The First Ascent of Cabin Creek Peak


One of Idaho’s true hidden treasures, Cabin Creek Peak still has only one known ascent. It is located in the Salmon River Mountains NNE of Stanley, Idaho on a ridge line sometimes identified as the Tango Peaks. Although the peak is visible from ID-75 just south of Stanley and from many of the most popular Sawtooth peaks I could find no references to it as I researched the first edition of my guidebook. Dana Hanson and I backpacked into Crimson Lake in 1987 hoping to climb it but our trip became a reconnaissance when we discovered we would need technical gear if we hoped to summit.

Cabin Creek Peak from Mount Loening.

The next year climbing Cabin Creek Peak was our number one goal. We enlisted Paul Bellamy to join us. He drove down from the Palouse. We met in Stanley. Camped at near the Basin Butte Lookout. The next day we drove to the end of the 4WD road in Basin Creek and then hiked to the peak’s east face. Paul,

Dana Hanson and I made the first ascent of the peak on August 8, 1988 via the East Face. This face is cut by 3 gullies. With Paul leading, we climbed the southernmost gully. The route started out to the right of the gully on a small buttress and then moved up and to the left for one and a half pitches. Class 5.3. The rock on this face is fine-grained granite with cracks that took small and mid-sized protection.

The lower east face of Cabin Creek. The first ascent starts just to the right of the southern most gully on the face.

The mid and upper portion of the east face.

Next: Skiing the Rim Road Around Crater Lake