touring recommendations out of Sandpoint

Discussion in 'General' started by dschneiderch, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Hi! Im hoping to get some recommendations for a nice tour this weekend. My wife and I are avid backcountry skiers but have never been to Sandpoint so we are looking for people/places to go within 90 min radius. Please advise!
    Thanks
    Dominik
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  2. 90+ min will get you to salmo pass. You'll need your passport. Most everything else, besides schweitzer side country, is snomo access.
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  3. PowderPanda

    PowderPanda Staff Member

    Location:
    Liberty Lake, WA
    Also Kootenay Pass is a good place!
    Back side of Schweitzer as well, that just requires a lift ticket. You could look on Craigslist for cheap Schizz tix (Sometimes there are some).

    As noted by @Chiller most everything else is snomo access (the bane of North Idaho).
  4. Oops meant Kootenay Pass!
  5. Thanks for the info. are salmo pass and kootenay pass the same? google maps and caltopo seem to point to the same locations.....
    also, out of curiosity, would you consider Freezeout to be a snomo access spot? We've been there a few times so I'm trying to calibrate my expectations.
  6. idsnowghost

    idsnowghost Staff Member

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Salmo Pass = Kootenay Pass.

    Freezeout is the go-to spot for Moscow area backcountry skiers (excluding Moscow Mtn). If you have to start at the very bottom in a snowy winter it could be a 10 mile skin up to Mark's Butte. It's usually far less. Get chains, lower the air on your tires or bring a rope and some beer for a snowmobile tow to shorten things up. I think there is a group of UI profs/faculty that ski up about every Saturday.
  7. Yes I'm familiar with Mark's Butte/Freezeout area.
    Does pack river road get plowed past the snowmobile parking area all the way up to Jeru Creek? Looks like you could get to Jeru Park from there on skis.
  8. idsnowghost

    idsnowghost Staff Member

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Ah, read the post wrong!

    I think Pack River is plowed only a mile or so past the snowmobile parking lot -- probably to the last house?
  9. Ok Thanks. Looks like there is a small cluster of houses 1.5 miles past the snowmobile parking where Jeru Creek joins Pack River. so it might work. I'll report back if we end up trying it out.
  10. Last year they were plowing caribou creek road for a logging operation which Makes for a fairly doable approach into caribou lake and I think Casey? Which reminds me... does anyone know if they are plowing caribou creek road ...
    don’t forget about trestle creek, star peak and scotchmans along Highway 200. Which also reminds me... does anyone know if there is any kind of winter road maintenance up toward spar lake above the Troy mine?
  11. We are heading into the hut this weekend so I'll report. Last season it was hit and miss, we ended up just parking at the bottom. If the road is plowed I think caribou peak would be a good bet. From the plowed road to caribou lake is still probably 5 miles?
  12. Mark, how do you book the hut?
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  13. drove up caribou creek road on the pack this morning and while it was plowed way up caribou lake road I talked with the loggers and they are pulling out tomorrow so plowing will end for now. Depending on your rig and how much it snows this weekend hitting caribou peak might be an easy option for you guys.


    Carl, the little hut above caribou lake is a members hut, we each get a weekend a year and access during the week when not in use. We have 14 members and while there is a waiting list it hasn't moved since I became a member 5 years ago.
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  14. PowderPanda

    PowderPanda Staff Member

    Location:
    Liberty Lake, WA
    Become REALLY good friends with a member!! LoL
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  15. if we can get 3-4 folks with sleds who want to go up for a quick midweek overnight sometime in March I can make it work. Probably a wednesday/thursday shot would be best as most members like to go in on friday. Message me that you are interested and when March comes along and the weather patterns come into focus I'll see if we can come up with a plan. cost is 20 bucks a night
    Mark
  16. We ended up skiing the backside of schweitzer Sunday after a friendly local told us about the access from the Spires gate on the lift on Saturday. Only about 2.25 miles from there to the top. We had the pleasure of skiing not 1, but 2 breakable crusts about 8" apart! That's a first for me.
    We bailed on exploring caribou or jeru or anything else because we were unsure what the weather was doing and we were worried about seeing where we were going since we hadn't been there before. Plus the avy forecast was quite sketchy with buried hoar. We saw no activity and a small mitt pit revealed minimal hoar around the lower crust. In the end, we showed up at the spires gate and my wife realized she forgot her skins at home :-/. As we were debating how to skin with just 1 pair of skins + some straps another local came down and let us borrow hers! Our decision to ski schweitzer backside really paid off with that one.
    In the end we had a good weekend although the snow conditions could have been better. Thanks for the expert advice from you guys!
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