May 16-17, 2014

Silver Star Mountain (8876’)

——————– Trip Report Summary ——————–

Region: Northeastern Cascades

Starting Point: Silver Star Creek Pullout (Highway 20)

Way Points: Silver Star Creek & Silver Star Bench (hike & snowshoe hike)

Campsite: Silver Star Bench

Summit: Silver Star Mountain (climb via Silver Star Glacier—West Face)

Approximate Total Stats: 10 miles traveled; 5900 feet gained and lost.

——————– Full Trip Report ——————–

Last weekend, Eileen and I climbed Silver Star Mountain with Lisa, Kevin L, Steve, Deb, and Fay.

Day 1 – Highway 20 to Silver Star Bench Camp:

We approached via Silver Star Creek off Highway 20 and encountered snow very quickly. Higher up, the afternoon snow was deep and mushy, prompting us to use snowshoes.

Approaching Head Of Silver Star Creek

Our campsite was on a nice larch bench at 6500 feet (5.1 hours + 3350 feet from car), directly below Burgundy Col.

Wine Spires and Aries Above Camp

Day 2 – Summit Climb & Exit:

In the morning, the snow crusted over, so we used crampons to ascend the Silver Star Glacier…or what’s left of it. The largely crevasse-free glacier is now a skiers’ paradise; there were ski tracks everywhere.

Climbing Silver Star Glacier

A few pickets and flukes came in handy on the final snowfield, which was steep, rock-hard snow.

Starting Up Summit Snowfield

Since this was Eileen’s 50th birthday trip, she led the Class 4 final rock pitch.

Climbing Summit Snowfield

At the summit (4.3 hours + 2500 feet from camp), high fog obscured our view of the distant peaks, but there were some closer peaks showing through.

Eileen Belaying On Silver Star Summit

North Gardner Mountain from the summit of Silver Star Mountain

We were back in camp around midday (2.6 hours from summit), then packed up and retraced our up-route down to the cars (2.8 hours from camp).  Overall, it was an excellent route on a marvelous mountain.

 

——————– Photo Gallery (click to enlarge) ——————–