ENE of Ebbetts Pass
Drive: Take Highway 4 to a wide, dirt area at a hair-pin turn with a message board "Noble Canyon Trailhead" 100 feet along the trail. This point is 1.4 miles west from Silver Creek Campground, or 3.9 miles east from Ebbetts Pass. Park on the wide shoulder. There is room for 4-5 cars.
Climb: Take this Nobel Canyon Trail south, contouring and dropping slightly, then crossing Nobel Creek. Cross several more small creeks on the left (east) side of the main creek. After about 2 miles, you will see the lower angled, forested ridge that leads left (east) up to the saddle between Highland and Silver Peaks. Head cross-country straight up the ridge, which leads to the Silver Peak-Highland Peak saddle at its elevation of about 10,000 feet. An intermittent use trail follows along this main ridge left (north) toward Silver Peak, and continues through talus slopes on the right (southeast) of the ridge. Work upward, past a small false summit, and then rock-hop a very short way to the top.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: See Raymond Peak, Winter Ski Ascent. There is prime avalanche hazard, and an associate of mine reported being caught here in a "snow slide."
TRIP STATS: Route A, 3,600 feet gain, 4-5 miles one way; winter ski ascent, starts at the Highway 4 gate, generally, from 5,760 feet elevation on the east side, with 7 miles extra one way to get to the Route A trailhead.
Notes: Both Silver and Highland Peaks can be done together, either using Route A to the saddle between them, or doing a car shuttle, starting from Ebbetts Pass using Highland Peak, Route A, traversing over to Silver Peak, and descending Silver Peak, Route A to the Noble Creek Trailhead. These are highly prominent peaks, with the north summit of Silver Peak seen from along U.S. 395 from Carson City to Minden, as the far, but distinct summit seen almost straight ahead. The fate of Noble Creek is in the hands of the USFS, with logging, grazing, or wilderness management as options.