Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Big Snagtooth/West Ridge

Not a speck of trail on this one!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • After crossing Early Winters Creek at the Silver Star crossing there is no trail on the approach to Big Snagtooth.  Snow encountered in the main basin beginning at 6800' and then dry once on the ridge.  Almost entirely scree between the basin and the summit block. 

Our group of five set out a bit after 5:00 from the Silver Star parking area and quickly made our way across Early Winters Creek after passing the Silver Star climbers registration at the bottom of the initial boulder/scree field.  From there it was continuous bushwhacking until the forest starts to clear at the beginning of the main basin around 6800'.

Once in the basin we made the decision to climb a snow finger "looker's" right in the basin and after removing crampons 2/3 of the way to the ridge crest, transitioned to crumbly 4th.  We gained the ridge just left of the smaller bump that delineates the end of the ridge just like the beta indicated.  From there it was Mt. St Helens type kitty litter to the summit block which is the blunt crag on the right of this image.


All members of the party made the final friction move free (i.e. no shoulders stands with this group!) with a belay from the rappel anchor.  IMG_3718 (3).JPGAfter the second and last rappel off the summit block we descended the ridge looking for the least bad descent route we could find.  The team decided to risk descending more kitty litter instead of downclimbing the crumbling 4th we had ascended which turned out to be the right move.  Once back in the basin we filtered water and began the long 'shwack back to the cars!