Ascent of Silver Star Mountain on 2018-08-30

Climber: Eric Gilbertson

Date:Thursday, August 30, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Silver Star Mountain
    Elevation:8876 ft / 2705 m

Ascent Trip Report

Silver Star Mountain (8,876ft)

Eric Gilbertson (solo)

August 30, 2018, 8am-2pm

I had just finished climbing Forbidden Peak with Katie, and Wednesday morning we hiked out and drove back to Seattle. I rested a bit in town, sorted out gear, then repacked for more peakbagging. I left town after dinner and drove back up highway 20 to the pulloff for Silverstar just past Washington Pass.

I slept in the car that night, then got up at 7:30am and was hiking by 8am. I’d already climbed Silver Star a few years ago, skiing the Silver Star Creek route in the spring, and this time decided to follow more standard summer route through Burgundy Col. There’s no official trail to the col, but I’d read that there existed a pretty good climbers trail.

From the pulloff I descended on an obvious climbers trail, and signed in at a registration box in the woods. I then crossed Early Winters Creek on a good log and continued following the trail. The trail is in good shape and led me almost all the way to Burgundy Col before I lost it in a scree gully. I ascended the gully finding my own route, though, and soon reached the col. There were a few good bivy sites, and a big mountain goat hanging around.

From the col I descended steep scree and slabs to the talus below. I had to put on crampons briefly to cross an icy snow slope, but then continued scrambling on talus. I traversed around 7,800ft, scrambled up and over a small ridge, then reached the Silver Star Glacier. Despite it being very late in the season, it looked like there was a path up the glacier that avoided blue glacier ice and stayed on softer snow. My plan was to hug the right side of the glacier next to the rocks, which avoided the crevasses in the middle.

At the glacier I ditched my trail runners and put on the hardcore evo Nepal mountaineering boots. These would be
critical in case I needed to frontpoint up any steep snow. I had my whippet in case I needed to self arrest. I generally walked up easy snow slopes on the right side until I reached the bergschrund around 8,200ft. I found a snow bridge across, then front pointed up the steeper snow slope to the col just west of the peak.

At the col I ditched my crampons and made the short scramble to the summit. There were rappel anchors near the top, but the terrain didn’t feel steep or exposed enough to me to warrant a rope. I admired the view for a bit, then scrambled back down to my crampons. I carefully retraced my route down the glacier and back to Burgundy Col.

While descending from the col I met a group of a dozen climbers that it turned out were in a big guided group. They were planning to camp at the col and summit the next morning. Hopefully my tracks on the glacier gave them a good route to follow on their ascent.

I made it back to the car at 2pm for a 6-hour round trip, then drove back to Cascade Pass to get ready for my next objectives, Horshoe and Buckner Peaks.

Link to full trip report and pictures.
Summary Total Data

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