Silver Moon via Cedar Creek / 經雪松溪上銀月

Silver Moon was our primary goal for this trip. But I thought we would include the Shelokum Slam should the weather cooperate. The outing was a nice change of scenery from last weekend.

Silver Moon above Lake 7141 Basin

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Silver Moon at a Glance

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

Cedar Creek Trail

We met a man and his pup Fred at the trailhead. But as soon as we started hiking, the dog decided to follow us. So after a quarter of a mile, I was able to have him turn around. But I sure hope he went back to his owner!

Later, we met another man with his dog on the trail as they were leaving. So we chatted briefly. Then the pup and I continued the rest of the uneventful five-mile hike.

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Getting up to Lake 7141

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

Afterward, we continued uphill until the terrain flattened at 6300′. We were now in the lower basin. Then after bypassing outcrops and steep slabs, we eventually reached the upper basin.

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

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Silver Moon Class 4 Crux

From the tiny lake, we traveled west on steep slopes to the flat area at 7600′. I checked out the reported class 4 crux carefully. Then I knew that the pup would not make it past this point.

But then I decided to scope out the east ridge. So we moved north on the snow to get on the crest at 7700′. Then we explored a bit to see how far we could go. But I knew that the route was not feasible for either of us.

The crux as seen from the east ridge
The crux as seen from the east ridge

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Getting Through the Crux

So we backtracked while staying high on the snow. Shortly, we were below the class 4 crux at 7800′ by the southeast ridge. So I asked the pup to go back down to the flat area. Then I went onto the rocks over a shallow moat.

I was now standing at the bottom of the steps in a narrow, vertical gully. But with solid handholds, I got myself through the initial 20′ through the crux. Then the terrain flattened out a bit up higher.

Silver Moon class 4 crux
Silver Moon class 4 crux

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Going up to the Ridgeline

Above the crux, I climbed downsloping slabs to reach the ridgeline at 8000′. I would not have touched those rocks in wet conditions! But the real high point wasn’t yet visible from the crest. The false summit was in the way of my view.

Soon, I bypassed the false peak from the south. Then I downclimbed an exposed rock arête on the there side. With solid holds and friction, I was able to reach the bottom safely. A quick walk-up back on the ridge then put me on the real summit.

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Silver Moon Summit

This whole time, I had been looking forward to seeing Silver Star Mountain up close. Wow! It looked enormous and pointy from the east. The weather held up nicely up to this point. So views everywhere were impressive. The highest summits all poked out on the horizon.

I didn’t find the Faye Pullen’s register anywhere. So I stayed just long enough to photograph before going back down to reunite with the pup on the snowfield. But of course, came up higher on the snow at some point and waited.

Silver Star Mountain
Silver Star Mountain

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Back to Cedar Creek

On the way down to the lake basin, we went through the north end of the snowfield. Then we went down a wide gully with scree and talus. So we could avoid the steep snow by plunge-steeping through the rocks.

The evening view east of the lake basin was super gorgeous. Then we followed our route to go back down to Cedar Creek Trail. Afterward, we set up camp by the creek right before nightfall.

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Shelokum Slam Reckon and Out

The next morning, we went to check out the route up to Shelokum Mountain. But the clouds had moved into the area overnight. So it began to drizzle as we were walking. Then I knew our plan was too ambitious in this lousy weather.

We took an extended break by the trail at 5000′. Then we went back to camp and packed. On the way out to the trailhead, we stopped to see the Cedar Falls. It seemed like the happening place for day hikers!

See more trip photos here.

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