A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

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VanMarmot
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A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by VanMarmot » December 5th, 2013, 4:58 pm

Go to a conference (unpaid) or go hiking (also unpaid, but with immense spiritual dividends). After 3 or 4 seconds of struggling with this conundrum, it became clear that a "conference" needed to happen on Silver Star today. So 7:30am and 21F found me parked at the gravel pile on W1200 which is the TH for Silver Star's S Ridge route.

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The route used to start up an old road to the left but now that's become a very new road to the left. What used to be a rutted, partially collapsed road has been transformed into a 20' wide, 24" gravel cap affair, with cut and fill through the collapsed section. Awesome if you like roads.

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This new road follows the alignment of the old one to just beyond where you used to turn off for the S ridge route, where it makes a sharp right and cuts uphill through formerly unroaded terrain. So now to reach the S Ridge route you have to follow this new road around the right turn and look for a slight draw to the left about 300' up the road from the turn. There are no signs (the white arrow points to a boundary marker) but if you enter the draw and head up and to the left (yellow arrows) about 50' you'll reconnect with the S Ridge route - which is in good shape from here on up.

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The only tricky section was at about 2,700' where a spring had flooded the center of the road into a skating rink - microspikes were much appreciated for about 300'.

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One of my favorite parts of this hike is that first glimpse of Silver Star and Pt 4060 (where the Indian Pits are) when the road turns the ridge at about 3,200'.

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I went up Pt 4060's S ridge in sunshine and a very light wind - which was good because with an air temp in the low 20s, the wind chill would have been fierce on that ridge if the wind had kicked-up.

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The day had started sunny but by the time I got high enough on the ridge to see Three Corner Rock (red arrow) and Hood, high clouds were sliding in.

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Another favorite part is when you turn the corner of the rock piles on top of Pt 4060 and get that first view of the summit of Silver Star with St. Helens in the distance.

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Looking back, I could see Hood nearby and Jefferson on the far horizon.

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Approaching the last climb before the summit, I spotted two figures on the skyline - crowds! Who were these people? Why weren't they working? Did they have a better excuse than "I was (uhmm...) at a conference?" Inquiring minds wanted to know - so I pressed on.

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Coming onto Silver Star's summit ridge, I got a great view of the summit, of St. Helens, and of one of those mystery figures.

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I finally reached the summit to find PHers Allison (awildman) and Karl (kepPNW) remarking about how 22F wasn't really that cold (there was no wind on the summit) and eating Allison's excellent cookies (she shared - thanks!). Last time I was on Silver Star under winter conditions, the crowds consisted of Don and Guy. Standing on summits in the cold must be a PHer thing. Despite the high clouds, St. Helens was illuminated as though with a spotlight,

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and Jefferson was backlit by a curiously yellow horizon (Pt 4060 in the foreground).

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After a little idle chit-chat about how our Congress is amazingly efficient and productive, and some fist bumps in honor of Mayhem, I headed down toward Grouse Vista and Allison and Karl went off toward Sturgeon Rock. I was planning to hike to the Vista and then down the road to my car but decided on the fly to cut-off on the old road that runs below Pt 4060 and connects with the S Ridge route.

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As is often the case, the sun came out again on the way down and it somehow seemed warm (even though the air temperature was only in the low 30s at best).

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The hike back was uneventful but the sun setting through a smeared contrail was pretty neat (or possibly foreboding?).

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Despite the new road work (which actually makes getting to the trail easier), this was another iteration of one of my favorite Winter/Spring hikes (7.5 mi, 2200' EG), made even better by sharing the summit with fellow PHers (and a delicious cookie). :D

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Don Nelsen
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by Don Nelsen » December 5th, 2013, 7:09 pm

Amazing pics! I really like the last one with the sundogs and contrail slicing through - reminds me of the eye-of-Sauron in LOTR. the ice on the road is pretty neat, too. Thanks!

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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awildman
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by awildman » December 5th, 2013, 7:55 pm

VanMarmot.

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Rambling on at Allison Outside

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kepPNW
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by kepPNW » December 5th, 2013, 8:11 pm

:lol:
  • vanmarmot.jpg
    FTFY!
:D
Karl
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Chase
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by Chase » December 5th, 2013, 8:26 pm

This is like a weird version of Spy Vs. Spy.

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kepPNW
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by kepPNW » December 5th, 2013, 8:34 pm

Chase wrote:This is like a weird version of Spy Vs. Spy.
It gets weirder...
Karl
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kepPNW
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by kepPNW » December 5th, 2013, 10:11 pm

kepPNW wrote:
Chase wrote:This is like a weird version of Spy Vs. Spy.
It gets weirder...
:? :shock: :lol:
VanMarmot wrote:Approaching the last climb before the summit, I spotted two figures on the skyline - crowds! Who were these people? Why weren't they working? Did they have a better excuse than "I was (uhmm...) at a conference?" Inquiring minds wanted to know - so I pressed on.

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We see you (seeing us!), too, or course.
awildman wrote:Coming onto Silver Star's summit ridge, I got a great view of the summit, of St. Helens, and of one of those mystery figures.

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The mystery is mutual, my marmot friend! Muaaahahahahahaaa...!

