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[TR] Ski In 2012 - Silver Star and Cutthroat 5/12/2012

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Trip: Ski In 2012 - Silver Star and Cutthroat


Date: 5/12/2012


Trip Report:

The annual Cascade Climbers Ski In party included skiing, climbing and mountain biking. Dave Parker came through, once again, with a great cabin and camping area in Mazama. Blue skies reigned supreme.


Dave and I had to guess at the best date based on the progress of HWY-20 plowing and rely on the good will of the property owners. Fortunately the pass opened a day before our scheduled date. We still worried since the NW Avalanche Center posted a bulletin warning of warm temperatures and possible slides. The Mazama area has some great climbing. We figured if you prepare for climbing and skiing you'll have a good time.


On Friday evening we talked about good routes given the weather. We figured south facing slopes were out. A few people were fans of the Silver Star glacier, so we picked it as our Saturday ski destination.


The group left Hwy-20 and ascended Silver Star Creek at a variety of paces. Snoboy wasn't familiar with the area but seemed reassured when I pointed out the valley was a single creek. You could get messed up on the upper slopes but as long as you followed creeks downhill you'd return to HWY-20. Some possible options might add some time but you'd make it to the highway.


Silver Star



Up high we ran into a few folks, and the snow continued to look good. Dave Parker hadn't been up Silver Star before. He climbed the last hundred feet to the top. After returning to the notch between summits we all headed downhill.






We found nice corn snow up high, but the snow became sticky at lower elevations. Despite that a good time was had by all.




Four members of our group didn't climb past the first headwall. Two decided to head back to Mazama and climb since one is recovering from an injury that ski poles aggravate. Snoboy discovered his new boot had design problems causing constant toe releases. We looked at the boots in the evening and compared how the Dynafit boot toe pockets attached to the bindings as opposed to other boots. All I can say is stay away from Tecnica AT boots.


We returned to the cabin and cooked dinner on the bbq grill, hung out by the campfire and told lies.


The forecast for the 13th mentioned warmer temperatures on Sunday. Since we put in a descent amount of vertical gain on Saturday we picked a ski route involving a shuttle and less vertical gain than the day before.


I had looked at north facing slopes above Cutthroat Lake but never skied them. Instead of skiing to the lake we decided hiking the south facing slopes above Washington Pass then dropping over looked easier.


Four members of the Ski In party were part of the group. We met a guy from Salt Lake skiing solo at the pass and invited him along.


Beautiful scenery and hot weather climbing the south facing slopes from the pass.


Liberty Bell...



Silver Star, Gardner, and Kangaroo



At the ridge crest we dropped onto the north side





Looking back



As we approached Cutthroat Lake we had to snake our way through features and obstructions.



After more skiing through the forest and avoiding tree wells we made it back to the highway and had an end of event parking lot party.



Approach Notes:

The slopes up Silver Star Creek off the highway are a little funky but you can ski to the road.

Edited by Feck

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nice kurt. sorry i missed it this year. had to do some packing for AK.

did that cutthroat tour a couple of years ago. it's great!

looks like y'all had a good ol' time as usual.




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Thanks to Dave Parker for another great time at the property he has arranged for us to use. There is so much to do near Mazama and WA Pass this time of year I wish I had 2 weeks. It was great to see everyone again. I am recovering from surgery so I didn’t ski as much as I would have liked but made the best of it.


We got there around noon on Friday so we decided to ride the first day.



Went ski touring the second day up toward Silver Star



Then went climbing at Fun Rock in the afternoon.



The next morning as everyone went to ski we decided to ride the trails on the bikes. I got my first mt. bike flat ever but the veiws were good as I changed the tube.


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we have thoroughly enjoyed these for the past few years. alas, did the dress-up st helens ski this time.

nice to see that people had a blast yet again!!

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