Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 40.52202°N / 118.17115°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Mar 3, 2015
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Winter

Winter Climb Star Peak

Star is a very rewarding climb.  There is good access on excellent, if extremely steep, dirt roads, and it towers over the surrounding snowy sub-peaks and affords stunning views in all directions.   Its an easy climb via Eldorado Canyon from the west where we encountered extraordinarily little snow for early March.  Only patches below 8,000, with scattered drifts less than a foot on the summit.  We were fortunate to enjoy beautiful, sparkling clear weather, with temperatures a very comfortable mid-20's on summit, and morning lows in camp only 12 degrees on the mid-flanks (at 6,700 feet).  

Access/Route:  Follow the excellent road toward Eldorado canyon, make a hard left at the first structure, a slightly less travelled road continues straight.  There are two excellent campsites along the road, the first at 6700 on a small saddle in the forest where we camped.  There is a fire pit, fire wood for a fire, great views, cell phone coverage (from Interstate 80 below), and a flat site for tents.  We drove up another 1000 feet in elevation but decided that the potential for sticky mud when the road thawed during the day might make things dicey, (a wise decision it turned out) so we drive back down to the lower campsite where conditions were much drier.  The next morning we hiked up the road to over 8,000 feet where it makes a left contour to the north.  From there we simply made a straight cross-country to the summit.   There are some rock towers blocking portions of this route, but we found a class three climb between two towers to make a direct path to the summit.  On descent we went around all the cliffs by simply contouring a bit to the south where we encountered nothing but small shrubs.  Accordingly, it is a bit easier coming up to contour a few hundred yards right of the towers toward the drier south face thereby avoiding all rock.  The footing among the typical desert shrubs is a bit touchy in spots due to density, but overall it is easily doable and permits fast travel up or down. 


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