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Silver Star

WA Cascades East Slopes North
Posted by SnowStomper on 5/15/23 9:36pm

Silver Star Mountain, Splitboard

Saturday, May 13th, 2023

Starting elevation 3450 feet

5,170 feet of elevation gain to Saddle, elevation 8630 feet.

9.3 miles Round Trip.

Weather: Sunny, Warm to hot. At Trail Head: Low 45F High 72F. Summit Elevation 8875 feet: High 45F, Freezing Level 12,000 feet

3:15am: we started hiking up with Skies on our packs. Two years earlier there was a massive fire here, we hiked around burned fallen trees under headlamps following a thready trail.

At around 5,000 feet of elevation there was enough consistent snow for us to start skinning up. From here the slope angle is not much for the next mile.\\

At around 5,400 feet elevation we would start up the next steeper slope angle. Toby and I debated going left up the steeper section or right through Slide Alder and up moderate slope angle. The Slide Alder was partially buried by the snow and starting to pop through as the snow receded. We decided to go right. Going up through the Slide Alder was not too bad. Go down through it will be another story.

Around 7:30am, we reached the top of the bench, where we traversed to the left. As we traversed, I noticed how much the glaciers had melted out.

Around 9:00am, we reached the last moraine leading to the saddle west of Silver Star’s summit. We saw a couple of other teams come up as we reached the moraine. They took the left route up the steep side. As we merged onto the skin track behind the 2nd group of 3, we asked them how the route up was. They said it was steep and rocky. Toby and I felt like we chose wisely on our route selection.

11:00am: we reached the saddle. This was as far as we planned to go. There were enough skiers and splitboarders to give the place a cool vibe, but not too crowded.

11:45am, we started skiing down. The ride down the moraine was nice.

We tried to stay high as we exited the moraine. We had to traverse to the slope we came up. The snow was mushy. I eventually got my trekking pole and whippet out to pull myself across.

The next slope was nice, until we got into the Slide Alder. The ride through the Slide Alder was a little rough.

We stopped and took a break. After our break, we got on our skins and started getting ready. I tried to clip my boot into my left binding, when I noticed the pins on my   Spark R & D Tech Toes touring bindings were gone. I looked around where we stopped, but they could have been lost anywhere between here and the saddle. I found that unacceptable, especially since these bindings were only 2 years old.

Toby had 3 zip ties and we tried to rig it to keep my boot into my binding. It was a great idea and we felt good about our ingenuity to fix my binding issue. Unfortunately, the zip ties kept breaking. We tried different ways of rigging my boot into my binding without success. I ended up booting it try not to post hole through the sketchy terrain of fallen trees and boulders under thin wet snow. At one point I punched through the snow and broke my trekking pole. I was relieved to be hiking down on rock and dirt even though it made my feet hurt hiking in ski boots.

4:00pm: we were back at the parking lot. Toby and I celebrated with a couple beers. It was a great day.


Elevation 5000 feet

Skin up next slope just past Slide Alder Elevation 6000 - 6,500 feet.

East Moraine

Near the Saddle

Back in the Slide Alder.


The Skin Up


Skinning at about 5,000 feet.

Heading to east moraine.


Elevation about 6,700 feet.

The Skin up.


My ski partner.

The Skin up


Not far from the saddle

Slide Alder


Skiing through slide alder.

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2023-05-16 04:36:20