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Author Topic: Silver Star (GPNF) April 11  (Read 3047 times)
rootsman
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Silver Star (GPNF) April 11
« on: 04/13/10, 02:41 PM »

Took advantage of the low snow level and talked my friend Andrew into some touring on Silver Star. No, the other Silver Star. The one outside of Yacolt. We came in from the north and were able to drive within a mile of so of the trail head on the 4109. Monster trucks made it all the way to the summer TH, but it was a bit deep for the Subaru.

A quick skin up the road led to the parking lot and start of the faux alpine terrain. There was anywhere from 1-2' of snow, just enough to fill in between and mostly cover the tussocks of beargrass and huckleberry that make up the ground cover. We followed the whale-back ridge south towards the summit. A quick traverse beneath basalt pillars led to a wooded saddle and the road bed to the summit.

The views from the top were fantastic. The basin east of the summit (first photo) alone holds dozens of skiable lines. The slopes to the south near Pyramid Rock seemed to be holding decent snow, and some nice turns could probably be had by coming in from Grouse Pass. The whole area has a lot of potential under the right conditions.

After lunch at the top, we worked our way back north along the ridge and dropped in for a couple of laps, one off the west side and two into the eastern bowl above Star Creek. There are nice descents all along the ridge, but there are also some cliff bands in the area. The second photo is Andrew enjoying one of the slopes above Star Creek.

The snow was a bit heavy by the end, but overall surprisingly good. The coverage, while thin, was consistently adequate. There are probably 3-4 more days of skiing up there, definitely worth the trip for a change of pace. The last photo is looking back along the ridge to the summit as we were headed out.

If anyone is actually interested in checking out the area, I can provide more detailed information.


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« Last Edit: 04/13/10, 11:23 PM by rootsman » Logged

Outsiders, in an outsider's sport, doing in outside. That's like...rocking the triple entendre!
hypermartyr
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Re: Silver Star (GPNF) April 11
« Reply #1 on: 04/13/10, 02:56 PM »

Yes, I would like to check that area out sometime... can you provide a bit more detail, e.g. roads, routes, trailhead name, etc?

Thanks!
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rootsman
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Re: Silver Star (GPNF) April 11
« Reply #2 on: 04/13/10, 03:48 PM »

We came in from the north, at Sunset Falls State Park, or County Park, or whatever, on the North Fork of the Lewis. Go through the park, cross a creek, and turn left on to the 41 road. After a few miles of washboard and potholes, take a hard right, downhill onto the 4109 just after a particularly daunting mudhole. You'll know you're on the right road when you quickly cross Copper Creek and begin climbing again. After another few rough miles, bear left and uphill on the 4109 where the 4109 and L1000 split. Drive until you hit the snow, then follow the road to the summer trailhead for the Silver Star trail. From there you can generally trace the summer trail, but probably best to just gain the ridge crest and head south towards the summit. Open slopes come down from most of the ridgelines, offering just about every aspect and angle.

There's a great map of the area at http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/recreation/trails/maps/documents/SilverStarmap.pdf

Photos below are Andrew contemplating the whale-back ridge on our approach and a view across the valley of Star Creek to the enticing slopes of Bluff Mountain beyond.


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« Last Edit: 04/13/10, 04:10 PM by rootsman » Logged

Outsiders, in an outsider's sport, doing in outside. That's like...rocking the triple entendre!
hypermartyr
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Posts: 67


Re: Silver Star (GPNF) April 11
« Reply #3 on: 04/14/10, 10:17 AM »

Right on!  Thanks a bunch.  I have looked at that area for years and wondered what was up there. 

Great trip report and route details... thanks for sharing!
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rootsman
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Re: Silver Star (GPNF) April 11
« Reply #4 on: 04/14/10, 02:38 PM »

If only the Gorge had a consistent 2,000' snow level, I've got to think that this place would be hugely popular with skiers. Instead we only saw a couple of people on Sunday, two solo hikers on snow shoes.

I think that it's the best backcountry skiing I've ever found below 4000'.

(Ok, the top is actually 4,300', but you know what I mean...)
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Outsiders, in an outsider's sport, doing in outside. That's like...rocking the triple entendre!
Andrew Carey
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Re: Silver Star (GPNF) April 11
« Reply #5 on: 04/14/10, 05:12 PM »

very cool!
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Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
OldHouseMan
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Posts: 262


Re: Silver Star (GPNF) April 11
« Reply #6 on: 04/15/10, 04:18 PM »

Cool trip, I was wondering about that last week.

From your pics, it looks like you hit it about right, anymore snow and the approach is long. We did it about 8 years ago mid winter with very low snow elevation and the approach was tough, but well worth it.
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