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Sun, Jan

SnoNews

The latest news, deals, and events from ski resorts throughout North America.

Ridin' The High Roads: Best Mountain Passes To Drive

Pass-Lookout

All across the West you can find year-round paved roads that cross major mountain divides and offer some of the best mountain views in the nation. Plus, many are home to ski and snowboard resorts.

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Head To Montana For Early 2019 Lift And Lodging Packages

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Early winter has been good to Montana skiers and riders, and four of the Treasure State’s top resorts are offering some attractive January lift and lodging packages. It’s an easy drive for many Heartlanders on the western side of the Midwest. Take advantage and enjoy some great snow conditions.

 

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70+ Ski Club Promotes Affordable Fun, Staying Young

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“Wow, that’s inspiring but I don’t think my knees will last that long!” exclaimed a thirty-something dude on the chairlift.

I had shared that I had just photographed members of the 70+ Ski Club racing, including some in their eighties and nineties.

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Montana Ski Season Underway, Lift Ticket Deals Still Abound

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A few Montana ski areas have already opened, and the rest follow in the next couple of weeks. Lift ticket deals are still available at several of the areas. Frequent skier cards, packs and punch cards can substantially help lower daily lift ticket costs.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Great Conditions Lead Up To Thanksgiving Week

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As many ski areas make the final preps before a huge holiday week, weather conditions are shaping up great for both the East and the West.

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Autumn Hikes With The Kids

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With temperatures moderating and the colors beginning to burst across mountain country, fall is a perfect time to get the family out for a hike. Depending on the age and stamina of the kids, suitable hikes abound for everything from an easy stroll to rock scrambles, many with mountain views for mom and dad and the hook of possible nature sightings for the kids.

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Montana Resorts Set Season Visit Records; Some Open Mid-April

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Whitefish has received above average snowfall this season.

The ski season is winding down across Montana with the last day taking place at many this weekend, but a few are staying open later through Easter. At least one has extended their season with all the snow that has fallen this winter.

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Big Sky Plans New Eight-Seat Lift, Base Renovations

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A concept of the new eight-seat, high-speed Doppelmayr lift. (Big Sky)

Boyne announced they will install North America’s first eight-seat, high-speed lift at Big Sky Resort over the summer and it will be ready for next winter, and additional improvements will focus on the Mountain Village.

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Lookout Pass Adds Trail, Looks To Future Lifts, Trails

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Plenty of trees to navigate at Lookout. (Lookout Pass/Facebook)

This season, the snow gods have smiled mostly upon the Northern Rockies, just in time to debut a new trail at Lookout Pass and produce optimism for planned upgrades.

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Whitefish Mountain Resort Turns 70, Women’s Ski Day Coming Up

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Powder and views stretch as far as the eye can see. (Whitefish Mountain Resort/Facebook) 

Dec. 14, 1947, was the first opening date for Whitefish Mountain Resort. They will be celebrating Big Mountain’s 70th anniversary all season long, and hopefully a repeat of last season’s record breaking 400+ inches of snow.

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Big Sky Improves Slope Access

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Heading up to Lone Peak on the tram.

America’s biggest skiing resort, Big Sky with 5800 acres and 300 runs tumbling off four mountain peaks, made several improvements this past summer that improved slope access. They open for the season on Thanksgiving Day, November 23.

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Whitefish Mountain Investing $2.6 Million; New Skier Visit Record

Whitefish Mountain Investing $2.6 Million; New Skier Visit Record

Whitefish Mountain Resort received over 400 inches of snow this season. The second most ever. (Whitefish)

It was a record year for Whitefish Mountain Resort in skier visits and the mountain received over 400 inches in snowfall to cap off an excellent winter. The resort broke its previous record of 346,000 skier/rider visits by 1,000.


The storied resort will be celebrating its 70th anniversary next season, but not sitting on its laurels, plans to spend another $2.6 million in capital improvements and upgrades for the 2017-18 season.

