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Downhill Skiing in Western Montana: An Insider's Guide

Downhill Skiing in Western Montana: An Insider's Guide

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Downhill Skiing in Western Montana: An Insider's Guide

125 pagine
25 minuti
Nov 14, 2017


From international-class resorts to throwback areas legendary for their remoteness, downhill skiing in western Montana offers diversity which matches the region's mountains and weather. This guide takes you to each mountain with the perspective of a local -- where to go, what to ski, and what to skip.

Nov 14, 2017

Informazioni sull'autore

Jeff Schmerker lives in Missoula, Montana.

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Anteprima del libro

Downhill Skiing in Western Montana - Jeff Schmerker




The author would like to acknowledge that he is no expert at downhill skiing. The author further acknowledges that much of the information in here is subjective – as in his own personal opinion – and therefore may not fully correspond with other people’s opinions or the situation as it presents itself at any particular ski area on any particular day. The author also acknowledges that much of the information here is temporal, open to interpretation, and subject to change without notice. While the author acknowledges that he really is not that great of a skier, he does insist that he is a skier who skis a lot in a lot of different places, and one who also takes detailed notes of said ski trips and garnishes them with lots and lots of photographs. The author further wishes to acknowledge that said photos are not too high on the stoke level – actually, most of them are of his son. But you take what you can get.


While it’s difficult to generalize too much about an area which is so vast and diverse, a few tenets hold true. It’s important to understand where you are going and what you can expect to find along the way and once you get there. Many of the ski areas listed here are in remote areas and accessed by roads which see lax winter maintenance – while four wheel drive is not strictly necessary, it can certainly provide a level of assurance when motoring up the mountain early in the morning. While motorists will find signs pointing the way to ski areas, signage is decidedly less profuse than what you may be used to seeing in other parts of the country where most skiers are visitors and fewer are locals. Many local skiers bring their lunch and an aprés snack or two – while food and drink is generally available, choice may be limited and the hours of service may be restricted. Also note that several of the ski areas are not served by cell service, let alone 4G.

How to Use this Guide

This guide covers downhill skiing areas in Western Montana – and for the sake of ease western in this case is defined as the terrain west of Interstate 15. While I-15 does not truly divide the state in half, it makes a convenient dividing line for this book – east of the freeway, the mountains are dense, the valleys narrow, and the climate moist; east of I-15, the valleys spread, the mountains rise up in island ranges, and the weather is drier.

Next to the fireplace at Lost Trail.

Ski areas are described in alphabetical order. For each area you will find statistics, history, a description of the layout of the mountain, particulars about access, and details about the services you’ll find on the mountain or nearby.

Downhill Ski Areas

Blacktail Mountain

Blacktail is an unusual mountain with a great vide, superb value, and unforgettable views. The area is just one of a handful in the nation where you drive to

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