Amusement Parks
National Parks
Route 66 Cities Beaches




skiier in powder
Getting There
Other Activities
For a place that is relatively unknown, Whitefish Mountain is a truly great place to ski. It's huge. 3000 acres is a lot of skiiable terrain, five times that of Aspen, a third again as big as Telluride, bigger than Steamboat and Jackson Hole, etc. It's famous for its powder. No ski resort in North America has more powder, deeper powder, finer powder, than Whitefish. It's not crowded. Notice in almost all the photos on these pages, there's only one skiier. Whitefish draws on weekends and holidays, but during the week it has fewer skiiers per acre than any of its major rivals. There's a lot of off trail skiing at Whitefish, and Hell Roaring Basin is rated one of the top Off Piste areas in the nation. 15% of the runs are Beginner (Green), 35% Intermediate (Blue), 40% Advanced (Black) and 10% Expert (Double Diamond). There are 11 chairlifts, three high speed detachable quads, six fixed quads and triples, two t bars and a magic carpet. skiing powder
skiing powder This treasure chest of powder requires you to carefully consider your strategies. Skiing on powder is great, but it's different from hardpacked trails, and it may require different skiis. Powder skiis are wider and have broader almost scooplike fronts. This allows them to "float" on the powder, almost like surfing at the ocean. Those narrow, sidecut, carving skiis from back East tend to sink into powder and the front ends tend to submerge. Given the trouble of carrying your skiis all the way out here and back, and then finding them less than ideal, you might consider leaving them home and renting state of the art powder skiis from the shop at Whitefish. You might also consider taking a lesson from the Whitefish Ski School. No matter how much experience you have, and even if you're a Black or High Blue skiier, you might profit from some instruction in how to navigtate this powder.
To be sure, Whitefish has numerous long well packed cruising runs, where you can lean back, relax, and watch the scenery drift by. We particularly love Russ's Street, which begins at the Summit House as a low Blue, heads south, turns sharply west, changes to a high Green, and follows the shoulder of the mountain all the way around to the Upper Village, where you can catch the Express Lift back to the Summit. You can also take the low Blue trail from the Summit down through the Big Ravine, where it changes to a series of Greens swinging all the way around the northern flank of the mountain, finishing up as Home Again, which takes you back to the Base Lodge. These are loooonng trails, ranking right up there with Vail and Winter Park's famous cruising runs. packed trail
ski lift above the clouds One of the cliches Whitefish uses is "Skiing Above The Clouds." It's true. If you come for a week, on at least one or two days you'll see something resembling the scene at left, where the valley floor, including the base village, is covered by cloud banks, while the mountain juts up into full sunshine.
If you're into Off Piste (off trail) skiing, you can find plenty at Whitefish. This photo is taken along the ridge above Hell Roaring Basin, the northern rim of the resort. There are enough glades, trees and bowls to keep everyone challenged. There are two problems here. The first is tree wells. Off Piste lovers are used to avoiding these, but at Whitefish they're wider and deeper than anywhere else. This is because of the huge amounts of very fine powder, and the large pine trees. The broad boughs keep snow from falling underneath the tree, so a hole, or well, develops. Then the fine snow drifts in from the side, forming what appears to be a solid surface but in fact is hollow. Skiiers cutting too close to the tree can fall into the hole, but they usually fall upside down, with their skiis up and heads down. They cannot climb out on their own. Therefore, skiiers are urged not to ski alone or even in pairs. Ski in threes. This allows one skiier to help the one in the hole, and the other to ski down and alert the ski patrol, who have special equipment. Skiing in threes means staying together. Do not go down the hill. Each of the three should keep the other two in sight at all times. off trail skiing
off piste skiing The other problem at Whitefish is a lack of lifts. Their lifts serve the main groomed trails. But from where the Hell Roaring Basin Off Piste terrain comes out, there is no lift back to the top. You have to ski across the mountain to the Upper Village and take the Express Lift to the Summit, then hike across the rim to wherever you want to put your skiis on and head down. On the other side of the mountain, the south side, most of the Blacks and all of the Double Diamonds are grouped together. But all the runs come out at the Russ's Street Trail. There is no lift back to the top. You have to cruise Russ's Street back to the Express Lift to get back to the top. The resort is aware of this issue and has plans to add two lifts to solve it but it hasn't happened yet.
Like Us On Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OutpostUSA/) To Receive Daily Outdoor Adventure News and To Comment
This Year's Unique Visitor Tally : 1,003,492 Contact us at Omlordw@aol.com Meet our writers at Staff