The best holiday ski conditions in Montana are at Red Lodge Mountain Resort. It is getting the most early season snowfall. With the temperature at 21 degrees, the snowpack is currently 50” at the base and 60” at the summit. Conditions are stated as groomed, packed powder and powder. This is the opposite of the 2010 season where the storms did not reach the area. It was one of the least covered areas in the state. This is the year to ski Red Lodge Mountain Resort. Visit their website, www.redlodgemountain.com for more information.
Lookout Pass Ski Area and Resort, west of Missoula on the Montana/Idaho border is reporting good early season skiing, too. This area has 3” of new snow in the last 48 hours, 36” at the base and 59” at the summit. Conditions are reported as powder and packed powder. Read more about Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area.
Western Montana is looking at a significant snow storm in the western part of the state according to the Kpax-Tv weekly weather report. They are predicting 70% chance of snow on Monday. The rest of the week chance of snow is from 50% to 70% every day of the week.
Update: winter weather forecast Jan-Mar 2011 by Mike Heard (KBZK Bozeman)
Meteorologists with the Missoula National Weather Service commented on the lack of snow and cold usually associated with La Nina episodes and they feel that by the time the winter season is over in late March we will see colder than normal temperatures and above average snowpack.
Here are early snow reports for state-wide Montana ski resorts. Check out the articles and sites by clicking on the links below. Almost all of the areas have lessons, rentals and holiday deals.
- Bear Paw Ski Bowl not open yet, 30” base – near Havre, Montana
- Ticket $20, 20 runs, Vertical drop – 900 feet, small, family friendly and affordable
- Big Sky Resort 0” new snow, 25” base – near Bozeman, MT
- Ticket $84, 150 runs, Vertical drop – 4350 feet, lots of runs and facilities
- Blacktail Mountain 1” new snow, 24” base – near Kalispell, MT
- Ticket $36, 26 runs, Vertical drop – 1440 feet, friendly, great view of Flathead Lake
- Bridger Bowl 0” new snow, 15” base – near Bozeman, MT
- Ticket $48, 75 runs, Vertical drop –2600 feet, fantastic snow, great terrain
- Discovery Basin trace new snow, 20” base – near Anaconda and Butte, MT
- Ticket $38, 63 runs, Vertical drop –2270 feet, great back side terrain, family friendly
- Great Divide 0” new snow, 36” base – near Helena, MT Visit skigd.com for more info.
- Ticket $36 or $8/hr, 140 runs, Vertical drop – 1560 feet , 3 mountain peaks, 5 terrain parks
- Lookout Pass 1” new snow, 36” base – west of Missoula, MT
- Ticket $35, 23 runs, Vertical drop – 1150 feet, easy access off highway, friendly, good snow
- Lost Trail 0” new snow, 30” base – south of Missoula, MT
- Ticket $35, 45 runs, Vertical drop – 1800 feet, POWDER, 2 terrain parks, easy access off highway
- Maverick Mountain not open yet, 15” base – southwest Montana near Dillon
- Ticket $32, 24 runs, Vertical drop – 2020 feet, good vertical drop for a small area, great views, family friendly and affordable
- Montana Snowbowl 0” new snow, 20” base – a few miles north of Missoula, MT
- Ticket $42, 42 runs, Vertical drop – 2600 feet. challenging, close to town
- Moonlight Basin 0” new snow, 35” base– near Bozeman, MT
- Ticket $64, 76 runs, Vertical drop – 4150 feet, great snow and terrain
- Red Lodge Mountain 0” new snow, 50” base – near Billings, MT
- Ticket $49, 73 runs, Vertical drop – 2400 feet, good programs for kids
- Showdown Montana 0” new snow, 24” base – near Great Falls, MT
- Ticket $38, 34 runs, Vertical drop – 1400 feet, high elevation, snow belt, great snow
- Teton Pass Ski Area This ski area will not be open for the 2011-12 season – near Great Falls and Choteau, MT
- Ticket $29, 30 runs, Vertical drop – 1400 feet, lots of new improvements, family friendly and affordable. Check to see if it is open. Currently closed due to strong winds!
- Turner Mountain not open yet, 9 inches at summit – northwest of Kalispell and near Libby, MT
- Ticket $30, 22 runs, Vertical drop – 2110 feet, fantastic snow, no lift lines, family friendly and affordable
- Whitefish Mountain 3” new snow, 10” base – north of Kalispell, MT
- Ticket $66, 94 runs, Vertical drop – 2353 feet, lots of lifts and runs, many programs for families
Cross country skiing is popular in Montana, too. Check out this article on cross country skiing in western Montana to learn more.
While recreating, it is a good idea to be well informed about snow conditions. Early season conditions with fluctuating temperatures increase chances of avalanche.
See the report for the most recent weather and snowpack analysis. Also read Tree well and deep snow safety