Silver Peak / Annette Lake

Sunday, June 29, 2002: The boys and I headed up a local trail just south of Snoqualmie Pass.  The Annette Lake trail...and an intention to climb Silver Peak.  We got an early start.  We were at the 1900 FASL trailhead at 5:30 AM.  Despite the early hour, 2 other hikers arrived just before us and started hiking up the trail just after us.  Other than those 2, we didn't see anyone else the entire way up to the lake.

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PICT0762: Around 7:15 AM we arrived at the lake...approximately 3600 FASL.  It was already rather warm and muggy.  The boys went for a much anticipated swim.

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PICT0764: Buddy

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PICT0765: A peak, Lake Annette, and Harley.

We headed up endless slopes of very steep scree/loose rock.  Early on, I saw two trail markers....despite some scouting, I failed to find other markers and we officially started "bushwacking" up the mountain.  Eventually we made it to a ridge below Silver Peak at about 5000 FASL (Silver Peak is at about 5600 FASL).  We stopped for a short break on the ridge.  Within a couple of minutes, we saw lightning strike near the top of Silver Peak several times.  The time between lightning flash and the shattering thunder clash was about 2 seconds, so we knew the lightning was a little closer than 1/2 mile away.  We took a vote and it was decided we should abort the summit attempt and get the heck out of dodge (The vote was 2 to 1...Buddy and Harley especially seemed adamant about not climbing towards the lightning).

The descent back to the lake was also tough.  I twisted my ankle and it still hurts 2 days later.

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PICT0766: Part way down, we took a rest.  We didn't go down the same way we went up (big mistake).  The rock field ended in steep slopes covered in extremely thick vegetation (including sticker bushes in some places).  The vegetation was so thick I could only see two feet in every direction.  Several times I heard whimpering dogs and had to follow the sounds of the whimpers in order to rescue the dogs.  With their short legs they had a very tough time maneuvering through the extremely thick tangle of branches.

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PICT0767: Looking down towards Annette Lake from the same rest stop.

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PICT0768: A dark cloud west of the lake.

Fortunately we made it back to the parking lot just before the skies opened up and the rain poured.