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[TR] Silver Horn- The Chalice 6/25/2005


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Climb: Silver Horn-The Chalice


Date of Climb: 6/25/2005


Trip Report:

Over the weekend Justin Thibault and I wandered off to the nether-regions of the Silver Star Massif and climbed the South East face of Silver Horn. The which-face on what-horn? Exactly! Just keep walking three hours past Burgundy Spire and you should be there. We climbed 700' of splitters and corners on clean, grey granite and 100' of loose-flake, kitty-litter funk. All in all we had a great time and climb. We named our route "The Chalice" III 5.10-.


Distel-Style Photo-Onslaught!


























Gear Notes:

med rack to 4". doubles of small stoppers and 1" to 3" cams. Ice Axe.


Approach Notes:

Best approached via Cedar Creek. Way to much up & down from the north side.

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that looks sweet! <looks up topo maps online>

so is silver horn the 8,252' summit due east of silver star? or one of those things further east towards 7,332? (if you have it, feel free to post gps data for camp and/or summit to help orient those of us following along at home) in any case, that approach up cedar creek doesn't look too bad, a few miles of trail then some east-side bushwacking...

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There is no feature in the Beckey Guide named "Silver Tooth" so it's a little inconclusive. Based on Mr Laytons reply to the post Dru linked above I assume Mark did something else over on Snagtooth Ridge. Guess we'll have to wait for Mark to chime in, or is anyone else in Methow Land in the know??

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  • 2 weeks later...



Mark is is still in recovery from his traumatic guiding adveture on Big Mack. Not sure he'll ever be the same so being a bit familiar with the territory in question I'll chime in.

Pretty darned sure Mark's route on S Tooth was on a feature of Snag Tooth ridge. Silver Horn is a striking feature on the E ridge of the E summit of SStar itself (ref. Red Fred). Pt 8252 referenced above is another interesting rock farther E of S Horn long the E ridge. N The rock on these E ridge fetures is sone of the best in he immediate area. As the photos above show it is more like the Forbidden granite than the typical WApa stuff.


As a little aside I will also say that the complete E ridge of S Star is one of the best alpine ridge outings in the WApa areas. Miles of fine granite along a beautiful ridge with great view. Not sure why is not in anyones' guide book. I only know a (very) small handfull of folks who have done it. I honestly believe it deserves to be a classic of the range.

To get the full effect you need start at the Cedar Ck parking lot and hike 150m up the regular trail to an unmarked horse packer trial on the right; follow this 3000' steeply up to gain the ridge and continue from there to summit. Trail at first which makes the approach nice then scrambly for a mile or so all the time getting slightly more interesting. When you get to pt 8252 the fun really starts.

Count on a long day and be able to climb fast on low to mid 5th terrain. Continue over the E summit and down the S Star glacier over Burg col and down to your second car at the Burg ck parking.

If you need to bail rap to the S side of the ridge and schwack down to the Cedar ck trail then back out to the start.


Great fun. Peter croft and his Sierras ain't got nothing on us.


Scott Johnston

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Thanks for the info Scott. I second that the rock quality is generally very good in the area.


I had heard rumors of a "N Ridge of Stuart"-Esque route established by Geoff Childs in the recent past. Should I assume that it's the E Ridge Integral you speak of?


For anyone who's interested here is a better quality image of the SE Face of Silver Horn (very foreshortened) with our climb "The Chalice" drawn in.


SE Face of Silver Horn

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The E Ridge of SS "integrale" as you say is indeed a fine route. It is of a different nature than N ridge of Stuart; more a major traverse than a simple climb.

Geof may have pioneered the route some time ago and at this juncture I think he is only man alive to have survived two complete ascents (most recently a month ago).

A strong party moving fast on the approach and descent, 3rd classing almost all of the route and carrying a light rope for a few raps and short belayed sections and a minimal rack can expect to spend 14-18 hours on route with all but 3-4 hours of that rock climbing. No H2O is to be found on the route till one reaches the larch bench on the W side of Burg col.



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Here is a photo taken while working on a new (yes another one) Goat Wall route with Bryan Burdo. It shows the money part of the E Ridge of Silver Star in spring conditions. If this view doesn't set your little alpine heart a twitter than you'd better just stick the sport crags.

It also shows pretty well the Silverhorn feature.

Scott Johnston 475033-SilverStarEridge.jpg


Edited by scott_johnston
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