West FacePosted On:
2020-05-12, By: GroverInfo:
If you are contemplating Star Peak, the Cooper Creek drainage still has plenty of snow in it. From Road Closure up the Lindley Hut, there is only a small amount of snow on the road, and it was melting fast. You can walk this 2 mile section. Snow from Lindley Hut up to the West Face was continuous, but very hard early in the morning.
The couloir to reach the weakness in the North Ridge on the West Face is losing snow. Only 65% is covered (Picture 1), and it was very solid/icy; crampons and ice axe are required. Transferring to the East Face, snow was much softer getting an early sun hit, and I used the initial spine to get onto the ridge (Class 3 / Class 4), as the snow was giving away under foot at the rocks right there. If you are thinking of attacking Star Peak from the East Face (see: bergsteigen trip report), the snow is continuous from the summit down into the valley, and would be far more ideal to be on compared to hardened snow I encountered in the 'bowls' of the Cooper Creek Valley.
FYI: Elk Range Peaks should have some new wet snow on them today, Tue, 5/12, as it rained most of the day in Aspen on Mon, 5/11, and the Aspen Mtn. snow stake showed 4" of new snow last night, which is at 11,200 ft.