Yes, I noticed that the band was open to Hong Kong on 17M just before going to work--that path is right over the North Pole. Polar paths are very unreliable.
(All times below East Coast localtime):
I fully agree that the short path to that part of Asia, is over the north pole.
My experience is that the afternoon high band openings are short path (or a slight skew from short path)
I believe many of the morning summertime high band openings are long path (or at least, taking a path that is much different than the short path).
That 30M opening I mentioned... not sure I would lump it in with the high band openings. It seems more like a low band dark-path or greyline opening and it is open for 4 hours to JA each morning. Sometimes 20M will open "like" 30M.