One improvement skiers and riders will like is the relocation and upgrade of idle Chair 5. The chairlift, which hasn’t operated for a couple of seasons, is being relocated to the East Rim, improving access to intermediate and advanced terrain as well as helping the guest flow around the mountain. The bottom terminal will be located near the intersection of Russ’s Street and Moe-Mentum runs unloading on the “knob” near Don’s Descent. It improves access to the East Rim, North Bowl and North Side Chairs 7 and 11 and T-Bar 2.

The view from the Summit House of the Flathead Valley. It was remodeled last year.

Following recent upgrades to the Summit House and Base Lodge the resort is giving its third mountain restaurant, Ed & Mully’s in the base village, a much needed facelift. A complete exterior remodel, improved access from the slopes and connection to the upper village, and a wall of windows looking out at the slopes are some of the improvements taking place.

The front of the Bierstube will look completely different next season.

A long-term lease agreement has been reached with the Biersturbe business owner, Scott McIntosh, and as part of the agreement, the 50-year-old building is getting an exterior face-lift and new deck. This classic Montana bar is the oldest bar on the mountain.

Additionally, a new covered bus shelter for S.N.O.W. Bus passengers, and for summer guests a new lift accessed bike trail to the Bike Park’s Bad Rock Zone and a new Strider Park for the little kids (2-6) has been created in the base area.



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Montana Ski Resorts Open Into April; Two Through Easter

Montana Ski Resorts Open Into April; Two Through Easter

Big Sky offers big snow and big views. (Big Sky/Facebook)

The ski season is winding down across Montana with the last day taking place at many this weekend, but a few are staying open later through Easter. At least one has extended their season with all the snow that has fallen this winter.


Plenty of snow left on the Whitefish slopes.

Whitefish Mountain Resort has received more than 31 feet of snow so far this season. Conditions are prime spring skiing, but plans on closing after skiing and riding Saturday, April 8. Dummy Derby takes place this coming Saturday, April 1 as competitors compete for a $400 cash purse. The annual season-ending Pond Skim is scheduled for the closing Saturday. Lift and lodging packages start from $98 per person, per night and include breakfast and hot tub access.

Big Sky Resort remains open through April 16 affording a little more time to enjoy those spring conditions. The annual, spectator friendly Pond Skim takes place Saturday, April 15, with live music following at Whiskey Jacks. April lift and lodging packages offer 30 percent off select condos booked through central reservations. Tours of nearby Yellowstone National Park are also available, and this is an excellent time of year to tour the park. It’s a great time to catch the bison before they start moving to higher ground.

Red Lodge Mountain is extending its season with all their snow.

Red Lodge Mountain has extended its season through Easter to April 16 and lift and lodging packages start from $72 per person. It’s some of the best late season skiing and riding in recent years.

Discover the slopes of Discovery.

Discovery Ski Area remains open through April 9 and lift and lodging packages start from $128.

Great Divide offers scenery and snow.

Great Divide plans on remaining open through April 9 and on weekends through the month as long as the snow remains skiable. They’ll pick the best weather day of each weekend, 10am-5pm. Lift tickets are $10 per hour or $30 for the day.



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Affordable, Fun Mountain Resort Hotels

Affordable, Fun Mountain Resort Hotels

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort includes the largest mineral hot springs pool in the world. (Glenwood Hot Springs)

Looking for a little personality to your ski lodgings, but still don't want to break the bank? Chain hotels are great for a standard room, but these accommodations will put you up in style with a personal touch. Innkeepers will have local intel, and you'll have a few bucks left to explore restaurants and shops in town, too.

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All Aboard: Heartlanders Take The Ski Train To Whitefish Montana

All Aboard: Heartlanders Take The Ski Train To Whitefish Montana

Amtrak's Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness. (Amtrak/Facebook)

Midwesterners can climb aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder to Whitefish Mountain Resort and save 20 percent on your train travel. It leaves Chicago’s Union Station with stops in Milwaukee, the Twin Cities and several other boarding locations across North Dakota and eastern Montana.   

