Peak(s):  Taylor Pk A  -  13,435 feet
Star Pk A  -  13,521 feet
Date Posted:  11/02/2020
Date Climbed:   10/30/2020
Author:  WildWanderer
 From the end of 742 / Mt Tilton Trail  

Taylor Peak – 13,435 & Star Peak – 13,521


20845_01


RT Length: 13.34 Miles

Elevation Gain: 4167’


With the recent snow I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on today’s hike. I drove down road 742 in the dark until it dead-ended. The road was icy in the morning, and not too bad on the way out.


20845_02


I parked at the trailhead, the only vehicle in the lot (both when I arrived and when I left).


20845_03


It was 14 degrees outside, so I put on my full winter gear and was on the trail at 6am. The trail starts at the southwest corner of the roundabout, and immediately crosses a stream.


20845_04


20845_05


In the morning there was more ice than this photo shows, and the stream was at least a foot deep in areas. There was no way I was starting this hike off with frozen toes, so crossing the stream here wasn’t an option. I spent about 15 minutes searching for a better way to cross (in the dark). I was able to find a good crossing about 15 yards upstream, rock hopped across without any difficulty, and picked up Mt Tilton Trail #582.


20845_06


Even with the recent snow the trail was well packed, but not by humans. It was packed down by hoofprints. Some very large hoofprints. There was also fresh moose scat along the trail and a lot of moose tracks, so I kept on the lookout (but never ended up seeing a moose).


20845_07


There was one more stream crossing. This one was almost completely frozen over. I didn’t really want to cross it, not being sure of how thick the ice was, but I noticed a set of moose tracks on top of the ice and figured if a moose could cross the stream, so could I. I placed my feet on top of the moose tracks and made my way across.


20845_08


The trail remained easy to follow, no traction needed. I passed the remains of a log cabin


20845_09


And after hiking for 2.15 miles I came to a second set of log cabin/mining remains and a trail junction. I turned right and followed Taylor Divide Trail #440


20845_10


20845_11


I followed this trail briefly, about one tenth of a mile, until the trail started to head back down, and instead turned left and headed northwest up to treeline. It was about half a mile to treeline from leaving the trail.


20845_12


20845_13


Once at treeline I had a great view of Taylor Peak and how I wanted to summit. Here’s an overview of my route


20845_14


And step by step. I stayed to the right of the willows to gain the basin


20845_15


Once in the basin I headed north to gain the ridge


20845_16


The rocks here were loose, and there was just enough snow to make it slow going, as I had to watch every step. I was worried I’d roll an ankle or plunge into a hole underneath the snow.


20845_17


Once on the ridge I followed it north to the summit. There were two false summits before reaching the actual summit


20845_18


The ridge to the second false summit had some snow to navigate, and what became class 3 climbing due to snow on the route. Sticking to the ridge worked


20845_19


Here’s the actual summit of Taylor Peak


20845_20


I summited Taylor Peak at 9:40am


20845_21


Taylor Peak:

It was a bluebird day, so I decided to head over to Star Peak as well. This ended up taking a lot more time than I’d anticipated. There was just enough snow to make me question every step. The snow as sugary, the rocks rolled, and as it started warming up as the day went on the snow became slippery.


Here’s a look at Star Peak from Taylor Peak


20845_22


The ridge doesn’t look like it ‘goes’ all the way from Taylor to Star, especially towards the end, so from the summit of Taylor Peak I turned and retraced my steps back to the basin.


20845_23


20845_24


Once in the basin I stayed high and followed the mountainside west


20845_25


20845_26


20845_27


I believe the traditional way to gain the ridge here is to use the gully, but I didn’t like the current conditions, so instead I took a slight ramp to the right of the gully. The rock here was rubble, loose, and not much fun to traverse. However, once I’d gained the ridge and looked down the gully I knew I’d made the correct route choice in todays’ conditions. Here’s my overall route to Star Peak


20845_28


I took the solid line up, the dotted line down (I’d recommend using the dotted line, as the higher you go here the more loose the rock is)


20845_29


20845_30


Once on the ridge I followed it south to the summit. This is probably class 2 in summer, but in these conditions it felt like class 3. The ridge goes, but it’s very narrow and the rocks are loose. The trek here was very slow going as I’d step on snow, only to break off a microwave sized rock or plunge several feet into a hole. I used my trekking pole to gauge every step


20845_31


The summit was topped with snow


20845_32


I summited Star Peak at 1:50pm.


20845_33


Star Peak:

It was a perfect, bluebird day, yet it had taken me quite a while to reach this summit. I sat for a bit to enjoy the view.


20845_34


Here’s a look at the route from Taylor Peak to the ridge of Star


20845_35


I headed back down the ridge


20845_36


And down into the basin.


20845_37


Once in the basin I aimed for the drainage


20845_38


Here’s looking back on my route down from the ridge (dotted line) and the traverse from Taylor (solid line)


20845_39


Once in the drainage I picked up a game trail that led me back to where I’d emerged from treeline.


20845_40


20845_41


From here I followed the prints I’d made in the snow this morning south, back to the Taylor Divide Trail


20845_42


20845_43


And then back down the basin, over the frozen creek with the moose tracks


20845_44


Following the well defined trail and crossing the stream that led to the parking area.


20845_45


20845_46


I made it back to my truck at 5pm, making this a 13.34 mile hike with 4167’ of elevation gain in 11 hours.


20845_47





Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47


 Comments or Questions
ltlFish99
Excellent report
11/02/2020 16:33
Another great report with wonderful photographs.


Tufftommy-BV

When I did these two...
11/02/2020 16:38
... a couple months ago there were three moose at the parking area. One was the largest bull I‘ve ever seen! I waited until they wandered off before I even got out of the truck.


Altitude High

Very nice
11/02/2020 17:12
report, and beautiful pics. I'm wondering what kind of boots you have for the snow and low temps.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.




© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.