2017/6/17-18 – Silver Moon / 銀月

Lake 7141 Basin with destination
Lake 7141 Basin with destination

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Five miles in from the Cedar Creek Trailhead, we crossed a good size stream at 4,500′. I dropped our overnight gear and left the trail scrambling northwestward. Just before terrain significantly steepened at 5,000′, we crossed the stream to its north side and continued uphill until terrain tapered off at 6,300′ in the lower basin. From there we remained on north side of the creek, negotiated outcrops and steep slabs until we finally reached Lake 7141 in the upper basin.

From the tiny lake we traveled westward on steep slopes to the flat area at 7,600′. The minute I scoped out the class 4 crux mentioned in other reports, I knew pup was not going to make it past this point. After a short break I decided to scope out the east ridge first, so we moved northward to attain the ridge at 7,700′ and scrambled up for a short while.

Crux viewed from lower east ridge
Crux in center seen from east ridge

Photos from this trip can be found here.

The route didn’t look like it’d go, so we retreated southward and stayed high to reach the class 4 crux on 7,800 just before the southeast ridge. I signaled the pup to go back down to the 7,600′ flat area. Then I transitioned onto rock over the shallow moat to reach bottom of steps in a narrow, vertical gully. With some good hand holds, I got myself through the initial 20′ or so before terrain tapered off a bit.

Above the crux, I ascended on sloping slabs and reached the east ridge at 8,000′. I definitely wouldn’t have touched those slabs in wet conditions. Summit wasn’t yet visible from the ridge as false summit had obstructed the view. I negotiated the false summit from the south, followed by a down climb on an exposed rock cheval. With the aid of a few semi-decent holds plus friction I was able to reach the bottom. Then a quick walk-up back on the ridge put me on the true summit.

Class 4 crux
Class 4 crux

Photos from this trip can be found here.

All this time I had been looking forward to seeing Silver Star Mountain up close, and boy, did it look ginormous and pointy from the east. Weather held up nicely and views were just awesome, with many of the highest summits poking out from the horizon. Unfortunately the register placed by Faye Pullen was nowhere to be found. I stayed just long enough to get photos before quickly heading back down to reunite with the pup at top of the snowfield. Of course he was not going to wait by the flat area.

On the descent back to the lake basin, we went through north end of the snowfield and down a wide gully where exposed scree and talus provided much-needed security. Evening view out east from the lake basin was just gorgeous. We retraced our route and got back down to Cedar Creek Trail and set up camp by the creek before nightfall.

Silver Star Mountain
Silver Star Mountain

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Next morning we hiked up the trail to scope out the possible route to Shelokum Mountain. But overnight the clouds had moved into in the area and it began to drizzle as we were hiking. We got to 5,000′ on the trail and I realized our plan was a bit too ambitious in this foul weather. After taking a long break we returned to camp and packed up. On the way back to the trailhead we stopped to check out Cedar Falls, which looked to be the happening place for day hikers.

Access: Cedar Creek Trail
Gear: helmet, ice axe, crampons

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