I ate dinner first (and even tried to go see Avatar on a date with my wife but it was sold out) so my post is a little late but my belly is content!
I persuaded Jon, Heather and Dean to check out a different approach to the summit of Stouts Mt by way of it’s curving SE ridge that starts opposite the Pine Basin Lodge. Once we crossed the road we skinned up the power line track to the ridge proper and it was an uneventful but beautiful access to the summit.
Our test pits showed multiple zones of firm slabs with several ice or melt/freeze layers separating them, yet they took a beating in the compression tests and did not fail. There is no problematic buried surface hoar on the south facing slopes of the mountain.
On the top, we inadvertantly knocked a chunk of cornice onto the northside and started a 200-300′ slide but it did not fracture out a slab.
The ski down was delightful in the sun and on warmed powder; it wasn’t dry and fluffy but still it was a pleasant float down into No Cut Timber Canyon and on back to the road.