14 miles, 3200 feet of gain
September 11 seemed like a good day to hike back into the backcountry of the Idaho Selkirks and we were not disappointed. A late start (10:30) meant we had to keep moving over the 14 roundtrip miles to the top of Mt. Roothaan. Cathy Schuller and Don Otis set out from the Chimney Rock Trailhead on the Upper Pack River Road. The start is two miles of old logging road but once it turns west the views slowly begin to open up and the trail steepens. We had Max, our boxer dog with us. He is a good trail dog but his skills on the bigger boulders need improvement! We found a way to get him to the top of his first 7,000 footer in the Selkirks. The route is straightforward as you head directly toward Chimney Rock’s massive east face. The trail to Roothaan (still not visible) is to the left (south) before you get to the base of Chimney. Head directly south to a small pass or col – hiking along the base of the crest. Once you reach the pass you can see the final 300-400 feet required to summit Roothaan. Drop down about 50-100 feet before ascending the north side of Roothaan. Then, skirt the steep walls and go as far south as possible. You access the summit from the back side – from the west. The 14 miles are mostly easy miles with a total elevation gain of 3,200 feet. The views from the top are some of the best in the Selkirks as you are actually a couple hundred feet higher than Chimney’s summit. To the west is Priest Lake and to the south, you can see the massive face of Gunsight Peak.
Photo 1 - Cathy Schuller on summit of Roothaan
Photo 2 - Gunsight Peak
Photo 3 - Mt. Roothaan from the saddle