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Had hopes of summitting Stanton Peak today, but the early onset of overcast skies and flurries saw our aspirtions dwindling by the time we were transitioning from skinning the road to walking the road. Snowpack was LOW just above the lake- that is to say, nil- and we felt lucky to be back on skins just after the creek crossing on the trail. We started climbing up the last major slidepath and reached a D2 avalanche that ran full path. We kick-turned up to the ridge on the climber's right side to avoid the frozen debris pille. The skinning went fairly smooth, on a firm smooth surface to a surface with 4 inches of soft snow on top. It was clear that underneath the supportable crusts was a variety of sugary facets. As we reached the convergance at the top of the slide paths we saw 3 crowns (6400') that made up the debris we crossed earlier. We decided to travel up to these crowns then above them 200' to hit the ridgetop at just under 7000'. At this point the dense cloud deck dropped and our interest in summitting was shot. By the time we transitioned to skiing we lost more visibilty so we descended the conservative option: on top of our uptrack, back across the avy path and down the broad ridge between the 2 paths. The skiing was mediocre at best, but our crust-bashing skills improved significantly. We walked down trail once we reached it.
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB