Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain celebrated the 65th day of its 65th season on chair 65 with Great Northern Brewing Company sales manager Orie Roberts, who rode the chair throughout the day doling out prizes.
Posted out on lift 65, Roberts made laps on Big Mountain’s Chair 1, riding to the summit and then circling back down to the lift station. Those lucky enough to hop on the chair with Roberts had the opportunity to answer trivia questions (a la the Discovery Channel’s television game show “Cash Cab”) and win prizes. To commemorate the occasion, bars on the mountain sold pints of beer for $.65.
Check out WMR’s video of the celebration here.
Photo by Brian Schott
Whitefish Mountain Resort was named one of The Weather Channel’s “Ten Most Scenic Resorts,” ranking No. 6 on the list. It’s not difficult to see why.
A crystal clear day on the summit of Big Mountain reveals spectacular views into Glacier National Park, its snow-white fortress of mountains rising like a parapet to the east before intersecting the blue peaks of the Great Bear Wilderness. The diamond glitter of Flathead Lake can be spied to the south while Whitefish Lake lies at the foot of Big Mountain, and the Flathead Valley sprawls out below.
The Weather Channel describes the summit view: “Full 3-D views sweep from the ramparts of nearby Glacier National Park to Flathead Lake and the white spires of the Mission and Salish ranges.”
The number of blue bird days that afford such a panorama are limited in Whitefish, but a Big Mountain summit view is a breathtaking experience, indeed – whether it’s for the first time or the 50th – while steep glades flanked by Dr. Seuss-like “Snow Ghosts” make the descents just as visually stimulating.
Read a little about the history of skijoring in Whitefish, and why it’s one of the centerpieces of Whitefish Winter Carnival. Hint: it’s a lot of ski, a little “joring,” and a lot of hometown love.
James Woodcock/Billings Gazette
Bridger Bowl ski area has announced plans to spend $4.1 million on two new lifts this summer, which will more than double the capacity on the northern end of the ski area.
The new lifts will replace the 46-year-old Alpine double-chair lift, which carried about 1,100 skiers an hour, while the new triple-chairs will increase the haul capacity to 1,500 and 1,800 skiers per hour, respectively.
Photo by Andrew Evans
Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain was recently featured on National Geographic’s travel blog “Digital Nomad,” and blogger Andrew Evans chronicles his trip here. He writes about the trepidation of ascending Big Mountain having not skied in more than a year, and describes the awesome experience of gazing at Glacier National Park’s jagged peaks from the summit. Thanks for visiting, Andrew!
It was an inspiring day skiing with these three gentlemen,who have lower-leg paralysis as the result of traumatic accidents. That doesn’t hold them back, and last week we were fortunate to ride the slopes with them as they tried the “sit-ski” for the first time.
Every day in the winter, children and adults with disabilities – both cognitive and physical – converge on Big Mountain seeking the opportunity to play outdoors through the DREAM program. DREAM is an acronym for Disabled Recreation Environmental Access Movement, and executive director Cheri DuBeau is trying to build the 27-year-old program to include year-round opportunities like rock climbing, biking, hiking and adaptive golf. Currently, there is the winter program and a summertime program that offers water skiing.
With the swipe of a frigid finger, smartphone users can now enhance their skiing experience with a free mobile application recently launched by Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain.
The app was designed in-house and features snow reports, weather updates, webcams, maps of ski runs, grooming updates, daily photos, contact information, S.N.O.W bus schedules and more.
It’s available for the iPhone and Android, and resort spokeswoman Riley Polumbus said additional features are forthcoming as developer Parker Beeson tweaks the application.
A vertical tracker is coming soon and will allow skiers and snowboarders to monitor the amount of vertical feet they ride using their season pass, as well as monitor their friends’ powder days.
The No. 1 ranked skier, Fred Frost, has already logged 1,394,916 vertical feet for the season.
“It’s addicting,” Polumbus said.
Visit the app store and download the free mobile application at http://m.skiwhitefish.com/ and sign up for the vertical tracker at http://skiwhitefish.com/vertical_tracker.php
The app features the most visited pages on Whitefish Mountain Resort’s website, and skiers can also view upcoming events or access lodging specials, Polumbus said.
It has already been downloaded by nearly 1,000 users, she said, and the app adds to the resort’s array of digital offerings. Whitefish Mountain Resort was recently ranked No. 6 for digital presence in a Ski magazine reader survey.
Opening weekend at Whitefish Mountain Resort was a near-perfect combination of early-season powder and fast-moving lift lines – a real two-mitten drooler – and as the weekend draws nearer and we legions of working stiffs live vicariously through those fortunate few who are grinning through face shots on untouched powder lines, the word on the hill is that skiers and snowboarders can expect more lifts to open and more snow to fall by week’s end.
The front side of Big Mountain opened Sunday afternoon after hoarding caches of blower powder all weekend, and those lucky enough to be on the summit in time for first tracks elicited all manner of hooting and hollering from the chairlift above. Snow quality was similarly excellent on Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday, after another 6 inches of snow fell overnight, the mountain opened Chair 3. Other bullet points include 34 inches in the past seven days and a 62-inch base at the summit, and visibility has been pretty good, too.
Snow reporter Big Dave took the attached photo of skier Derek Mercer submarin-ing beneath Chair 4 on Wednesday. Up periscope!
We’ll have more updates tomorrow about what to expect this coming weekend.
As the snow piles up on Big Mountain this week just in time for opening day, so too have the praise and accolades been heaped on Whitefish Mountain Resort with abandon, first by National Geographic Adventure, which named Whitefish one of the World’s 25 Best Ski Towns, and then by Trip Advisor, which ranked Whitefish Mountain Resort No. 6 in its Best Value North American Ski Resorts report, and No. 1 for … drum roll, please … beer affordability. That’s right. The the average cost of a bottle or draft of domestic beer sourced from three local restaurants came to a whopping $2.85.
When considered alongside Big Mountain’s nomination for and initial success in Powder Magazine’s recent Ski Town Throw Down contest, and its No. 11 ranking by Ski Magazine as best overall ski resort in 2013, and given that all this adoration has preceded the resort’s actual opening on Dec. 8, well, it ain’t a bad start to the season.
But, really, the acclaim is nothing new, as evinced by the December 1962 cover of Sports Illustrated (pictured above) that, 50 years ago, featured a story on “Big Mountain Resort.”
A half-century later, and the Big still has its charm. Let’s keep it that way.
Enjoy the snow this weekend. Here’s the latest from the folks at WMR:
This weekend the resort will open with limited terrain including the runs Big Horn, Black Bear, Caribou, George’s Gorge, Goat Haunt, Hollywood, Kodiak, Silvertip, Whitetail and Gray Wolf. Chair 1 will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Downloading on Chair 1 will be required. Chair 7 will be open its normal hours 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Additional terrain and lifts may become available during the day or through the weekend and will be determined by ski patrol.
This just in from the folks at Whitefish Mountain Resort:
Whitefish Mountain Resort will open for the 65th season this Saturday, December 8. Employees are returning this week and final preparations are being made for Opening Day. As of Tuesday afternoon there is a 42” base at the summit and the north side of the mountain (shown above), or Chair 7 area, is ready for a quality groomed experience. This Saturday is shaping up to be better than last year’s Opening Day, however the lifts and terrain that will open this Saturday have yet to be determined and are weather and snow dependent. Stay tuned to skiwhitefish.com for the latest information.