Ascent of Silver Star Mountain on 2011-06-21

Climber: Erick Reeve

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Silver Star Mountain
    Elevation:8876 ft / 2705 m

Ascent Trip Report

What a day! Slept (sort of) in the car at Washington Pass overlook until 3:45 AM, then ate breakfast and went to the climber's trail heading up to Burgundy Col. Started the climb at 5:15 AM. Found a log to cross Early Winters Creek. Talked to 2 rock climbers on the way up to the basin below Burgundy Col. From there I realized I needed my crampons after all (I heard that in June they weren't needed)--the slope up to the Col is very steep, and the sun hadn't hit the snow yet so it was like solid ice! Normally this steep slope wouldn't have had snow on the fist day of summer, but this was an unusual winter/spring. So I chipped out toeholds with my ice axe and very slowly made my way to the rocky area where I could get up to Burgundy Col. That was grueling, and a bit scary for me. Once at the col, the sun was shining on the other side, so the snow on Silver Star Glacier was soft and slippery (with ice in the previous climbers' footprints), and I carefully worked my way across and over towards Silver Star Mountain. Made it up by 2 PM--nearly 9 hours climbing. The summit block area was risky due to the icy snow and rocks everywhere, but with the ice axe I eventually made it up and back down without any real mishaps. Glissaded down part of the glacier and hiked all the long way back to Hwy 20 using the Silver Star Creek route, which was tedious and full of snow in the forest down to about 4200 feet. Hitchhiked back up to my car at the other trail.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4876 ft / 1486 m
    Elevation Loss:5626 ft / 1715 m
    Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
60° on glacier, nice with sun
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4876 ft / 1486 m
    Extra Loss:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:Climber's trail, Burgundy Col, Silver Star Glacier
    Trailhead:Hwy 20, W of Burgundy Col  4250 ft / 1295 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:5376 ft / 1639 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route:Silver Star Creek
    Trailhead:Hwy 20, Silver Star Creek  3500 ft / 1066 m

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