North Star Mountain  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-09-12, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: This probably is a nice Class 2 walkup in ordinary summer conditions, but right now, the summit ridge is Class 3. Snow is waist-deep in places. No point in microspikes, as it's too soft as soon as the sun hits it, but gaiters and/or an extra pair of socks would be useful. Snow had melted on the road by afternoon and most of the route below the false summit had linkable talus-hopping. 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-06-25, By: nathansmithpiano
Info: North Star to Wheeler traverse from Montgomery Reservoir. Peaks are in great shape, tiny bit of snow when cutting around obstacles near Wheeler but nothing too notable. Wheeler Lake road is very wet, probably a dozen spots to take small paths around but easily done. Brought micro spikes but didn't use them. 
 
Route: Polaris Couloir
Posted On: 2020-05-28, By: FoxintheForest
Info: The road is closed at the gate, but the road to the dam is clear (just not clear enough for cars). Mostly packed snow and mud on the approach. The freeze-thaw cycle we supposedly got over the last couple of days didn't actually happen here. Snow is super faceted with a thin crust over trash. Started in the couloir before 6 am. Soft-ish but still good at the start, however, once we got higher the snow rapidly deteriorated even though the sun wasn't strong quite yet. The low lying valley has gotten (maybe) a light freeze in the past few days, but the upper half of Polaris hasn't been frozen for a minute. We bailed almost mid-way up from the base after the snow just junked out. We quickly went from sinking just a few inches to post-holing knee and crotch deep - it was 6:45 am. The top is definitely melted out on the left side. Figured it would be safer to downclimb and live to send another day. 
 
Route: Polaris Couloir
Posted On: 2020-05-24, By: TakeMeToYourSummit
Info: Road is clear to the lower Blue Lake (patchy to the dam). Snow was solid in the morning so we just booted across the basin. The couloir was fairly firm on our way up & with our timing (11:30ish drop in) was corned up nicely where the sun had hit for our descent (read - the sun doesn't hit it all evenly). We took the left at the Y & had a good 100+ foot dry section to negotiate. Concentrated jump turns got us down the couloir & creamy turns were found on the apron and in the basin. We were able to ride almost to the upper lake. A few sections of snow along the edge of the road were also rideable. 
15
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-04-05, By: soccern23ny
Info: Summited in exactly 2 hours. Not sure if listed mileages are off or if I've just gotten really fast lol. Wore snow shoes the whole way, could possibly be done without but I would bring them. Also I didnt really experience any class 2 as described in various sites. I was more or less on ridge line proper the entire time 
1
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-02-01, By: Trotter
Info: Hard boot pack all the way until mine gate at ~12k. Above that is mixed rock, hard slab snow, and soft snow. We dropped snowshoes and postholed some, but never above calf deep. Spikes were helpful on the hard slabs. Only made it to 13k, the winds were blowing really hard with dangerous gusts on a narrow ridge. But, ridge looked typical, mixture of exposed rock and some cornices. Ice axe would be a good call. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-01-16, By: TheAmateur
Info: got lucky with nearly no wind but didnt make the summit because snow wasnt in good condition. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-12-24, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Solid boot pack to the gate at 12kish. Flotation could be helpful depending on temps to the ridge (I brought none). Agreed with last report from there, crampons and axe were helpful to summit with mixed scrambling conditions. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-12-12, By: CaptainSuburbia
Info: Walked road all the way to no trespassing gate without snowshoes. Took wind blown slopes straight up from there to first summit on ridge at 13400 ft. From here to actual summit crampons and axe were nice to have. Lots of snow on ridge and deep in spots. Mostly bulletproof snow to climbers right with ankle breaking postholing here and there. 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-09-23, By: supranihilest
Info: An incredibly tedious route. Take the road for several miles (stay left at the first junction; the downloadable route GPX on this site does not show the first mile of the road, for some reason) to where the road splits at some downed mining buildings. There will be a gate, it has a "Private Property" sign but the gate was wide open and I don't know how you'd climb the peak if you stayed off, so just ignore it. Take the right branch here, the left branch skirts far below the ridge. March up the slope which is amazingly uniform in both angle and terrain consistency, taking either old mining roads (they snake and twist and merge and split all over the place) or cairned trail segments towards the eastern point on the ridge. This is the one marked on topo maps as the summit, but the summit is still over a mile away. The terrain in between each of the three high points is just a ton of Class 2 granite and it's exceptionally tedious going across the entire ridge to the true summit, which is the farthest point. Retrace your steps on the ridge to the second/middle point, then keep an eye out for smashed up mine buildings and a trail that goes below the eastern point on the south side of the slopes. This trail goes right past the highest mine building (which is complete ruins at this point; be wary of rusty nails) and traverses the hillside so you don't have to regain the final point. From there join back up with the nest of mining roads back to the main road and to Hoosier Pass. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-07-31, By: mjflynn74
Info: Only two patches of snow left on the ridge. One is just past the first high point, at a spot where the ridge is broad and level; no problem. The second is at the saddle between the first and second high point; the ridge is narrower there, but I didn't need extra traction. Rest of ridge is clear. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-07-22, By: kevin777r
Info: More or less summer conditions. Walked through a few patches of snow on the ridge, but never wore/wanted traction and probably could have avoided them if I had wanted to drop lower 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-06-03, By: davisrice4
Info: Snow from trailhead to summit of Northstar. Well packed down, spikes may be helpful. Skiing was good around 9:30. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-05-16, By: pgerskovich
Info: Snow all the way from the parking lot to the top. I needed to use snow shoes to not post-hole. There is a cornice near the east peak you must get around. I found a path on the left side. I did not go to the true peak across the ridge to the west side because the ridgeline snow conditions looked too dangerous this time of year. I returned folllowing the top of the ridge on Hooiser Pass (rather than the snow covered road) because of less postholing. Nice climb. 
 
