Silver Moon by Silver Star Mountain via Cedar Creek + Cedar Falls / 銀月

  • Reading time:5 mins read

Silver Moon is Silver Star Mountain‘s satellite peak perching above Cedar Creek. It’s recognizable from anywhere in the Cascades because of its famous neighbor. The east route via Lake 7141 offers the fastest and least committing way to this obscure summit.

Silver Moon above Lake 7141
Silver Moon above Lake 7141

See more trip photos here.

Silver Moon at a Glance

Access: Cedar Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 15.2
Elevation Range: 3200′-8252′ 
Gear: helmet, ice ax, crampons
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: on the trail

The Preface

We could use a change of scenery after last weekend. So we came to tackle our main goal Silver Moon of this trip. But I thought we’d include Shelokum Mountain and Lamont Mountain should the weather cooperate.

It was surprising to see an empty lot this morning when we arrived. The sun was out, but the forecast had mentioned that it wouldn’t last. Shortly, A man and his pup Fred pulled in after us, and we chatted a while.

Let's start this party soon
Let’s start this party soon

See more trip photos here.

Cedar Creek Trail

Once we started walking, Fred then decided to follow us. So it took another quarter of a mile and some stops before I could make him turn around. But I sure hope he went back to find his owner safely!

Afterward, we met another man with his dog as they came down the trail. We chatted briefly, and he asked questions about Cody’s paws. Then the pup and I moved on for the rest of the unexciting walk to mile five.

Something's looming
Something’s looming

See more trip photos here.

Lake 7141 Basin

At 4500′, we crossed a large stream to the south side. There I stashed our overnight gear, and we started scrambling northwest. When the terrain steepened much at 5000′, we crossed the creek back to the north side.

We continued uphill to the lower basin, where the terrain flattened at 6300′. Then after going through outcrops and steep slabs, we reached Lake 7141 in the upper drainage. The serene pond looked like a great place to camp!

Another day of type 2 fun
Another day of type 2 fun

See more trip photos here.

Silver Moon Class 4 Crux

Soon, we moved west on steep slopes from the tiny lake to the flat area at 7600′. I carefully checked out the reported class 4 crux and knew the pup likely wouldn’t make it past that point.

But I decided to scope out the east ridge by going north on the snow to the crest at 7700′. Then we explored a bit to see about a way up. But it didn’t look at all doable for either of us.

Seeing the crux from the east ridge
Seeing the crux from the east ridge

See more trip photos here.

Going Through the Crux

So we backtracked while staying high to reach the class 4 crux at 7800′ by the southeast ridge. Then I signaled for the pup to wait down at the flat area. On the other hand, I went onto the rocks over a shallow moat.

I looked up at the tall steps from the bottom of the narrow, vertical gully. Then with solid holds, I climbed up through the initial 20′ of the crux. Soon, the terrain flattened past that point.

Silver Moon class 4 crux
Silver Moon class 4 crux

See more trip photos here.

Traversing the Ridgeline

Above the crux, I climbed over downward slabs up to the ridge at 8000′. But those rocks wouldn’t be as friendly in wet conditions! The actual summit wasn’t visible because the false peak was in the way.

Afterward, I bypassed the false peak from the south through an exposed rock arête. Then I relied on more firm holds and friction moves to reach the bottom. A quick walk-up back on the crest soon put me on the actual summit.

Going over the false peak
Going over the false peak

See more trip photos here.

Silver Moon Summit Views

Wow! I had been looking forward to seeing Silver Star Mountain up close this whole time. It looked enormous and pointy from the east. The weather held up nicely, with impressive views abound. The distant high points were all visible.

I didn’t find Faye Pullen’s register anywhere. But I stayed only long enough to take photos before going back and reuniting with the pup on the snowfield. But of course, he went higher up on the snow at some point and waited.

Silver Star Mountain from Silver Moon
Silver Star Mountain from Silver Moon

See more trip photos here.

Back to Cedar Creek

On the way back to the lake basin, we went through north of the snowfield. Then we went down a broad gully through scree. In turn, we avoided steep snow and plunge-stepped through the rocks.

The evening view east of the lake basin was gorgeous. Shortly, we retraced our tracks back to Cedar Creek Trail. Then we set up the tent by the creek right before nightfall.

My partner waiting ever-so patiently
My partner waiting ever-so patiently

See more trip photos here.

Shelokum Slam Reckon and Out

The next day, we scoped out the route to Shelokum Mountain. But with clouds moving into the area overnight, it soon drizzled as we walked up the valley. Then I knew our plan was too ambitious in this lousy weather.

We took an extended break by the trail, went back to camp, and then packed. On the way out to the car, we stopped briefly at Cedar Falls. It looked like the happening place for lots of day hikers!

Kodak moment on Silver Moon
Kodak moment on Silver Moon

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.