First snow that was visible from Sanpoint, Idaho was actually above the sweet little town of Hope, Idaho. The peaks of the Cabinet Mountains that tower above Hope, received apx. 2″ of new snow two nights ago. Getting pumped for the new season, I had to take the pups for a long walk up towards Round Top Mountain, which happened to be our last two “Idaho” ski days this past June. Access can be gained from fs. trail 444 located just 1 mile past the hope cemetery, however the trail can only be traveled by atv’s. So if you’re looking for easy early season or late ski season car access, head to Clark Fork, ID and take Lightning Creek rd( see original post HERE).
Looking down on Lake Pend Oreille from the NW face of Round Top Mountain.
If you look at a topo map of this zone(or see the video thumbnail at very bottom of post) you will clearly see why this might be the best ski zone in all of Northern, Idaho. Not only is their huge relief but also a huge lake effect. Lake Pend Oreille’s 60+ mile stretch of open water allows the storms coming in from the West Coast funnel right between the Monacrh Mountains & the foothills of Sagle, slamming right into the Cabinets. This effect is also very evident by the vegetation in the Cabinets (looking much more lush like the West slopes of the Cascades) vs. the vegetation in the Selkirk foothills, where Schweitzer calls home (looking more like the East slopes of the Cascades, with mostly jack and ponderosa pine trees). If you ever were to move into the Sanpoint area and happen to spend all your free time alpine touring, I would recommend Hope, Idaho & a sled or two. Also, “Hope, Idaho” has a funny kind of ring, when you say it out loud.
After 3 hours of walking in a Fall snow storm the weather cleared a little.
A look back at our second to last ski day on Round Top Mountain this past June.