Route: Polaris Couloir
Posted On: 2019-04-22, By: Giant hills
Info: Parked a little over 1.5miles from trailhead snow bank blocking road. Flotation used to apron. Some dry spots here and there on the upper road but pretty much continuous. Snow was ok in the couloir small rock band sticking out in lower mid portion near that snow is shallow and easy to poke rocks unless further away. We took the right exit on the upper Y split. Snow was harder but still not bad. Left exit didn't seem as filled in and looked a little less steep. Started snowing pretty good when leaving so this might all be different now 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-04-07, By: osprey
Info: We started at 0645. Carried snow shoes but never used them. Ditched the shoes near the gate and put on either spikes or crampons. Very windy above the gate such there were ground blizzards heading up to the ridge. Wind tapered off later in the day. Some easily avoided cornices. Saw two people ascending Cristo and later skiing down. This is a beautiful ridge with no major difficulties making a great snow climb and is a most pleasant outing. The high light of my day was when a fellow osprey flew immediately overheard. We chattered excitedly for a few seconds and caught up with each other's family and then parted ways. Osperian is a compressed language such that we can exchange large amounts of information in brief bursts. 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-04-06, By: stefan_SCHWEIZER
Info: Really warm in the sun. The snow was mostly very supportive in the AM. Even at noon I was not breaking in much. I was wearing microspikes and snowshoes, which were helpful for the hike down. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-02-12, By: glenmiz
Info: Good day to be out today; wind wasn't too bad. Snow was firm almost everywhere - just a few soft spots. I used snowshoes on the way up to the ridge but spikes would have been sufficient. Switched to spikes on the ridge and felt better with my axe on the narrow parts of the ridge. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-02-09, By: graberz
Info: MAde our way up the road and had to re break trail about 5 inches fresh. As you moved higher there was wind blown areas with mixed postholing. We used micro spikes only although snow shoes could've been used early. There was some decent traffic on the way down so the trench should be in place up the road. Windy and cold but very fun day. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2019-02-02, By: Vincopotamus
Info: Firm snow along the whole route with minimal post hiking, no need for floatation. Microspikes were handy but very little ice along the route. 

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