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Big Sky Adds Lifts; Big Sky Big Grass Returns

Big Sky Adds Lifts; Big Sky Big Grass Returns

Snow conditions at Big Sky are excellent this season. (Big Sky)

Big Sky Resort, part of Boyne Resorts headquartered in Michigan, is planning on spending over $150 million on resort improvements over the next eight years. The improvements will include the most advanced chairlift network in North America, elevated lodging, dining and shopping, and more on-mountain activities, according to Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne’s eastern operations and Big Sky.


The aim is to establish Big Sky Resort, with its iconic Lone Peak, and surrounding area as the American Alps.

“For more than 67 years, my family and our organization has remained committed to creating a memorable experiences at unique destinations, often inspired by sense of place and attention to detail,” said Kircher in a prepared statement. “Big Sky will become the best representation of that ideal with our 2025 efforts.”

Big Sky Powder Seeker lift

This past summer as part of the program the resort installed a couple of new state-of-the-art lifts replacing older, slower and less comfortable lifts. A six-seat, high-speed detachable accessing Lone Peak’s bowl replaces the old triple chair, and it’s a Big Sky blue bubble chair with heated seats. Talk about comfort. The other chair, a new fast, fixed-grip triple, will serve the long, steep runs in the Challenger area; reserved for expert-level skiers and riders. It replaces an old, slow double and is more wind resistant. 

The poplular Big Sky Big Grass concert returning for its 11th year

Big Sky Big Grass returns to the resort for the 11th year in a row, Thursday -Sunday, Feb. 9-12.

Live Music Featuring: Sam Bush Band, Del McCoury Band, Billy Strings, Drew Emmitt Band, Jeff Austin Band, The Travelin' McCourys, 2016 Grammy Nominated artist Sierra Hull, Darol Anger and the Furies, and The Good Time Travelers.

West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park, just 45 minutes away, makes a great day trip. National Park snowcoach tours will take you to Old Faithful, bison viewing and more.

 Iconic Lone Peak stands guard over the Big Sky resort village.

Big Sky offers several lodging packages throughout the winter; 30-percent off the nightly rate in the Huntley Lodge on select dates, and a fourth night free at several of the village lodges and hotels. Some blackout dates may apply.

With all the snow the resort has received so far this winter conditions are excellent. They set visitation records over the holidays.



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SnoCountry SnoCast: New Year, New Snow!

SnoCountry SnoCast: New Year, New Snow!

More snow on the way turning the corner to 2017. Read on to see what's cookin' in this week's SnoCast with meteorologist Kerrin Jeromin. (National Weather Service)

We’re saying “peace out, 2016”, and hello to a beautiful new (hopefully snow-filled) 2017. Our resolution to ski and ride more in 2017 will be no problem with a Nor’easter in the East to finish this week, and a more active pattern digging into the West after the turn of the new year.

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Lift Ticket Deals Still Available At Montana Ski Resorts

Lift Ticket Deals Still Available At Montana Ski Resorts

Whitefish Mountain powder day. (Whitefish)

It’s not too late to find lift ticket deals at several Montana ski resorts. Frequent skier cards, packs and punch cards can substantially lower your daily lift ticket cost. Check it out.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Snow From Coast To Coast Over the Next Five Days

SnoCountry SnoCast: Snow From Coast To Coast Over the Next Five Days

Good news! The weather is finally turning a snowier and colder corner. In fact, for a lot of you, the snow may be falling as you read this week’s SnoCast.

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Big Sky’s Big Grass Concert Feb. 4-7; Easy Gateway To Yellowstone

Big Grass at Big SkyThe Big Sky eighth annual Big Grass Concert, Feb 4-7, includes some of the top blue grass acts in the country; The Sam Bush Band, David Grishman Bluegrass Experience, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Travelin’ McCoury's, Keller Williams, Drew Emmitt Band, Billy Strings and Don Julian, Two Bit Franks, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, The Good Time Travelers, and more. A weekend concert pass is $185, which gets you into all shows.  Single show tickets are $35 each early bird and $50 at the door. Plan ahead.

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