Silver Star Mountain by Big Snagtooth via Early Winters Creek / 銀星山

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Silver Star Mountain by Big Snagtooth and Silver Moon towers over Early Winters Creek. It ranks #24 on Bulger List and #27 on Washington State Top 100 Peaks. Meanwhile, North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) offers direct access.

Silver Star Mountain's gully system
Silver Star Mountain’s gully system

See more trip photos here.

Silver Star Mountain at a Glance

Access: Highway 20 MP 166
Round Trip: 6.2 miles
Elevation Range: 4040′-8876′
Gear: helmet
GPS Trackavailable
Dog-Friendly: no

Early Winters Creek

For the trip, I recruited two friends from Seattle Mountaineers. The climber’s trail started right off the highway before Cutthroat Creek. Since we were directly below the west of the summit, we could see the entire route.

But first, we needed to drop altitude to Early Winters Creek. Then we scrambled up the steep slopes through brush and down trees. The dense forest required good route-finding skills, at least through the lower part.

En route to Early Winters Creek
En route to Early Winters Creek

See more trip photos here.

Climbing the West Ridge Route

We crossed Burgundy Creek before staying on the south side of the water. Then we ascended the ridge off the southwest buttresses. Then we reached the 8000′ col adorned with a marker and knew we were still on track.

From the cairn, we followed cairns and dropped onto the south slopes. Then we made a rising traverse while moving northeast toward the summit. We first aimed for the “complex” gully system noted in reports.

East view from the 8000' col
East view from the 8000′ col

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Silver Star Mountain Summit

Soon, we stood beneath the gullies interweaving impressive rock features. At this point, we weren’t sure if the top was visible or still behind the buttresses. But if anything, we knew it was somewhere straight overhead.

We picked the leftmost gully with access to the notch between Silver Star Mountain’s two summits. From there, we scrambled east through more choss and boulders to the top. But it was a cloudy day without much to see.

Panorama from Silver Star Mountain
Panorama from Silver Star Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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