>I should start off by saying none of us had been to Stouts Mountain before. But we were all excited to check out a new place and hopefully score some of that sweet powder. We followed Matt, Mark, and Turbo’s tracks up No Cut Timber Canyon to the fork, which we took. Actually, we climbed directly up the ridge, still generally following the tracks. The southerly aspects had gotten a bit crusty with the recent sun and made the skinning a lot easier. Eventually, we hit the ridge and the clouds and snow.
The whiteout conditions became more and more complete until we ran out of mountain to climb. So although we’re pretty sure we summited Stouts, we could barely tell which way was up.
After a nice sheltered snack, we began our descent. By milking the less southerly aspects we found some pretty decent snow. Every once in a while a hard crust would sneak up and bite us, but we enjoyed fun turns, trying to keep in visual contact while generally following our uptrack.
But with 6 people looking for fresher, softer snow and gravitating towards those less southerly aspects, we found ourselves looking down an ugly, narrow gully at the bottom of the drainage. While Mike, Paul, and Layne “explored” the gully, Dave, Nick, and I stayed high skier’s right and found some of the best snow of the day. The gully crew took off their skis, climbed out, and rejoined us for a side-hill ski-schwack across the south side of NCT canyon. Finally we dropped down a short pitch of perfect knee-deep pow and back to the skin track for the deceptively quad-thrashing exit.
It was a super-fun day of exploration that kind of proved that adage that “it doesn’t have to be fun to be fun.” For me, I was just psyched to find that I could still ski tour with my broken finger and banged up hand (slipped on the ice while running, irritating). Thanks to the crew for a great day!