Peak(s):  North Star Mtn  -  13,614 feet
Wheeler Mtn  -  13,690 feet
Date Posted:  09/26/2011
Modified:  08/22/2012
Date Climbed:   09/26/2011
Author:  Summit Lounger
 North Star to Wheeler traverse  

What: North Star Mtn. to Wheeler Mtn. traverse

When: 9/26/2011

In the past I have often gone for a hike on my birthday. It has been a great tradition. Lately it has been more difficult with 4 yo girl as a huge distraction. I bribed my wife and babysitter to get a day off for a hike this year. I looked for reports on the traverse from North Start to Wheeler, but came up empty. Once again, I decided to try and see what I found. I could always turn around........

I drove to Hoosier pass and started hiking up the road. Hiking up roads has always been a necessary evil for me. Maybe I should have brought the truck or my mtb. The ascent up North Star is pretty straightforward. Once the road stops at the mines, it's talus to an easy ridge traverse to the summit.

View of the ridge to Wheeler Mtn.


After 30 minutes on the summit, it was time to start the traverse. The first part is uneventful.

A look back at the traverse so far.

And the troubles ahead

There are 2 cruxes to the traverse. The first is this tower. It is hard to see, but there is a traverse on the south side of the tower that goes at class 3.

The second crux is this tower. 3rd class from this side.......

Once on top it is a different story. I stayed close to the ridge and chose an easy 5th class downclimb for 20' on solid rock. There was an easier way to the south of the ridge that looked 4th class as seen below.

A look back at the traverse so far

A closer look at the two towers.

The rest of the route is 3rd class with a little bit of route finding.

Soon the summit is gained. Someone left this homage behind.

An hour of lounging, and the birthday party is over.

A view of the second tower from Wheeler Lake

And a view of most of the meat of the traverse.

All that was left now was the hike out to the pass on the 4 wd road.

I thought it was a worthwhile traverse. My best guess is easy 5th class on relatively good rock. I did not try the 4th class looking downclimb on what appeared to be looser rock at the 2nd tower. Most of the route is 3rd class between the 1st tower and the North Star ridge. Route finding was not an issue. It was pretty straightforward to find the easiest and most solid rock on the route. I did not have to backtrack to find a better way along the ridge.


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

Thank you!
06/20/2014 20:18
Thank you much for posting this report - great info on what looks to be a fun traverse, will be following this shortly!

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