Top 10 Things to Do Before Winter Ends

While the Flathead Valley may be showing signs of spring with its bare spots, up here we still have piles of snow—three to four foot drifts that partially cover signs, and conceal small people from view. In other words, more than enough to get us to the end of ski season which is a little more than 5 weeks away. If you are in the valley, shivering in the cold temps and wondering where the snow is, you can find it here, as well as other locations nearby. There’s still a bit of winter left, get out there and enjoy it!

Here are a few of our suggestions:

  1. Go to Glacier. You know how busy it gets in the summer, heck maybe you don’t even go anymore because it’s so busy, not so in the winter. Sure, Going to the Sun isn’t open, but we all know we can bask in its beauty from several entry points, as well as recreate on snowshoes, skis or on foot. You can camp in the winter (and it’s free) at Apgar and St. Mary campgrounds. Visit this webpage: gov/glac/planyourvisit/crosscountryskiing.htm for more information on where to play in the winter.
  2. Up your skills at a ski clinic. There’s something about skiing that’s addictive. Once you are hooked, you want to come back for more. Even if you’ve been doing it a while, you can always learn something, especially from the experts. If you are on the fence about taking a lesson, yet feel you need a few tips to get to the next level, sign up for one of our Adult Ski Clinics! Two clinics left: February 29 and March 21 from 1:30-3:45 p.m. We will put you with other folks with the same goals as yourself for just $40 (lift ticket not included). Space is limited, call today to reserve your spot 406-862-2900 option 2.
  3. Share a car and breakfast with friends. In case you had not heard yet, we started a couple new traditions here on the mountain. First, with more of you down there in the valley wanting to come up, we thought carpooling would be a good answer—thank you to those who have been doing it! The Dogwood lot is free to vehicles with 3 or more Friday-Sunday ($5 for others). You can park there with your friends, then take a nice “warm-up walk” to Ed & Mully’s for breakfast. After fueling up on really good food (at a discount for season passholders) head out for some runs! Open Thursday-Monday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  4. Ski with other friends. Chances are people like you. These friend of yours, who do not have a season pass, would love more than anything to ski the mountain you love with you. Why not invite them to join you? As a 2019/20 Season Passholder you have four $53 Friends & Family tickets to redeem. Make their day, ski with your friends and that will make your day!
  5. Ski into the sunset. Here’s one of my favorite things to do at least once a year. Leave work early on a Friday (or stay on the mountain late on a Saturday), catch one of the last chairs on Chair 1 to the summit, and savor the moment on top of a mountain. Then ski down to Chair 2 that is still running for the next two Fridays and Saturdays (through March 7) and continue skiing! From there you can ski for a couple hours and then watch the sunset from the slopes! The February 28 sunset is at 6:18 and March 7’s sunset is at 6:30. Keep skiing in the twilight and under the lights until 8:30 p.m. Sunset/Night Skiing is included with your season pass or just $25 for everyone else!
  6. Venture into the forest off-mountain. For years I’ve been wanting to take up cross-country (XC) skiing, and guess what? I’ve finally done it! With so many Nordic Ski Areas, as well as many, many kilometers of groomed and un-groomed trails. It’s fun to take a day off from our mountain and visit one of these areas. Some also offer fat bike rentals too. Get yourself in to the woods or in the track and enjoy winter skiing at a slower pace.
  7. Ski & Skate. It’s always fun to rally and make it a two sport day. May I suggest you cap off a day on the mountain with an evening at the rink? The Stumptown Ice Den offers public skating on Sundays 2-5 p.m. and starting March 21 another public skate Saturdays 12:30-5 p.m. Admission is $7, skate rentals are $3. You can also try Curling! Starting March 17 they are offering “Learn How to Curl” Tuesday nights 7-9 p.m. thru April 7, $15 per session.
  8. Practice avalanche beacon skills in the Beacon Park. You’ve seen it, skied right past it, or maybe have yet to notice it—we have an Avalanche Beacon Park at the summit. It’s located on the west side of the summit, across from the Ski Patrol. You need to bring your own beacon and probe. Just go to the park where you will find a box on a post with instructions. There are eight beacons buried in the area and you can search for them one at a time or try searching for multiple beacons. It’s a great way to get some practice without taking any risks!
  9. Support a Cause. If you like après skiing, or raffles, or supporting others who do cool things then there are a couple of fundraisers coming up that you should add to your to do list. March 7 is the Freestyle Team Fundraiser at the Montana Tap House 5-8 p.m. Proceeds help pay for team activities, and subsidize team travel expenses, coaches’ education and scholarships for Freestyle Team program fees. Live music by Dixie Riddle. March 9 is the Ski Patrol FUNdraiser at The Bierstube 5-8 p.m. Proceeds benefit The Patrol Fund—a nonprofit organization that provides avalanche education courses and financial assistance for avalanche and first aid courses for our community.
  10. Build a dummy. It’s never too early to start working on blueprints or collecting materials for your entry in the Dummy Derby. It’s a fun activity for crafty people who like to build things while drinking beer. The Dummy Derby is Saturday, March 28, also the same day as Brewfest—so people drinking beer can watch your dummy crash. S. You can win cash—a $400 purse is at stake! Get the details here.