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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    18

    Flathead MT Back Country Skiing

    I just relocated back home to Montana after living 10 plus years in Salt Lake. I'm living in the Whitefish area. I'm looking to meet folks that backcountry ski up here. I haven't found a thread dedicated to Northwest MT or the Flathead touring/skiing? About myself, I work in tech as an engineering manager. I've back country skied for over 12 years and have skied ALL the Wasatch and Utah classic lines! I'm also down to ski Whitefish resort since I have a pass. Hoping you guys can help get me pointed in the right direction!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Big Sky/Moonlight Basin
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    12,224
    Try posting in the general 2012 Montana thread. The Flathead people are in there. A few years back an informal meeting of the minds decided to make the whole state one big thread. But Missoula wanted to be different...

    So there is also a Missoula thread, but thatís because Missoula isnít really part of Montana. The Missoula thread tends to be specifically focused on Snowbowl and bitching about the lifts breaking down.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
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    5,244
    Maybe check out Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center on Facebook, they have a few events coming up where you could perhaps meet people. Also the Montana Backcountry Alliance. Good luck.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    29
    Consider helping others while you further develop your backcountry skills with the Flathead Nordic Ski Patrol : https://www.facebook.com/FlatheadNordic/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montucky
    Posts
    137
    huff hills fo lyfe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    135
    Place is mysterious.

    It's nothing like the wasatch in terms of access, snowpack, "scene" or general vibe. Long approaches, alot of trees.
    Access in the park is difficult especially in winter.
    Big Mt is fun but more of a mellow, intermediate-advanced ski hill. Lots of fun glades. Lots of south facing terrain. Sidecountry BC off the Big is fun but rather hohum and limited.
    There was a pretty good moutaineering /bc ski shop in kalispell when i lived there 12+ years ago. They had a rinkydink guidebook available. They were a good resource for beta, regardless.
    There was a newish shop at the time "whiteroom"? In whitefish. Could be they've got their act together at this point.

    If you're willing to put the time in to figure out routes and trailhead access it's worth it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    11,606
    ^^^ All more or less still accurate.

    RMO in Kalispell is still there and is still a great mountaineering / BC shop. The Whiteroom is defunct. Great Northern in Whitefish is the best ski shop in the valley. Not backcountry specific, but they have a modest assortment of BC gear and the staff more or less knows their way around. Also probably a decent place to meet people as they have a coffee shop in there and they're generally down to hang out and chat.

    A snowmobile is very useful for accessing backcountry areas. Pretty much necessary for any of the stuff north of Whitefish. Some of the stuff in the middle fork is (relatively) easy to access without a sled.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Making the Bowl Great Again
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    13,570
    Quote Originally Posted by Harry View Post
    Missoula isnít really part of Montana.
    Correct. We are 15 minutes from MT, in any direction.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    11,606
    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Correct. We are 15 minutes from MT, in any direction.
    It's gotta be more like 20 minutes now. All these damn transplants are making traffic a mess.

    (edit: I'm allowed to say that because I moved here more than a year ago).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montucky
    Posts
    137
    you can get up to backside of big with a sled , think about getting a noboard pow surfer, watch that Cody show on utube about skiing in the park

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
    Posts
    12,063
    Congratulations on removing yourself from SLC. I successfully did that about 8 years ago. I went to AK, now also back in MT as of this year. Have also skied everything (more or less) in the Wasatch. I live in the dusty shithole of Townsend. Would be up for spring tours in the park this year.........I'm now old as fuck, but can still move around the mountains well enough.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,150
    damn trackhead in townsend! try to make the big sky bbi. we skied together yrs ago. hope all's well!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Last Best City in the Last Best Place
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    5,244
    Trackhead will be shredding the old Grassy Mountain ski area. Actually not a bad drive to Bridger. And you approach from the north and avoid the line of cars coming up from Bozo.

