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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - Silver Star Mountain/Silver Star Glacier

One day spring trip attempt of Silver Star Mountain via Silver Star Glacier/Burgundy Col. Team turned around due to time.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Previous parties had made some good steps up to the Silver Star/West Peak Col.  Snow was soft but we did not use snowshoes due to the good steps we followed.  We hit our turn-around time at the col.  The trip leader elected to turn the team around, rather than continue on and prompt a headlamp descent. Descended the climbing route, except we took the standard route through Burgundy Col.  Returned to cars after dark.

    Time: 14h15m car to car. 

Start Location:  Highway 20, MP 166
End Location:  Highway 20, MP 166

General Activity Notes:
North Cascades Highway (20) was just opened on Friday, 5/11. Some participants car camped at the trail head, some camped at Lone Fir CG, and some drove to the trailhead in the morning. 

Approach conditions:
Route was snow covered from the highway.  We found a fairly good log to cross Early Winters Creek, but the bark was gone so somewhat slick.  We mostly followed the climbers trail toward Burgundy Col, finding it occasionally cleared of snow.  At around 7400ft we continued up and left toward Burgundy Col, instead of veering correctly to the right and up the main gully toward the Col.  We ended up doing some hands and feet scrambling up and to the left, forced further left due to terrain features.  We followed a sandy gully to the far left side of Burgundy Col.  There was a short drop off down to the Silver Star Glacier, and a large rock feature between us and the far right (correct) side of Burgundy Col.  We elected to rappel over the short drop off and downclimb over to the proper route below Burgundy Col. 

Permits required?

Driving / parking notes:
Plenty of parking available at the turn-out along Highway 20.

Equipment notes: 
Carried and used ice axe and crampons. Carried 1-30m and 1-60 ropes and used the 30m rope for the short rappel at Burgundy Col. Carried but did not use snowshoes or pickets.

Required Skills:
Snow climbing and rappel skills.

Weather Notes: 
Mostly sunny. Breezy at Burgundy Col.