Silver Star Mountain/Silver Star Glacier

A steep climbers trail leads 4,400 feet up to Burgundy Col, then a rising climb on the glacier. Scramble to the summit. A fun, easy climb with views north into the Paysaten Wilderness. Climb to col can be grueling in the summer heat. Times: 2-4 hr trailhead to camp, 5-6 hr camp to summit.

getting there

Drive east on State Route 20 (North Cascades Highway) to Washington Pass. Continue to mile marker 166 near the sign pointing to Silver Star. Park here at pull-off about 4 miles east of Washing ton Pass.

APPROACH

Head down embankment and cross Early Winters Creek on logs. Ascend climber's trail on timbered rib left of Burgundy Creek, which drains the basin.  Easy bushwhacking if trail cannot be found. Camp in a bench around 6,400 ft near the creek or at Burgundy Col (7,800 ft). Water is available at both sites until late summer.

ASCENT ROUTE

Do not ascend the obvious gully leading directly to Burgundy Col, instead stay left and take trail leading up gully directly above camp to below the cliffs to the left of the col. Almost at the head of this gully, make an ascending traverse to the right, under the cliffs, over heather covered slabs into the col.

Descend 200 feet of steep snow on other side. Make a rising traverse south to subsidiary ridge, then continue rising on Silver Star Glacier to summit col. Careful route finding allows a scramble east to summit - look for the easy ramp about 40 feet below the summit. Otherwise you may encounter a short pitch of low 5th class climbing.

DESCENT ROUTE

Descend the climbing route.

TRIP PROFILE

SEGMENT TIME (HOURS) ELEVATION GAIN (FEET)
Trailhead to Camp 2-4 +2,600
Camp to Summit 5-6 +2,600
Summit to Camp 2-3
Camp to Trailhead 2

EQUIPMENT

Standard glacier equipment.

NOTES

  • Although this can be done as a long, one-day climb, the long drive and beautiful view of the Liberty Bell massif makes a two-day climb more enjoyable.
  • Pickets may be useful to protect steep exposed snow.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Basic Alpine Climb, Strenuous 1, Technical 2
  • Elevation Gain: 5,200 ft
  • 8,876 ft
Map
  • USGS Silver Star Mtn
  • Green Trails Washington Pass No. 50
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
Activities

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