Trapper Peak is the highest peak in the Bitterroots and is a great place for skiing and mountaineering. With a moderate approach from the south culminating in an easy to summit peak there are also many fun and steep descents on the north side of the peak. The standard approach is to follow the summer trail from the south and gradually ascend above trreeline to the 10,000 plus foot peak. It makes for a long day especially if you cannot make it to the summertime trailhead. Plan for an early start. Skiing from the summit down the main north gully is often good into July during a good snow year. These north facing gullies hold snow year round and are a good place for summer and fall mountaineering trips as well. It is a popular hikers destination so the road and trail are well maintained. The other approach is from further north at The Baker Lake trailhead. From Baker Lake and the upper ponds there are a few routes south to the summit ridge that cut through the cliffs either in the trees or further up in the bowls and couloirs nearer to Gem Lake. These trailheads are snowed in until May sometime making that the preferred time to strart heading to this high peak for a spring day tour.
February 17th- Skinned up Trapper Creek to take a look at skiing something on the north side of North Trapper Peak. The small basin due north had been wind scoured and the one gully that wraps around the mountain from the east was thin and protected by an icefall at around 8400'. What a huge chunk of alpine rock this north face is and hope to get back with some ice climbing gear to get up the gully later this winter or another. Felt like we were in the Tetons with the 1500' vertical of rock towering treeless above. The gully seemed like a canyon country slot hike with rock walls descending right down to the gully which was then a slab of rock with and icefall fully within it. We skied from the ice and made our way back downcanyon scouting for any other potential ski lines. Trapper creek trail leaves much to be desired for a skier approacj it is a difficult one to follow. So we followed the abundant wolf tracks which helped at times they were not distracted by Moose scent.