Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

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VanMarmot
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Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by VanMarmot » January 16th, 2013, 8:09 pm

I blame Pablo. If not for his stunning photos of Silver Star from last Sunday, I would have simply gone to work today and fulfilled my destiny as a cog in the corporate machine. But no, I had to grab a "mental health" day and make my own pilgrimage to Silver Star. The drive to the South Ridge TH was through a gray, gloomy, misty mess - not promising. Road conditions were good - no ice - and the snow cover on the road was not a problem as far as the TH. It was, however, totally amazing to break through the inversion almost exactly at the TH (1600') into full bluebird conditions that would persist for my whole day on the mountain.

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The snow was firm enough for boots until the little water feature at 2800', where the snow shoes went on. From near there, I could look down and see the clouds filling the valley below.

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I always look forward to turning the corner at 3200', with its big view of Pt 4060 (Indian Pits) directly ahead and Silver Star in the distance.

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Once up on the ridge to Pt 4060, it was easy walking on generally compacted snow.

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I went up over Pt 4060, then down to the saddle between it and Silver Star, then directly up Silver Star's S ridge. The cloud covered extended to the W as far as the eye could see - only selected peaks in the Coast Range stood out.

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Adams,

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St. Helens, Rainier (Silver Star on the far left),

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and Sturgeon Rock all rose above the cloud deck.

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From the summit, I could see Jefferson on the far horizon,

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Hood nearby,

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and Three Corner Rock (arrow).

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Mine were the first tracks up the S Ridge (past Pablo's to Pt 4060) but there weren't that many coming up from Grouse Vista. It looked like folks had concentrated on snow shoeing over and around Pyramid Rock.

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After a quick lunch, I retraced by steps to the saddle below Pt 4060, then headed directly down to the road below. This area had been a little icy in the morning but had softened by the time I reached it.

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The sun - although hot - felt great!

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One last look at Hood and Jefferson (arrow),

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before plunging into the mist for the drive home.

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Short hike (7.5 mi RT, 2200' EG) but a great day in the mountains! :D Snow conditions are excellent and the views magnificent - don't miss Silver Star this winter!

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Last edited by VanMarmot on January 17th, 2013, 6:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

zee
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by zee » January 16th, 2013, 8:18 pm

Nice! K-30 again no doubt? I like the searing brightness of the cloud deck in the b/w tree portrait image. My PnS could never capture that dynamic range, particularly the occluded sun. It is also amazing to see the minute twigs resolved right in that area.

pablo
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by pablo » January 16th, 2013, 8:26 pm

Great tr and photos - I'm sure your mental health has improved considerably after a day like that. Looks to me like the temperature has risen a bit since Sunday as I see no snow on the branches of trees.

That water hazard on the way up was a pain when I went through there as it had dug a narrow trench down the middle of the road - at least it won't last.

This route and the Starway are my favorite routes for Silver Star.

Thx,

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by VanMarmot » January 17th, 2013, 6:30 am

zee wrote:Nice! K-30 again no doubt? I like the searing brightness of the cloud deck in the b/w tree portrait image. My PnS could never capture that dynamic range, particularly the occluded sun. It is also amazing to see the minute twigs resolved right in that area.
Yep, the K-30. Still figuring out all of its features but, so far, a real nice camera for the price.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by VanMarmot » January 17th, 2013, 6:32 am

pablo wrote:Great tr and photos - I'm sure your mental health has improved considerably after a day like that. Looks to me like the temperature has risen a bit since Sunday as I see no snow on the branches of trees.

That water hazard on the way up was a pain when I went through there as it had dug a narrow trench down the middle of the road - at least it won't last.

This route and the Starway are my favorite routes for Silver Star.

Thx,

--Paul
Thanks! Sunlight aside, the air temp was noticeably warmer above the inversion and the snow was gone from the branches above 1600'. Now I'll have to give Starway a try.

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kepPNW
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by kepPNW » January 17th, 2013, 7:26 am

Nice!!! This weekend. It's a plan! :D

So, what's with this "water hazard" on that route? First I've heard mention of that.
Karl
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VanMarmot
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by VanMarmot » January 17th, 2013, 9:24 am

kepPNW wrote:Nice!!! This weekend. It's a plan! :D

So, what's with this "water hazard" on that route? First I've heard mention of that.
There's a little streamlet at about 2800' which is snow-free and a little boggy. After that, the old road swings directly uphill, with water running beneath the snow covering it. This makes the snow form a deep "V" that, combined with overhanging trees/brush, is a pain to snow shoe thru. But you can divert into the forest to the side where at least it's flatter.

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kepPNW
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by kepPNW » January 17th, 2013, 10:39 am

VanMarmot wrote:
kepPNW wrote:So, what's with this "water hazard" on that route? First I've heard mention of that.
There's a little streamlet at about 2800' which is snow-free and a little boggy. After that, the old road swings directly uphill, with water running beneath the snow covering it. This makes the snow form a deep "V" that, combined with overhanging trees/brush, is a pain to snow shoe thru. But you can divert into the forest to the side where at least it's flatter.
Ahhhh... Okay, good to know, thanks!
Karl
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hlee
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by hlee » January 17th, 2013, 2:45 pm

Wow, what beautiful photos! I'm incredibly jealous.

Hannah

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.
-- T.S. Eliot

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Silver Star (S Ridge) 16-Jan-2013

Post by Eric Peterson » January 17th, 2013, 7:32 pm

Don't forget the DNR extra tax based fee Discovery Pass deal Karl...

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