AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Washington, Silver Star Mountain, Gato Negro

Silver Star Mountain, Gato Negro. On June 21, 2001 Larry Goldie and Scott Johnston, both of Mazama, WA, established a probable new route on the west face of Silver Star Mountain near Washington Pass in the North Cascades. The climb follows the line of weakness on a spire, named “Whine Spire” by the pair, that is separated from, and lower than, the true west summit of Silver Star, and south of, but adjacent to, the Wine Spires. Using the climbers’ trail that leads from Highway 20 to Burgundy Col, the pair left the road at 5 a.m. and returned at 10 p.m. Of the 11 pitches climbed, five or six are outstanding 5.7–5.9 hand cracks. The crux fourth pitch involves a wonderful, but poorly protected, 5.8 chimney, a hard 5.9 offwidth, and is topped by a vicious overhanging 5.10+ double corner. A few other 5.10 pitches should entertain most parties. The route was climbed onsight and clean. Descent was by rappel and downclimbing in the gully between Whine Spire and the west summit of Silver Star. In the spirit of the Wine Spires the climb was called Gato Negro, rated IV 5.10+.

Scott Johnston