Forum Index > Trip Reports > Pioneer Cabin (Ketchum, ID) - 12/16/17
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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostSat Dec 16, 2017 4:32 pm 
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I'm on break right now, visiting some friends in Ketchum, ID. The skiing is terrible so why not go hiking instead?

Pioneer Cabin is a lovely hike in summer, but its 9500' elevation makes it a bit harder to access in the winter months. Built in the 1930s as a ski cabin, it has commanding views of the Pioneer Mountains. The snowpack is quite low right now, so I decided to head up there and check it out.

South facing slopes are bare until about 9k
South facing slopes are bare until about 9k

The first three miles of trail was nicely packed snow and ice, perfect conditions for microspikes. After that, I reached timberline and lost the trail. From there to the cabin was endless knee-deep postholing through open slopes. It was exhausting and it took me over an hour to hike the last 3/4 of a mile. I was cursing myself for not bringing snowshoes.

Johnstone Peak from timberline
Johnstone Peak from timberline
Beginning of posthole terrain
Beginning of posthole terrain
Back down the valley to Ketchum
Back down the valley to Ketchum
The Pioneers
The Pioneers
It says, "The higher you get, the higher you get"
It says, "The higher you get, the higher you get"

The views made all the postholing worth it. I ate my sandwich in the cabin and enjoyed reading the quirky wall scribblings.

Interior of the cabin
Interior of the cabin
Interesting graffiti
Interesting graffiti
Views
Views
Hyndman Peak and Cobb Peak
Hyndman Peak and Cobb Peak

The way down was more postholing fun, but not as bad as the ascent. Fun hike!

Deep!
Deep!
Johnstone Peak again
Johnstone Peak again
Long shadows this time of year
Long shadows this time of year
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olderthanIusedtobe
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSat Dec 16, 2017 11:42 pm 
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Wow, that looks great!  I've checked out a few different areas in Idaho, I've been near that area but haven't explored the Pioneer range.
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JimK
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JimK
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 2:00 pm 
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Thanks for the report. I've been there where there is a dusting of early snow. Never with as much as you had. It nicely highlights the Pioneer Mountains.


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Hiking Northwest
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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 2:33 pm 
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Thanks Jim, your photo does an excellent job capturing the feel of the place. The Pioneers are nice and definitely worth a visit for anyone in the area IMO.
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HermitThrush
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 7:34 pm 
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I hope heaven looks like that spot right there, at least part of it.
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the Zachster
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the Zachster
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 10:43 pm 
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Which trail did you take? We did the clockwise loop (in by Long Gulch) this summer and wondered what it would look like in snow. Nice!!! We were there about one week after a crew cleaned up the cabin and totally white washed it (inside), and the new graffiti had started already. As much as I hate graffiti, the really old stuff was pretty interesting to read. Love that place.

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"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostMon Dec 18, 2017 11:56 am 
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the Zachster wrote:
Which trail did you take?

Just the standard Pioneer Cabin Trail #122, out and back. I've actually never done the loop but I hear that's the way to do it in summer.
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kiliki
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kiliki
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PostThu Dec 21, 2017 10:45 am 
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Is the writing on the roof ("the higher you get") graffiti, or is it somehow meant to be there? We're regulars in Sun Valley and though I've never done that trail, I've seen pictures countless times and only recently did I notice the writing.
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