8-)
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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roadtripmom
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by roadtripmom » December 6th, 2013, 8:46 am

Maybe someday I will meet someone " famous" up there ! Here is my friendly greeting from the top the day before.
ss7.jpg
Hello fellow PH ers ! :D
Filling my bucket, one hike at a time.
Amanda

HenryG
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by HenryG » December 6th, 2013, 8:56 am

Your use of the day was certainly better than a meeting with the Gresham planning dept. Your pictures are great as usual, but my first impression was thankfullness at the detail of the trail change so I have a chance of not getting myself turned around again on the next chance i get to do this one again but its likely in the spring now unless the weather turns around.

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kepPNW
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Re: A Cold Cookie on Silver Star 05-Dec-2013

Post by kepPNW » December 6th, 2013, 9:52 am

VanMarmot wrote: So 7:30am and 21F found me parked at the gravel pile on W1200 which is the TH for Silver Star's S Ridge route.

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The really funny thing is, as we drove by there about 1/2 hour later, Allison said "I think that's Bruce's car." Later, when we saw you coming up the south side of Star 2, we considered yelling out "Bruuuuuuce!", but worried that it could come across as a distress call. Didn't want that. (Especially if it wasn't you! ;))
VanMarmot wrote:This new road follows the alignment of the old one to just beyond where you used to turn off for the S ridge route, where it makes a sharp right and cuts uphill through formerly unroaded terrain. So now to reach the S Ridge route you have to follow this new road around the right turn and look for a slight draw to the left about 300' up the road from the turn. There are no signs (the white arrow points to a boundary marker) but if you enter the draw and head up and to the left (yellow arrows) about 50' you'll reconnect with the S Ridge route - which is in good shape from here on up.

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Really appreciate this info! Gotten turned around there before, and this could offer yet more "challenges." So, if I'm understanding it, you're walking into this photo as the road bends off to the east of the old route? Best guess how far up the road (from the gate) this cut-off was?
VanMarmot wrote:I finally reached the summit to find PHers Allison (awildman) and Karl (kepPNW) remarking about how 22F wasn't really that cold (there was no wind on the summit) and eating Allison's excellent cookies (she shared - thanks!). Last time I was on Silver Star under winter conditions, the crowds consisted of Don and Guy. Standing on summits in the cold must be a PHer thing.
That was really great, meeting you up there! Your lack of selfies here left me stumped for a moment, whether to presume our first guess was right. "Just in case" you were someone else that I "ought to" have recognized! :) Those cookies were killer, weren't they!?
roadtripmom wrote:Maybe someday I will meet someone " famous" up there ! Here is my friendly greeting from the top the day before. Hello fellow PH ers ! :D
So close! :)


Well, Bruce did the hard work, so I'll just toss out a few more photos to pad the first page here. Allison and I left from Grouse Vista at 9:11am, after a late start due to some nasty traffic on I-205. We summited at 11:00, and spent about an hour total on the two peaks. At about that point, it wasn't feeling all that warm up there anymore (~20°F), so we trundled on down to the Sturgeon Rock cut-off down by where Ed's Trail hooks in, and continued a clockwise loop past that other promontory, then returned on Tarbell. There was an inch or two of snow at the trailhead, and no more than a foot (very light, fluffy) at the summit. Excellent day up there!

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The day started out very clear, but the high thin clouds were accumulating by 10am.


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Pyramid Rock was illuminated in a yellow-ish light. The southern sky was turning rather odd.


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The wintery scenes were gorgeous.


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We thought this ridgeline was protecting us from the east winds, but they never really did materialize all day!


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This. Or work. Hmmmm...


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Jefferson shone brightest, 75 miles to our south, most of the day.


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They've been adding some new trail signs up here, too! No longer, "turn at the 4x4."


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Really hazing out on the final summit approach.


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A ceiling of about 10,500 hid the tops of Hood and Adams as we peaked out.


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Allison, hitting the Star 2 summit. Crazy yellow-orange sky to the south!!!


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Goat rocks were visible for about our first 1/2 hour up here, but the clouds descended on them too.


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Looking down Ed's Trail, only Mount St. Helens was consistently sunny.


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Lots of cool rime ice up at the normally windy summit.


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Seeking a bit of solar warmth...


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VM enjoying the southern vista, which was startlingly clear past the Three Sisters.


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Loowit stole the summit show though, especially when the spotlights were turned on.


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Customary and near-obligatory summit group-selfie. Which we only remembered after parting fist-bumps with Bruce, darn it!


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Allison taught me a cool winter trick -- after drinking, blow the water back down your hose, to keep it from freezing!


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Another new sign!


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Crazy massive frozen resin spill out the side of this tree! (Crusak says, "good firestarter!")


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Ran across a number of passages like this. We got by just walking at the edge, though.


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Numerous streams along the Tarbell provided lots of photo ops!


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Many of the downed trees were just oozing brown icicles.


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New avatar! :)


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The forest trail was nicer than ever, yesterday!


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Oops... Probably should've seen that beforehand, hmmm.


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Sunset on Silver Star from WSUV campus.


http://gpsfly.org/gps_map.php?gps_id=2902&w=645&h=440


Said it before but, "Any day on Silver Star is a great day!" This one couldn't have been beat! :D
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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