When a group of hikers makes their way towards your camp across a sketchy talus slope in twilight, you know something is gonna happen. When the group appears wearing wigs, pumping cheesy techno music, and it’s your friends from Kamloops there to surprise you, you know it’s gonna be a good weekend…
So yeah, that happened, and it was awesome - but it was especially awesome because it happened at Hidden (Pushki) Lake. Alot of winter was spent reading Simonc's excellent trip reports from this area, so we were stoked to get in there for a 4-day trip on August 9-12, 2018.
Truckin', got my chips cashed in:
Van Horlick FSR to 6km (2wd, a few waterbars). Take the spur up - we drove to 1.4 km (~1450 m) in a Chevy Tracker, then the waterbars got burly, so we parked. HC 4WD drivable to end. We hiked 3+ km on a dusty road to the trailhead.
Just Keep trucking on:
Well-flagged trail goes through tall tall cow parsnip, it gets a bit marshy (wasp nest here), then gains elevation to the lake. Took us about an hour from the last clearcut.
There is a great camping spot at the outlet of the lake with room for 2-3 tents. We found a good cooking spot on a high point overlooking the valley, and a great bear hang tree if you explore over near the talus field under Tandem Peak. Then: scotch + alpenglow = Y.E.S.
Next day, we ramble up to the expansive meadows under the ridge leading to Silent Hub NW3. So many "hippies on a stick" it looks like Woodstock up there. Paintbrush too.
We head up steep talus slopes to the Silent Hub col, scoping out Simonc's green ramp that he used to descend.
Col out of picture to the left
At the col, my partner mellows with the clouds to take pictures, and I head up the ridge towards the summit. On the way: one false summit, all blocky talus, then the final push to the top of Silent Hub. Along the way, there's a few scramble bits, all easy, and then the summit, which is a spacious and peaceful place. From there, I could see the plumes of smoke from the Darcy fire in the distance.
No summit shots as Laura was operating the col-camera, but here's some nice views of the area:
Backside of Silent Hub
Looking Duffey Lake way - Windfall Peak area?
Ridge to Silent Hub false summit
Back through the meadows, we hightail it to the lake to swim, and yes! The water is warm enough to stay in, and the bugs are minimal (the exact opposite of Valentine Lake 2 weeks previous).
Then, the shadowy talus people wearing wigs emerge from the twilight, and we spend the evening laughing, catching up, and watching meteors shower the sky
Bear hang pic of the year contender?
The next morning, we set up tarp city as they were forecasting tons of rain that evening. At this point, the group splits, with Theo (18 month old) and the ladies going a meadow-ramblin'
, and us doods head up towards Tandem Peak directly from camp. Up steep hardscrabble and scree, Matt T spies a mountain goat in the gully above:
Goat pics: Matt T
Steep slope beneath Tandem, Silent Hub route seen behind
I stop halfway up the slope, while Matt T and Andrew push on, finding an alternate route that goes to the summit Tandem Peak. Nice!
We all gather back at camp to drink coffee, and watch the epic clouds form over the Joffre group. Tarp city here we come!
The rains subside after coming down heavy overnight, but the road isn't washed out on our way down, and we are all smiles, lounging in the now-dry clearcut before we descend to Van Horlick FSR, and the smoky world below.
~ thanks for reading, matthew