I had a lovely hike up Stouts Mountain, WYI/ER-056, yesterday for a SOTA activation. There was a lot of wildfire smoke haze, but it produced dramatic lighting.
The Summit of Stouts from the top 1/3 of the climb
I skied Stouts Mountain once in winter, but I have never been up it in the summer. The accent ridge was very pretty and strenuous: 2.7 miles and 2900’. There were large groves of flowering mountain mahogany on the ridge.
It had rained several times the day before so the air was cool and moist and the faint trail was damp and tacky on the bottom 1/3 of the climb.
The top of Stouts is a narrow ridge with a cliff along its eastern edge with some lovely ski terrain below that.
Also near the summit is a small memorial stone for Evelyn Courchaine, 1930-2019 and another more weathered stone for her husband Al. They both farmed and ranched at the Diamond H Ranch on the Pine Creek Bench in Swan Valley, Idaho. Stouts Mountain looks over Swan Valley, so it’s an appropriate monument for them. And they will always get a good signal up there
Swan Valley, ID from Stouts accent ridge
Thanks to all the chasers who helped me activate this peak. I had 18 contacts on CW and then it went quiet. I spent another 30 minutes looking at all the peaks in the Big Hole range.
From the summit of Stouts, I spotted Black Mountain across the valley, another SOTA peak at the head of Fleming Canyon. Looks like that might be my next activation.
A view Black Mountain from Stouts summit
One of the nice things about the SOTA peaks in Idaho is that they are obscure and rarely visited. While looking for SOTA peaks, I keep discovering beautiful mountain areas that are close to me and that I have never visited.