On January 3 four of us set out to climb the south ridge of Star Peak in Montana's Cabinet Mountains. What we thought was going to be a cold but sunny day turned out to be spitting snow and poor visibility on the summit. Star is one of a handful of peaks in the area that one can climb off the road. At about 6300' the summit is 4100' from the parking off Highway 2 near Heron, Montana. Jeff Beeman, Ken Emerson and I started out at 9:00 am and reached the summit 3' 30" later -- all on snowshoes. We took turns making trail in deep snow but were definitely the first to reach the summit this year and see the abandoned Forest Service lookout. All in all, a great workout and arduous day. With temperatures at the TH in the mid teens, the summit was single digits or below. For winter travel on the higher peaks be sure to bring plenty of warm clothing - hard shell, mitts, wool beanie, and pack your water inside your pack lest it freeze.