North Star Mountain  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2017-06-12, By: jennincolorado
Info: Started at 0730. The trail is not bad on the road. There is snow but you can walk around it easily enough by staying on the trail. It is melting fast with running water coming down - fast. Once you turn L to head up the peak and off of the road, the snow was very soft. Good snow. Some post-holing up to knees when you get close to a rock mound or bushes, but the rest of the route before the ridge is in decent condition. Easy to make steps & get up with spikes. My boyfriend had mountaineering boots and didn't even use spikes most of the time. On the side of the ridge (we opted to stay Left of the ridge in the beginning due to more snow on the Right), there are several snow fields that are easily passable with spikes. It's melting fast. There are several talus fields that you can walk into if you stay down low and down want to walk through the snow fields. On the ridge proper it was about 1030-11am and it was a slick, slushy mess. We turned back at 13400 / 13614 due to the conditions. Too slick to risk it. Will be back later in the summer for a summit or repeat in better snow conditions. We were the only ones hiking North Star on this day, but of course on the way back down to the road near Hoosier Pass we saw a ton of people just strolling around. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2017-03-06, By: ajlavigne
Info: Route was almost entirely snow-covered from the parking lot to the summit (NW end of ridge) other than a short distance on a small hill before the main ascent. Softer snow conditions made for ankle to knee-deep post-holing along several spots on the route. No icy spots. Did not carry or use flotation, but wore micros and used an ice axe/1-pole combo for the majority of the ridge. 
4
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2016-12-05, By: timf
Info: The snow is patchy in spots and a good part of the road is mostly clear to the summit ridge with only ankle deep snow. Summit ridge is snowy and icy with only the beginning of a cornice forming near the beginning stretch where the ridge narrows. 
3
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2016-03-21, By: sumer
Info: We attempted Northstar Mtn on 03-20-2015. We wore snowshoes the whole way. While returning we saw a few people in microspikes and they were not happy. It was mostly because the snow we got on March 16 and 17th. In near future it might change but I'd suggest taking both. After the false summit 1 when were moving towards false summit 2, the snow felt very soft and fragile. Looking at the angle on false summit #2, we decided to turn around. According to our GPS, we had come 3.45 miles and had 0.8 or so miles remaining to reach the summit. We started at 6:00AM from the TH and were at the point where we turned around, at 10:30. We were back at the trailhead again at 1:00PM. 
1
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2016-02-27, By: fakejox
Info: Ascended North Star Mtn today from Hoosier Pass. We used snowshoes to gain the initial ridge leading to Pt 12214, but in retrospect they were probably not necessary (save for the quick ascent up the "sledding hill")--for the most part, crosswinds across the ridge have left the snow crusty and amenable to microspikes. From the Pt 12214-North Star saddle to the summit, I'd estimate that 80% of the route can be hiked on exposed rock. Atop the ridge, microspikes and an ice axe will suffice nicely. Super fun ridgewalk! 
1
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2016-01-04, By: Trotter
Info: Well trenched to about quarter mile of real summit. Snowshoes are not needed until the middle part of the route, starting at the gate. You could get by without snowshoes, but will be plunge stepping knee deep a lot. Once on ridge, snowshoes aren‘t really needed but micro spikes or chains would be good. Lots of exposed rock. The trenched route stays perfectly centered on the ridge, lots of exposure each side. No wind, beautiful day. 
1
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-12-27, By: AlexeyD
Info: Well-worn track still in place along the summer trail up to the saddle just west of point 12, 214'. Not quite enough snow yet to pose any substantial avy hazard along the traverse - though that will likely change after the next major storm. From there, 3 of us began putting in a trench, and made it to the second false summit before limitations of time and energy made us turn around. Conditions along the ridge varied from easy walking on wind slab, to awkward snow-covered rock and occasional sections of very loose, waist-deep snow (even with snowshoes) that made progress very slow-going and laborious. Absolutely gorgeous day in the mountains with cold temperatures but light winds and clear skies and stunning views of snow-plastered mountains all around. Go get it before the next snowfall covers our tracks! Pics coming shortly. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-12-11, By: bmcqueen
Info: Carried snowshoes to 13,200‘, but never needed. Wore spikes where the ridge narrows - mostly hard packed. 
3
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-11-29, By: MTGOAT72
Info: Soft powder to wind pack. Snowshoes were helpful to the main ridge, then micro spikes. The ridge was time consuming as the snow would go to sugar powder to wind pack off and on. Brought the axe for the ridge which I would recommend. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-10-09, By: awake
Info: Snow is 100% avoidable. No need for traction. Just bring some trekking poles, as the rocks were a bit slick in the morning. It looks like there is a small dusting of snow on the north facing side of most of the Tenmile peaks. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-07-05, By: ChrisinAZ
Info: Pretty much summer conditions. No snow up to main ridge, then just a few short knife edges of snow along the ridge, all of which are mild, avoidable, or not exposed. 98% of the ridge is dry. Had to bail off the ridge about halfway back due to thunder--most of the south slopes are dry, but there are a few long (and steep!) patches of snow that can expedite descent if you have an ice axe (I would NOT try glissading them without). Low in the basin are lots of willows and wetness, including on the road. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-06-21, By: jeremy27
Info: Surpisingly fun snow conditions on the ridge above 13000. A number of windblown "knife-edges" that made forward travel easy, mixed with a little scrambling in between. Snow was very soft by 10am so I doubt conditions will remain long. Good luck. 
2
 
