>Stouts Mountain is somewhat of an anomaly in my opinion. It’s the first big thing storms crash into after they cross the Snake River plain. So all of that deep soft powder that graces the western slopes of the Tetons, Targhee Ski Resort and Teton Pass, can be found in the Big Holes too! Stouts, Piney, Blacks and a few other Big Hole giants steal a lot of the thunder in those storms before they ever reach the west side of the Tetons and for those of us who want to search for adventure close to home, well Stouts is one of those places we go. We’ve skied several lines on the impressive northeast face. Turbo and I lucked out and skied hero powder on the south face of the mountain this year, which when conditions are good, the south face rivals the northeast for long continuous open terrain.
Turbo and I are pretty keen on finding obscure less travelled, remote areas in the Big Holes to ski. I started looking at the northwest side of Stouts for such terrain. The west ridge of Stouts offers a lot of north and northwest facing realistate for exploration, which is what we did yesterday. Ricardo, Turbo, and I skinned up the southwest side of the west ridge and skied three laps on two different lines on the north side of the ridge. The final run we dropped all the way down to Dry Creek and followed it west for a few miles until we could climb out of the canyon and ski across the Pine Creek Bench to get back to our car.
The terrain we skied is much different than the other areas of Stouts. Trees, chutes, cliffs, boulders, logs, stumps, clumps of brush and a variety of ski-tip eating things under the snow are all very common. Sounds pretty bad, eh? Well, like i was saying, the snow piles up a whole lot more on Stouts than it does on Pine Creek Pass itself and with a really good base, those cliffs, boulders and logs offer some really amazing terrain to ski, jump off of, and experience flight about every 8 or 10 turns. We had a blast to say the least and is the very reason we did three laps.
It was a long day in a remote part of the Big Holes. I believe Ricardo has come up with some very accurate stats on mileage and vertical that we skied yesterday. I’ll let him post about all of that, but i will say this, we could have easily skied the Middle Teton for the effort, vertical, and mileage! And if i had to choose between the Middle Teton and the west side of Stouts with the same conditions as we had yesterday… well, I’d go back to that thing called Stouts!
Ricardo trying to call NASA while skiing across the Pine Creek Bench on our way back to the car. At the time it felt like some alien planet hundreds of millions of miles away from planet earth (aka the car)!