Silver Moon via Cedar Creek / 經雪松溪上銀月

Silver Moon above Lake 7141 Basin

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The Lowdown on Silver Moon

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

Approach to Lake 7141

Before we started the trip, we met a man and his pup Fred at the trailhead. As soon as we started hiking, the dog decided to follow us. After a quarter of a mile, I was finally able to get him to turn around. I sure hope he went back to the owner. Later, we met another man with his dog as they were coming out. We chatted briefly, and then the pup and I continued to finish the rest of the unexciting five-mile hike.

After gaining 1200′, we crossed a large stream at 4500′ to the south side. I dropped our overnight gear and then we started scrambling northwest. Just before the terrain steepened significantly at 5000′, we crossed the stream to the north side. Then we continued uphill until terrain flattened at 6300′ in the lower basin. After bypassing outcrops and steep slabs, we finally reached the upper basin.

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

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Approaching Class 4 Crux

From the tiny lake, we traveled west on steep slopes to the flat area at 7600′. After checking out the reported class 4 crux, I knew pup wouldn’t make it past this point. So after a short break, I decided to scope out the east ridge first. Then we moved north to get on the crest at 7700′ and scrambled up for a bit. But the route didn’t look like it’d go.

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

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Getting over the Class 4 Crux

So we backtracked while staying high to reach the class 4 crux at 7800′ before the southeast ridge. I signaled for the pup to go back down to the flat area. Then I transitioned onto rocks over the shallow moat. I was now standing at the bottom of the giant steps in a narrow, vertical gully. But with good handholds, I got myself through the initial 20′ or so to get through the crux. Then higher up, the terrain flattened out a bit.

Above the crux, I climbed on downsloping slabs and reached the east ridge at 8000′. I wouldn’t have touched those slabs in wet conditions. Summit wasn’t yet visible from the crest as the false summit was in the way of the view. Then I bypassed the false summit from the south, followed by down climbing an exposed rock arête. With a few decent holds and friction, I was able to reach the bottom safely. Then a quick walk-up back on the ridge finally put me on the real summit.

Class 4 crux
Class 4 crux

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Silver Moon Summit

This whole time, I had been looking forward to seeing Silver Star Mountain up close. Boy, it sure did look enormous and pointy from the east. The weather held up nicely, so views were utterly impressive. Many of the highest summits were poking out from the horizon.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the register placed by Faye Pullen anywhere. I stayed just long enough to get photos before heading back down to reunite with the pup on the snowfield. But of course, he was not going to wait down by the flat area.

Silver Star Mountain
Silver Star Mountain

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Outro Plus Shelokum Slam Recon

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

Next morning we hiked up the trail to scope out the possible route to Shelokum Mountain. But overnight, the clouds had moved into the area, and it began to drizzle. I realized our plan was too ambitious in this foul weather after hiking to 5000′. After taking an extended break, we returned to camp and packed up. On the way back to the trailhead, we stopped to check out Cedar Falls. It looked to be the happening place for many day hikers.

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