Boulder Basin Peak-Silver Peak-Lorenzo Traverse by Derek Percoski

I linked Boulder Basin Peak, Silver Peak and Lorenzo Peak together starting from and returned to Boulder City. It is an exciting route. The east ridges of Silver and Lorenzo involved sustained scrambling and some route finding. Upper 3rd/Lower 4th Class. It seems a common theme that any one of the Boulders is very easy to climb, but linking them together tends to be quite tricky. These traverses weren’t too bad- I’d categorized them as ‘doable’ but not necessarily recommended routes.

Derek’s traverse route. The red line shows the bypass followed on the return.

Derek’s traverse route. The red line shows the bypass followed on the return.

Boulder City Access, [(A)(8) page 241]

A few years ago I saw a beefy stock pickup truck or two at Boulder City, but my recommendation is that a 4×4 owner should not show up with the intention of driving all the way. ~8900′ is a good stopping point, and from there it’s a short hike to the crux to see if you want to attempt it. The crux can be described as an 18″ shelf during the steepiest and rougest part of the road. If you’re up there on a summer weekend and just drive until you get stuck, you might cause a traffic jam. I’ll say it’s for ATVs, modified off-road vehicles, and possibly 4x4s with extra high clearance.

Hiking toward the start of the traverse. Derek Percoski Photo

Hiking toward the start of the traverse. Derek Percoski Photo

Traverse Route Notes

The ascent up Boulder Basin Peak’s northeast rib was a Class 3. I started from the 9800′ spring (the highest spring shown on the map).

Boulder Basin Peak

The northeast rib of Boulder Basin Peak. Solid rock extends all the way down to the 9800′ spring. By Boulders’ standards, it’s a quality Class 3 route. Derek Percoski Photo

Looking at the east ridge of Silver Peak from 10,960+. Derek Percoski Photo

Looking at the east ridge of Silver Peak from 10,960+. Derek Percoski Photo

Going up and over the next bump (10,960+) is Class 3.

Taken on the south side of Silver Peak's east ridge, looking back at 10,960+. Boulder Basin Peak is out of view to the right. Derek Percoski Photo

Taken on the south side of Silver Peak’s east ridge, looking back at
10,960+. Boulder Basin Peak is out of view to the right. Derek Percoski Photo

The east ridge of Silver Peak is very jagged. This forced me to start traversing on the south side of the ridge. Due to the ragged terrain it is difficult to see the route above you, so a GPS app/device is very handy to avoid gaining the ridge too soon. Eventually you will have to make some exposed scrambling moves as you head straight up toward the summit.

Lorenzo Peak from Silver Peak. Derek Percoski Photo

Lorenzo Peak from Silver Peak. The east ridge is on the right side of the photo. Derek Percoski Photo

The east ridge of Lorenzo Peak is similar to the route up Silver Peak, with towers that need to be avoided on the south side. Fortunately the rock here is more solid. After skirting the towers you can regain the ridge (I believe this is ~10,700′) and enjoy a fun knife-edge scramble to the summit. I don’t want to declare a rating for this route because there are alternative ways one could try. However, anyone attempting the traverse from Silver Peak to Lorenzo should be prepared to make some Class 4 moves.

From Lorenzo summit, looking back at Silver (on the right). Derek Percoski Photo

From Lorenzo summit, looking back at Silver (on the right). Derek Percoski Photo

On the return trip I dropped off the north side of Silver Peak’s west
ridge, as shown on the map. The descent followed a loose gully with variable scree-skiing. The basin I crossed is one giant boulder field, but this
shortcut is well worth it as it eliminates most of the time-consuming ridge
scrambling. Exiting the basin only requires 200′ of ascending. It’s steep
Class 2 in and out.

Showing the terrain in the "shortcut" basin north of Silver Peak. Derek Percoski Photo

Showing the terrain in the “shortcut” basin north of Silver Peak. Derek Percoski Photo

Another photo of the terrain in the "shortcut" basin north of Silver Peak. Derek Percoski Photo

Another photo of the terrain in the “shortcut” basin north of Silver Peak. Derek Percoski Photo

I parked at 8900′ and the route took me 7.5 hours. I move faster than most.