Morning Star Peak by Sperry Peak / 靠史貝利峯的晨星峯

Last week, my friend Anne and I spent hours digging out my car in the snow. Then we changed our plan and went up to Mount Sawyer. For Morning Star Peak, Dave and I used descriptions from nwhikers.net and summitpost.org.

Del Campo Peak at head of South Fork Stillguamish River Valley
Morning Star Peak above the notch

See more trip photos here.

Morning Star Peak at a Glance

Access: Sunrise Mine Trailhead
Round Trip: 5.4 miles
Elevation Range: 2320′-6020′
GPS Track: available
Gear: helmet, ice ax, crampons, microspikes
Dog-Friendly: no

Stillaguamish River Basin

This trip was my second time in the South Fork Stillaguamish River Basin. But not much has changed in three years. There are lots of brush and rock debris here. So other than peak baggers, the area doesn’t see many visitors.

We located the hidden trail right before crossing the Stillaguamish River. Then we started going southbound. But we only hiked several hundred feet on the path before the slide alder appeared.

South Fork Stillaguamish River Basin
South Fork Stillaguamish River Basin

See more trip photos here.

The Brushy Terrain

Slide alder had taken over the head of the basin. So the trail became harder to follow. But we continued our fight through the overgrowth for several hundred feet more. Then we went through another section of the alder.

By then, the trail had disappeared entirely. But we now had an open view of the terrain. So it was easier to plan our route. Towering above the basin was the impressive north face of Del Campo Peak.

The brushy terrain
The brushy terrain

See more trip photos here.

The Slab Wall

Soon, we saw the giant boulder landmark. Then we made our way up to the ramp alongside the continuous slab wall. Here we found more slide alder and thickets. So it took even more time to navigate our way.

Slowly, we made our way up to the knob on the ridge. The feature marked the end of the long ramp. Later snow appeared at 4000’. There we saw days-old boot tracks going in the same direction.

The slab wall
The slab wall

See more trip photos here.

The Access Notch

There were six inches of new snow. It looked a day or two old. Then the closer we were to the notch, the more ice there was under the fresh powder. So we could have put on crampons here to keep from sliding. The boot trails ended on the gap.

Snow conditions west of the notch were much better. That area had also been in the sun for several hours. So it wasn’t as icy. The gully across the way looked steep from here. Other reports had mentioned it as well.

Seeing the steep gully from the notch
Seeing the steep gully from the notch

See more trip photos here.

The Final Stretch on Morning Star Peak

Shortly, we made our way over to the bottom of the gully. The terrain was steep, as I saw from the notch earlier. So I looked at the dry rocks to the right. Then I decided to climb up through them instead. Later I met Dave at the bottom of the summit.

The west slopes were still icy. So with microspikes, I climbed up through rocks and brush whenever possible. That way, I avoided most of the ice. Dave put on crampons to gain better footing. Then snow quality improved just below the top.

Morning Star Peak southeast view
Morning Star Peak southeast view

See more trip photos here.

Morning Star Peak Summit

We spent a long time on the summit in excellent weather. The closeup view of Del Campo Peak, Gothic Peak, and Lewis Peak was breathtaking. To the northwest were Sperry Peak and Vesper Peak. Then we could even see Mount Baker now that it was out of the clouds.

The eastern peaks were still in the mists. So we couldn’t get a decent look at the Monte Cristo group. Or Sloan Peak and Glacier Peak. We waited a while, but the clouds were too stubborn to move. But we had enough views to savor in the other directions.

Morning Star Peak northwest view
Morning Star Peak northwest view

See more trip photos here.

Outro

On the way out, I put on crampons on the icy terrain. They made my way down more enjoyable. It was another beautiful day out on Mountain Loop Highway!

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