    And skating on Canyon Ferry last winter was insane. Hoping for more of that this year..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Was UT, AK, now MT
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    12,063
    Quote Originally Posted by byates1 View Post
    damn trackhead in townsend! try to make the big sky bbi. we skied together yrs ago. hope all's well!
    Yeah, I remember......I'll be up there, likely with my kiddo in tow skiing lifts and dirt bagging somewhere (I guess that's not even possible up there, is it?)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Was UT, AK, now MT
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    Trackhead will be shredding the old Grassy Mountain ski area. Actually not a bad drive to Bridger. And you approach from the north and avoid the line of cars coming up from Bozo.

    And skating on Canyon Ferry last winter was insane. Hoping for more of that this year..
    Yeah, I've heard about the skating. I like this dusty little town, suits me well. Very quiet. Probably poke around in the Big Belts at some point this late winter.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    BZN
    Posts
    1,315
    Quote Originally Posted by Trackhead View Post
    Congratulations on removing yourself from SLC. I successfully did that about 8 years ago. I went to AK, now also back in MT as of this year. Have also skied everything (more or less) in the Wasatch. I live in the dusty shithole of Townsend. Would be up for spring tours in the park this year.........I'm now old as fuck, but can still move around the mountains well enough.
    What the fuck are you doing in Townsend? I didn't know they had the internet there.

    More seriously: do you ever make your way south/southeast for tours?
    People here are typically assholes (it's part of the charm) - dan_pdx

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Anaconda
    Posts
    467
    First off Missoula is the heart of Montana. Go Griz, what was the score again of the brawl of the wild saturday? Second the lifts at the bowl have sucked since I was a little kid, I'm 63 now. I was skiing the first day the quote new Grizzly chair ran, it broke down within the first couple hours. Hasn't gotten any better. Now to Jdolls question. Welcome back home. RMO in Kalispell is good, talk to the folks there. Check out yeahman suggestions. Have some beers at the Great Northern, plenty of folks there who can steer you in the right direction. Snowmobiles not a bad idea for better BC access. Just ignore those sad bitter negative types. Cheers

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    135
    Second the snowmachine idea. Meant to say that too😉

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    none
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    7,757

    Flathead MT Back Country Skiing

    I love the valley. I still have Waterski buds on Talley Lake, Sean in Big Fork and had a lot of fun on Koocanusa.
    Iíd probably spend a lot of time skiing Fernie, if I lived in the area.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    3,150
    Quote Originally Posted by Trackhead View Post
    Yeah, I remember......I'll be up there, likely with my kiddo in tow skiing lifts and dirt bagging somewhere (I guess that's not even possible up there, is it?)
    Yeah it is. Easy. I'm full time van skier, tons of places.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Was UT, AK, now MT
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    Quote Originally Posted by byates1 View Post
    Yeah it is. Easy. I'm full time van skier, tons of places.
    That's good to know, want to take our truck camper down there with my kid and ski but figured it was all locked up and shut down for dirtbag access. Doc I work with lives there, can park in his driveway, but would prefer to be independent. Shoot me a PM of locations. Also, yeah, I'd be up for some touring up there this winter.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Was UT, AK, now MT
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    12,063
    Quote Originally Posted by idahospud View Post
    What the fuck are you doing in Townsend? I didn't know they had the internet there.

    More seriously: do you ever make your way south/southeast for tours?
    We don't have internet in Townsend, I had to drive to Bzm to post this. I'm living the rural life, and I love it. But yeah, I have history in Bozeman and know the area fairly well from 30 yrs ago climbing in Hyalite before ice climbing was a fad. Looking for touring partners, will travel, as the skiing immediately around this dust bowl is obviously not great.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    608
    Quote Originally Posted by jdoll View Post
    I've back country skied for over 12 years and have skied ALL the Wasatch and Utah classic lines!
    Sounds like you might be disappointed in the Flathead then.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    326
    Flathead has excellent spring and summer skiing

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    BZN
    Posts
    1,315
    That checks out... I moved to BZN after living the rural life and I'd go back pretty quickly if the opportunity arose.

    What are you after for touring? I'm always on the lookout for more partners and am happy to ski just about anything.
    People here are typically assholes (it's part of the charm) - dan_pdx

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