The high point in Idaho’s Cabinet Mountains is just outside of Clark Fork (see previous descriptions to the trailhead).
The mid April ascent was a mixture of cold weather, blowing clouds, and icy conditions on the summit ridge. We used crampons and ice axes for the final 500’ of elevation. There is new snow but not enough to be a problem. The snow level remains pretty much the same – about 5,600-5,700’ on the south ridge. The snow is mostly hard pack.
Don Otis, Jeff Beeman, and Ken Emerson made the ascent – 3 hours from trailhead to summit – 3700’ of gain. This was Ken’s first trip up. The clouds and winds were heavy on the ridge but opened up as we lingered for 30 minutes. If you go, always anticipate the need for layers, a good wind shell, gloves and a beanie. If you haven’t done this peak before, you won’t be disappointed.
Photo #1 – Jeff making his way across from the slightly higher south summit.
Photo #2 – The view toward the east and into Montana from near 7,000’
Photo #3 – The view to the southwest toward Sandpoint as they began to open up for us
Photo #4 – Watch for these critters on the trail