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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Morning Star Peak/South Ridge

Foggy, wet day made navigation challenging and Bushwhacking unpleasant

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Sunrise mine road open to TH.  Weather forecast was not correct so the rain and fog made for very wet travel from start to finish.

The abandoned trail prior to crossing the South Fork Stilaguamish river was easily found and in great shape.  Easily followed the trail through the forest and into the lower river basin.  Tracked up along the river until ultimately getting on the east side of the river at around 2700 ft.  Traveled past the house sized rock route at 3100 ft. as we could not see the route to the ramp or above in the fog.  Around 3200 ft. forced off the river due to a water fall and by-passed through brush and then back into the river bed, which was finally pleasant travel.  Found the steep gully at 3700 ft. Snow was in great shape exited at 4350 ft. on a class 3 ramp, but discovered we should have continued up the gully to its end where the snow ends at drainage from the slabs above (may not be an option when the snow melts?).  From there, ascended the snow free drainage and tree bands until we popped out on to snow covered slabs.  Traversed up and over to the crux "notch".  Snow in great shape to the "notch" and back down the other side to the southeast basin.  Able to traverse across to the key gulley which was steeper than expected.  Snow still in good shape, but getting icy in places.  Accessed the summit ridge on short section of rock and over to the other side which leads to a steep slippery heather gully up to the summit.   No views.  On the return, during the bushwhack by-pass of the water fall, we missed the access to river.  Decided to bushwhack to find anther access point which was a mistake, rather should have spent more time searching around for the access point we came up.  Ended up bushwhacking down through very thick brush for an hour until we could find another access point.  Once back on the river, easy navigation to the TH.  The fog and wet conditions made travel and navigation much slower than expected.  A shame as this is an extremely beautiful area - no calendar photo today.