> Skiing Big Mountain


Last ski trip in Montana, unless I go again. I wanted to go at least once to one of the famous Montana ski places, and Big Mountain in Whitefish was just right. What amazing views of Glacier National Park to the east and clear into the Canadian Rockies to the north! I stayed at Pine Lodge in the cute little town and took the free Snow Bus up the mountain. In the pictures that follow, you'll see the odd effect of a temperature inversion that left the valley in the single digits and socked in with fog, but gave us in balmy upper 20s and gorgeous sunshine on the slopes. A few other things you should know: The fog/cloud deck and snow frosts up the trees into strange shapes, like those above. At Big Mountain they call them "Snow Ghosts," and clearly a lot of folks love the tree skiing among the ghosts. I stayed on the groomed runs, as the freezing and thawing made the rough stuff too challenging. Intermediates were great fun, and really easy too, as the mogules I'm more used to were groomed down to corduroy. Not icy at all. It seemed to turn intermediates into steep granny runs, but they were definitely steep. Hey, I never fell once, and skied hard right up to darkness and closing lifts.