Route: North Couloirs
Posted On: 2015-06-08, By: Col_Forbin
Info: Had a blast climbing one of the North-facing couloirs on North Star Mountain yesterday. A bit punchy down low, but nice and firm up high. Snow melting fast. Wet slide evidence on almost all aspects on surrounding peaks. Get off the snow early. Snowshoes were unneeded for the descent to Hoosier Pass. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-04-29, By: kenichi4692
Info: hiked to the mine gate without traction. there are snowmobile tracks to the top of the hump. had to break the trail with snowshoes beyond the gate. snow was crusty in the morning my poles sunk about 10 inches. then changed to spikes & an axe right below the summit ridge where it gets steep. easy post holing on the ridge most of the way but there is a couple of thigh deep spots near the summit. and there is a few sketchy cornice on the ridge. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-03-28, By: mdmss
Info: A beautiful but very windy day. Took snowshoes, crampons and ice axes and didn‘t use any of them! Good boot pack all the way to the summit, minimal postholing, really no ice at all. We were back at parking by 12:30 and the snow was softening, but still plenty firm. Except for the poor fools who drove their Honda Civic type car about 50 feet from the parking lot before becoming irretrievably stuck. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-03-15, By: rambis_21
Info: Hiked North Star Mountain from Hosier Pass on Saturday 3/14. Snowshoed from the parking lot to the top of the first high point on the ridge. Left the snowshoes and hiked across the ridge of about 2 miles with microspikes. Crampons would have made it feel safer but microspikes worked. The sun was out and the wind was non-existant. Perfect day. Lots of snow up there. Should melt fast from the ridge with the warm sun. Had a few whomps while crossing the ridge in a few spots, but only occured right on top and some of the wider points on the ridge. There is a point on the ridge that was pretty sketchy as it was steep on each side. Had to be careful where you step as you don‘t know what was powder immediately and what was hard snow/rock. Great day! Looking forward to a great hiking season. I need to get some skis for days like this. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2015-02-14, By: benners
Info: Hit North Star Mountain today via the Southeast Shoulder route from Hoosier Pass. The road is covered with packed snow from the parking lot all the way around the south side of the big mound to the base of the actual Southeast Shoulder, with only one short dry section of road that is not skinnable. From the gate at the base of the Southeast Shoulder I was able to skin to around 13,200' before dry ground forced me to ditch skis. The East Ridge is in great shape for booting all the way to the summit, and I saw a few sets of ski tracks dropping off the south side of the ridge just past the false summit down towards Montgomery. On descent I was able to ski from 13,200' back down the shoulder to the parking lot with only a single ski carry. Cheers! 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2014-01-04, By: d_baker
Info: The conditions we encountered on North Star were the same as the last conditions report for North Star posted by Sunny1 on Dec 27. From Hoosier Pass, trail is super packed leading to E facing slope. Once above slope, the snow is softer because there's less traffic on top, but it's short. Once out of the trees, which is rather quick, snowshoes were not used or needed. Spikes didn't seem necessary either, depending on your comfort level. I'm posting a few pix of surrounding peaks if anyone is interested in coverage. 1st: Silverheels 2nd: Fletcher's S face, Atlantic's E face, & Pacific's SE face (l. to r.) 3rd: The E/W running ridge on N Star 
 
Route: SE Shoulder and Ridge
Posted On: 2013-12-27, By: sunny1
Info: Road to beginning of SE shoulder is packed snow, easy walking. Ridge had some unconsolidated snow, but nothing too sketchy today. Did not need snowshoes or microspikes. Carried snowshoes, but stashed them. 
 
Route: Southeast Shoulder
Posted On: 2013-10-02, By: highcountryhiker
Info: Road, trail and ridge mostly dry. Minor patches of snow in a few spots that were almost entirely avoidable. No gaiters and/or traction needed. Was a beautiful day with aspen at their peak in Breck. 

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