Northen Idaho native Cassidy Higgins and myself spent most of the first full day of Summer (June 21st, 2012) driving around the Southern Cabinets trying to find a decent ski with a short approach. Not having the heavy population of rando skiers up here posting trip reports all over the web, it’s a little tougher finding a F.S. road without a band of snow that keeps you 7 or so miles from your target. If you had an ATV of some sort, your options would be much greater. The day started out with some not so perfect info from two weeks prior, telling us a drive within apx 3 miles of Lunch Peak Lookout was possible. This info led me to believe that by now we might get right up to the Peak. However, Trestle Creek road (located just outside Hope, ID) had a good sized snow band in a hair pin turn 7 miles before Lunch Peak Lookout. With only map coverage for the zone we wanted to ski and not its surroundings, our “easy” ski day had just turned to a mapless recon adventure. On our way up Trestle Cr. earlier, we noticed a bunch of sweet North facing shots off of the ridge line to our East that separated Trestle Creek and Lightning Creek.

We headed back down the road to see if would could get access to this sweet zone. A few miles back down Trestle Creek road, we noticed a bridge to our East which crossed the creek just under the bowls. The road was also labeled F.S. 275, but had a locked gate just a few hundred yards past the bridge. Being bummed that we were still too far from the snow line, we let the dogs out at the gate for a break. We noticed a freshly posted advisory from the F.S. to move though this area and be aware of recent brown bear sightings. After our break, we chose to stay in recon mode and headed back down to Hwy 200 to Clark Fork, ID where there’s a back road to our original target via Lightning Creek road (F.S. 419). On the way to Clark Fork, Cassidy mentioned the road and bridges being all wiped out not too many years ago and still out last year, but to our surprise the road was freshly paved like an interstate with all bridges complete too! Our goal now was to get towards Trestle Creek road via Lighting Creek. However, a snow band stopped us 2-3 miles short of Trestle Creek road. On our way up, we had noticed another bridge halfway to the Lightning/Trestle junction that crossed the creek (F.S. 489) and headed West towards the ridge line we were looking at earlier from Trestle Creek. We decided to give it a go, wondering if a locked gate up the road a bit would end the hopes for a ski day there. No locked gate, but it was a rough rocky road for the AWD mini RV, taking 1 hour from the bridge to snow line. Success!!! Skins on from the mini RV (actually the road was running as a river, so I backed down the road 100 yards for a dry patch). Having burned up the day, we didn’t have time to ski the North Face off Round Top, but hope to hit it this upcoming week. We did get a 1,200 foot solid pitch ski off of the S.E face along with a shorter ski off of the N.W. face. Amazing views in the Cabinets! Give it a try sometime and check out the Beyond Hope Resort and RV park… Awesome place on the lake with great food and live weekend music on the beach.

Excellent 360 degree view from Round Top – looking down on Lake Pend Oreille just above Hope, ID.

Below is the video of the day.

VN:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

2 Responses to “Round Top, Cabinet Mountain Range, ID – Pend Oreille Vantage”

  1. July 12, 2012

    […] is the video to go with Sting’s earlier POSTof our ski from Steamboat Prow this past 4th of July, 2012. The day finally started out with […]

  2. July 2, 2012

    […] posts:Round Top, Cabinet Mountain Range, ID – Pend Oreille VantageJoe Peak, ID – Selkirk Sweetness – 6/5/11Mt. Fitzsimmons-West to North Face ski […]

Leave a Reply