14ers.com Shirts!
Your purchase of a synthetic or cotton shirt helps support 14ers.com. Thank you!

Other ways to help...
Peak(s):  Star Pk A  -  13,521 feet
Post Date:  05/04/2012
Modified:  05/18/2012
Date Climbed:   05/03/2012
Posted By:  rangercarl


 Star Peak>Friends Hut>Greg Mace Peak   

The trek started at the Castle creek road which we drove with no problem to the bridge. Had to shoulder the skis for about 15 minutes until we hit continuous snow near the Mace hut. Overcast day hiking to Pearl Pass allowed for supportable skinning.

Image
Image
Cathedral peak in background left.


We were some what skeptical about the snow conditions on the south facing Gunnison side, but were delightfully surprised to see good coverage and stability for it being mid-afternoon in early May. We were able to ski nice, smooth corn all the way to the Friends hut.

Image

After dinner, whiskey, and a few games of cards it was easy to call it a night. Started the next morning a little after 7am, and began skinning up the basin to the base of the south face of Star Peak. The June couloir is the prominent snow line that usually fills in to the summit, but not this year.

Image

We followed the snow climbers left to the top of a tight couloir that topped out less than 100ft to the summit.

Image

The snow was locked up in the couloir as it had not seen the sun yet. It made for easy cramponing/climbing. From the top it was an easy rock scramble to the summit. The views of the Elks and the Sawatch were quite nice.

Image
The Elks, Teocali center

Image
East face of Castle


The south facing couloir was not warming up very fast, but we knew we had a big day ahead of us to get back to castle creek, so we dropped in around 10:45am. In a few SE aspects of the couloir there was some soft corn snow, but most of the couloir ski was survival skiing. There was some nice frozen debris and rocks to negotiate, but it was fun exposed skiing.

Image
June couloir

Image
Howie skiing well on the setup he used for the Grand Traverse.


Made it back to the hut for clean up and omelets. The Friends hut is equipped with a CD player and stereo system, so we enjoyed the sunshine and tunes on the south facing deck. Refueled and and ready to go, we headed back up to Pearl pass.

Image
Headed back to Pitkin county


We were able to traverse most of the way to the Mace saddle (with minor side stepping), and decided to hike the ridge up Greg Mace peak to ski a line that took us back to the Castle creek road.

Image
Image

This decision was well worth the extra 25 minute hike, as we had an aesthetic ski down to the valley in some very nice corn.

Image
Howie reaping the harvest

Image
Image
Image
Image
Greg Mace NW face


This descent was the icing on the cake for the trip. As soon as we knew it, we were back at the truck for cold beers. Fantastic two day tour, wish I could have stayed out there longer. The snow is melting fast, get it while you can.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
FireOnTheMountain


Dude this is wicked     05/17/2012 04:41
Happen to have any pics from the summit towards Taylor Peak...thanks a lot and great job!


rangercarl


Taylor peak     05/19/2012 02:32
Check out picture #18 that I just added, it's the only shot I have of Taylor.



   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.

© 2015 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.