Once more into the storm, dear friends, once more…

While I was home in Washington for Christmas and New Year’s, I set off on numerous dayhikes to make up for the time spent in the barren, desolate place called Oklahoma. Eventually, after tossing the idea around a bit, a buddy of mine and I decided to do an overnight up on Silver Star Mountain, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the (rumoured) spectacular sunrise the next day. He brought along two of his cousins, and after leaving late at 2:00pm (compared to the original plan of an 11:00am departure), we arrived at the trailhead right as darkness was falling. We had missed our turn off one of the forest roads, and ended up spending about an hour crawling up an icy dirt track with a massive drop off into a white abyss on one side. Below are several journal entries from this trip, as well as a video at the end. Hope you enjoy it!

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1.2.2015 – Journal Entry

Climbed to the summit of Silver Star. Sleeping at the top right now. Windy. Cold. Icy. [Four] guys in a 3-person tent. Started the hike at night, after taking the wrong road – took us up FR-41 [way] too far. We built a [raging] fire to warm up, cooked bacon, ate Ramen, and tried to stay warm. All of our coats are frozen with ice unfortunately. 

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1.3.2015 – Journal Entry

Woke up numerous times during the night to hear the wind screaming against the thin fabric of the tent. Each time I woke up, the tent had gotten smaller as the weight of ice gradually caused it to swallow us. 

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All of our gear was glued together with an icy cement. Ever our boots were frozen solid and it took a solid fifteen minutes of stumbling like a bumbling buffoon with my feet half-way in the boots before they finally granted my frozen toes access inside. 

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As I was the first to wake up from that fitful night, I spotted the sun desperately attempting to burn through the clouds enshrouding us. Sadly, he didn’t stay long.

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My breakfast consisted of melted snow (boiled in my Jetboil), instant Cream of Wheat with brown sugar, and a few packets of instant Apple Cider. The “dining room” was on the lee side of the summit, inches away from a tremendous drop-off.

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The sun finally managed to break through for a solid five minutes before roaring winds pushed a new white blanket upon us.

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A nearly perfect sun halo appeared at the summit, and I shouted for the rest of the gang to wake up. But by the time they had burrowed out of bed, the sun had once more hidden its glory.

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By 8 am, we were digging out of the ice cake, and packing our gear up for a cold walk back to the trailhead.

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We took one last look from the summit of Silver Star before trudging back down the icy slopes. PICT0077PICT0084

Our hike out was frigid as we faced into the wind and stumbled through icy snow drifts.PICT0086-2

Wore my Poler Snapback for the trek back. Picked it up at their store in Portland…definitely should have gotten one of their beanies while I was there!

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Like ghosts of winters past, our silhouettes were etched into the thickening clouds. Can you see me?

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Visibility continued to decrease until we were only a few hundred yards from the trailhead.

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“Once more into the storm, dear friends, once more…”
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Adventure awaits!
JC

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One Comment

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  1. Great pictures!
    The unscheduled journeys like this are often more adventurous than the well planned.

    Like

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