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New "Climber's Guide to North Idaho"

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Actually, the "Climber's Guide to North Idaho and the Cabinet Wilderness." Discussion already started here on this thread, but this new guidebook deserves its own thread. Props to author Thaddeus Laird for the great effort I'm sure it entailed.


I'm interested to hear feedback/comments, as this is really only the second guide to cover North Idaho including Chimney Rock and Selkirk range, replacing Randall Green's 1987 original and long out-of-print "Idaho Rock: A Climbing Guide to the Selkirk Crest and Sandpoint Areas."


Available online direct from publisher Keokee Press of Sandpoint.


Also, according to others in the above-mentioned thread, it's in Spokane at Northwest Map and Travel Books (owned by parents of a couple well-known Spokane climbers) and Auntie's Bookstore.


I pre-ordered my copy, and it was waiting when I arrived home this weekend. If your local NW area climbing shop doesn't have it already, it should soon.


Seems fairly comprehensive, and covers the following:



Post Falls/Q'emiln Park

Laclede Rocks


The Selkirk Crest:

Gunsight Peak

Chimney Rock

Silver Dollar Peak

The High Traverse

Harrison Peak

Mrytle's Turtle

The Lion's Head


The Cabinets:

Ojibway Peak

Elephant Peak

St. Paul Peak

Snowshoe Peak



Granite Point, Lake Pend Orielle

Schweitzer Rocks

Kalispell Creek

Granite Pass


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Cudos to Chris Bessler at Keokee for supporting the project.




Edited by drater

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Stopped at Auntie's on Sunday but they were out. The lady behind the counter said they had 11 more copies on order - they might be in by now. I went ahead and ordered on line. An excelent addition to anyone's library and I would also say the best treatment of Post Falls to date.

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I've been poring over my copy. Nice work, though spotty in coverage. Laird makes clear he had little success in finding evidence of early climbs in either the Selkirks or the Cabinets, though he tried. He does credit pioneering climbers when he can. I also applaud his committment to the established trad ethic in both ranges.


I think I can add a little background to the history of the Lion's head.


On page 136, Laird writes


"the summit register located in the massive summit cairn held the Holy Grail of climbing information regarding the Lion's Head. So I extracted this historical relic gingerly, as if performing an archeological dig. ... Inside the metal tube was a faded piece of paper. Scribbled on it was a barely visible date: 1938. It was the first recorded ascent of the peak made by a man from Bonners Ferry, Idaho."


I can shed some light on that. I think, though I can not prove, that the man was my father, Bob Pace, accompanied by his best friend Everett Davidson, both of Bonners Ferry. That summer the two 17 year olds hiked from the west side road at the Sundeen ranch (now the Kootenai wildlife refuge) up Myrtle creek, traversing the spine of the Selkirks north with stops at the Wigwams, Harison Peak, Mrytle peak, Trout creek, Smith peak, Fisher peak, the Continental mine, and finally Abandoned creek and the Lion's Head region, phoning my grandfather for a ride home from Priest Lake 2 1/2 weeks later. He said if Bob and Everett could get that far, they could find their own ride home.


What made such a journey possible, given that few roads penetrated the Selkirks, was the string of lookouts the boys could mooch off of, all connected by phone line. The boys were the only visitors most of the lookouts had seen all summer, so a good meal was waiting at each.


I really need to see that slip of paper. Both Dad and Everett are dead, so I can't ask them. I do remember planning a trip to the Lion's Head 30 years ago, and Dad saying, "That's a real steep one" but I didn't think too much of it at the time, since he had ALWAYS been to every place I wanted to go to in the Selkirks, and could recall details like "put your tent on the big boulder across the outlet from the lake and you will find a real nice 4 foot stream pourover for water about 100 yards uphill past a really big spruce".


If Dad and Everett didn't make the first ascent, I'd guess it was either Irby Walter or my uncle Dave Pace, both manning lookouts that summer. I can see Dave playing hooky and traversing over from Fisher Peak. He used to tell me he got pretty bored up there and took trips when the weather permitted. Irby was quite the mountaineer, and after the war performed the snow surveys up in that country for many years. Before the original West Fork cabin burned down, one could see Irby's snow measurements for a 20 year stretch written on the logs inside the cabin. Neat stuff. A final possibility is one of the Davidson boys, whose parents ran cattle up Smith and Cow creeks all summer. My dad worked for them. That's why it's called Cow creek, BTW.






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Holy shit!!! I knew you BF boys rolled hard but that is an amazing adventure.


Methinks maybe you've got some Selkirk lore worthy of a book or something.


Thanks for sharing.

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