Cache Peak

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A backcountry ski trip near Burley, Cache Peak is the highest Idaho peak south of the Snake River

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Cache Peak is the highest Idaho mountain south of the Snake River. Since it was late in the spring, we hoped the altitude would guarantee some snow. The other reason was to investigate the possibility of a multi-day tour from the Pomerelle ski area, over Independence Peak to Cache and back.

Our route followed the right shoulder, but that big bowl looks pretty tasty.

We drove around trying to find some way to get on the mountain without trespassing. At the ideal spot, we asked the residents for permission to walk the 100 yards to their far fence line. They said,"We don't want no climbers on our property." They were a little surprised, and slightly more pleasant, when we told them we were skiers, not climbers. But still no go.

We continued driving around blindly, and finally found a good starting spot.

It's an unusual occurrence to walk through cactus in telemark boots, but there you go. Idaho has its special charm.

We meandered our way up the mountain, climbing close to 5,000 vertical feet. The terrain varied from sage brush to scrubby trees. At times the trees were extremely dense, so we took breaks to clean out the fallen needles and branches from between our packs and backs.

High on the final ridge, we negotiated some 4-6' high sastrugi before we finally made the top.

The snow wasn't really great, but if you look close you'll see we made the most of it. On his alpine touring gear, Dave made flawless linked turns all the way down the center meadow. I made floundering arcs on my tele gear with intermittent, involuntary breaks.

On the way up, we had hiked dry ground for almost 2000' of vertical. On the way down we skied the snow maze between patches of sagebrush most of the way back to the truck, only walking the last several hundred feet. Turns through the sagebrush made us giggle.

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