North Star Mountain  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2021-01-24, By: gluckhikes
Info: Previous report confirmed. I summited without flotation or traction. Don't forget gaiters though, it does get deep in a couple spots. Dusting of fresh snow this afternoon. 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2021-01-20, By: daway8
Info: Did the entire route without using traction or floatation. There were a few icy spots and I did do a little postholing now and then (in a few isolated spots up to my knees) but there was never enough of this to feel the need to gear up (your tolerance level may be different). Took the road up, it was fairly well tracked for much of it but there were a couple of concerning wind loaded slopes hanging over the road in spots. Wind gust forecast jumped to 50mph at the last minute and I think it hit that at least a few times. Took 5hrs to reach the summit fighting into the wind but 3hrs to return with wind mostly at my back. Ridge line from falsely labeled summit at the start of the ridge (I call it Baby North Star) to the real North Star at the far end of the ridge was far more dramatic in appearance than in summer - sometimes coming up to one narrow spike of snow with large, steep snow fields dropping off the side but there were decent tracks already set in across most of it. Staying on the very top of the ridge seemed to generally be the best route under the current conditions. Will add some photos later. 
13
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2021-01-02, By: kalestew
Info: We took the rocky slope directly up the shoulder (pictured) instead of the road to avoid deeper patches of snow. Bluebird day, was a great snow hike. Only needed snowshoes for patches of windblown snow around 12,300'-13,000'. I personally didn't make it to the west end of the ridge (a.k.a. the proper summit), but the other 2 in my group continued on and said it was a real slog getting through that final mile of ridge in such deep snow (also pictured, to the left of the mountain goats). gpx is on AllTrails: http://bit.ly/jan1-north-star 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2021-01-01, By: Snow_Dog_frassati
Info: Taking the ridge all the way from Hoosier Pass its pretty straightforward and safe albeit taxing in deeper snow. Snowshoes would be smart for a few sections but you could probably make do - we did put in a good trench that might stick around for a short while. I think some would appreciate traction even though I didn't use any Also - don't get fooled by the false summits! 
3
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-12-06, By: Agstrohmeier
Info: North star is in pretty fun shape right now. We brought snowshoes for the area between the road and the ridge, it was nice to have but if you don't have snowshoes you could still make it. Snowshoes not needed on the ridge. Very little ice on the ridge but some soft snow is the only issue so some postholing. Area does not look worth skiing right now, a lot of crust and facets... And still shallow. 
3
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-12-04, By: lkk8815
Info: The road portion from Hoosier pass is snow packed. I was happy to have snowshoes above ~12k to the ridge. No ice on the ridge, just intermittent snow. 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-11-23, By: sdicenso
Info: The road to the gate is more snowpacked and hardly any ice. Dry right before the gate. We made it to the false summit on the ridge but deemed it unsafe to summit on icy conditions along the ridge. Can avoid a lot of the snow on the way up if you stick to walking up the talus. We came right down the snow, postholed a few times, but snowshoes would be overkill. Definitely a lot of dry spots, was kind of shocking the lack of snow. Would not be good for a ski descent. One guy on cross country skies coming up the road on my way down was having issues. There were people on sleds at the bottom, so look out for those crazies or try the shortcut through the trees. Not many people that we saw trying for the summit, most turned around due to the ice. Nice warm day though. 
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Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2020-11-06, By: DeadlyFall
Info: Snow on ridge and some parts of the trail but no traction necessary. 
 
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. 
5
 
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 

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