Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Silver Star Mountain/Silver Star Creek

Spring ski into the Silver Star Creek basin.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Snow surface was hard and icy, which made skinning very difficult.  3 of 4 participants had ski crampons, which helped somewhat.  At one point we switched to crampons and carried skis but the hard crust didn’t really support body weight with just boots so we encountered significant postholing.  Switched back to skis.  After reaching the head of the creek basin we turned up the route to climber’s left.  The chute was icy and previous parties had opted to switch to crampons and carry skis.  Many of us were concerned about skiing the slope, due to the steepness and snow conditions.  Around 11:00 we decided to stop at the 5500 level to assess the conditions and make some decisions.  Decided that we didn’t want to proceed further up due to the snow conditions.  After about an hour the surface snow had softened somewhat, which made skiing more attainable.  Proceeded to ski down the standard route on skier’s right of Silver Star Creek through the trees.  Arrived back at the trailhead around 3:00pm.

General Activity Notes:

North Cascades Highway opened on 4/18 so participants did not have to drive via Wenatchee/Twisp.

Approach conditions:

Left the parking area around 5:40am.  Followed a track up the right side of Silver Star Creek directly from the parking area, on a track taken by some other skiers as well.  This route quickly became steep and we encountered numerous logs and other debris to cross.  Recommend the standard route up the left side of Silver Star Creek.

Time: 9h20m car to car.

Permits required?


Driving / parking notes:

Although there was ample parking space at the makeshift trailhead several cars parked parallel instead of head-in so all of the space was taken.  Additional parking available across and just up the highway.

Equipment notes: 

Carried and used skis, helmets, ski crampons, avy beacons.  Carried and did not use shovels, 2-30m ropes, pickets, ice axes.  Highly recommend ski crampons for this route at this time of year.

Required Skills:

Backcountry ski skills.  Route-finding, avy assessment.

Weather Notes: 

Sunny, glorious spring day.