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Trip Report    

Silver Star Mountain/Silver Star Glacier

From Stephen Sugiyama

Silver Star Mountain/Silver Star Glacier
June 7-8, 2014

The party consisted of the climb leader, 3 rope leads, and 13 Basic students.

Day 1 - We started from the pull-out on Hwy 20 four miles east of Washington Pass at 11:00 a.m. There was a lot of water in Early Winters Creek and we crossed using a large log about 30 yards upstream of the trail. We camped on snow at the large flat bench at 6200 ft.

Day 2 - We started at 5:00 a.m. with crampons and ice axes on firm snow that became mixed with sections of exposed rock near Burgundy Col. We fixed a rope in the steep section after the col for either a rappel or a hand line. At the start of the traverse we roped up for the Silver Star glacier. This probably wasn't necessary but was good practice.

The summit block was snow-free. The first rope teams climbed in crampons, which made the short scramble more difficult than necessary. Some careful route finding led us up the snow to the left, traverse across rock to the right, around a flake, and then up and to the left to the top. There were mostly clear skies which made for great views in all directions.

Although some people down-climbed the summit block, most chose to rappel. There was a large block with two fresh slings and a rap ring in place. A 40 m rope dropped us down to just above the snow. Once we got down to the saddle between Silver Star Mountain and the West Peak we took off crampons and plunge-stepped/glissaded down the slope until we traversed back to below Burgundy Col. The entire return trip was unroped and uneventful. We were back at the cars around 4:00 p.m.

Gear: Crampons, ice axes, helmets, ropes. We carried but didn't use a picket and some nuts; we slung a boulder to anchor the hand line at Burgundy Col.