April 16, 2001, Silver Star Mountain
WA Cascades East Slopes North
We got a head start on Sunday (15 April) - which was a mostly clear day, and mild. Many details are the same as the previous Silver Star report from ca. the 15th of April. Snow at the bottom of the route is melting fast! Many people are walking, both up and down, which makes skiing the trail that much more difficult. Skiing the lower part of the rout on the way down was a bit messy, but all part of the fun. We left the car ca. 5pm and hiked to the swamp, where we bivied for the night. There was no wind where we were and the temps. were mild (low ca. mid to upper 20's). Monday brought high clouds, but still little wind down low. The route up is well beaten in and easy to follow. We also found pretty good windpack on the lower parts of the glacier. A quick snow pit suggested pretty good bonding between the wind slabs and lower layers, but the wind slab was still a concern. This was also variable -- some parts were very firm, some were soft. The upper portions of the route had less wind-packed snow, and the ski down these parts was AWESOME! The last pitch before the saddle was wind packed on one side, but sheltered on the other. We saw no cracks, no whoomping, and we triggered nothing. As a side note -- back at the swamp we watched and heard a series of ca. 8 wet slides come down the W-facing slopes of the upper valley - between 2pm and 2:20pm. We were no where near these, but they remind us of the very predictable nature of wet slides in the spring. It was a warm day (ca. 50-60's F). If you're thinking about Silver Start -- get up there while the getting's still good!!!