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Montana's Great Northern Powder Guides

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

We've been hearing a lot about a new cat skiing operation located in Northwest Montana for the past few years. Great Northern Powder Guides is the dream of Jay and Ky Sandelin who are passionate about skiing in fact they moved from Steamboat Springs 25 years ago looking for a mountain environment to raise a family. They set up their operation about 25 miles north of Whitefish, Montana 4 years ago.

 

We booked our March GNPG trip back in January in hopes we could hit this operation after a spring storm. The first few weeks of March had been a roller coaster of varying temps in the northwest, one week it's winter temps in the 20's then it plummeted into the negatives and then just like someone flipped the switch 40's in just days before our trip. Oh well, thats life in the Northwest. 

 

We had been hearing from the owner Jay that skiing was still pretty darn good on the northern aspects despite the warmer temps in the valley 2000 feet below. On March 12th we made the scenic 4 hour drive over from north Idaho to Whitefish. It was obvious Spring was in full effect.

Tommy and Des syncing it up

 

Our first day at GNPG we were treated to Bluebird skies and boot top deep powder. We skied a variety of different aspects and locations looking for the goods.and came upon this one drainage that seemed to be unaffected by any of the past sunny days in the Flathead Valley.

Rhen Slashing

 

Talk about Steeps

 

Rhen stepping off the Rocks

 

We skied terrain from steep treed runs, to moderately pitched open sections with cool character trees to some nice wide open pow fields that had some fun little features that some of our crew had a great time with.

 

Landon doing what he does best-Sending it!

 

The crew consisted of Justin Miller, myself, Tommy Frey, Desiree Leipham, snowboarder Rhen Lyden and former US Freestyle ski team member and Montana Native-Landon Gardner.

 

Tommy on the Steeps

 

Bob and Desi having some fun

 

Day 2 it was dumping and with temps in the lower 20's the snow conditions were definitely winter like. After a little bit of searching we found the money in a steep treed section above their Yurt. We spent the rest of the afternoon lapping this zone. Not a bad place to end what could be our last powder turns for the season. 

 

Desiree blasting through 

 

Landon Gardner BOOSTING one through the trees

 

Perfect conditions compiled with fun crew lead to lot's of smiles on this trip. We can't wait to get back next year in the middle of winter. 

post #2 of 14
Looks nice!


Where is their tenure in relation to WFMR?
post #3 of 14

Always enjoy the pictures!

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

It's about 25 miles North of Whitefish Mountain Resort. Their base lodge is right on Hwy 93. Easy access and to get to the goods is anywhere from 25-45 minutes from their base.

post #5 of 14
At the resort yesterday, the summit got six wonderful inches and looks to get more Sunday and Monday, so there are still opportunities out there.
post #6 of 14

Your TR's always make me drool. :drool

Thanks for sharing. 

post #7 of 14
Lousy pictures. What is this, Vogue? Where are the shots of the terrain, trails, etc.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uphillskier View Post

Lousy pictures. What is this, Vogue? Where are the shots of the terrain, trails, etc.
post #9 of 14
Serious. Look at Sun Valley Unofficial Guide by Bill Miles. Those are great ski pictures, some of the best I've ever seen. They give a real perspective on the actual terrain. By the way, the ski magazines are all guilty of this. They'll do a resort feature and have a picture of a model doing turns and then shots of the retaurant and bar. Very frustrating.
post #10 of 14

:confused

 

Yeah, just lousy pictures of no talent skiers on beginner terrain.  The nerve of some people posting pictures like that (sarcasm intended).

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uphillskier View Post

Serious. Look at Sun Valley Unofficial Guide by Bill Miles. Those are great ski pictures, some of the best I've ever seen. They give a real perspective on the actual terrain. By the way, the ski magazines are all guilty of this. They'll do a resort feature and have a picture of a model doing turns and then shots of the retaurant and bar. Very frustrating.

 

Hopefully your other 37 posts weren't as "douchey" as the above 2

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uphillskier View Post

Lousy pictures. What is this, Vogue? Where are the shots of the terrain, trails, etc.

You want pictures of terrain and trails, use my Locals Guide.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uphillskier View Post

Lousy pictures. What is this, Vogue? Where are the shots of the terrain, trails, etc.

 

Really? As SibHusky noted, use the Locals Guides for that kind of information. First, as a cat-skiing operation, there really aren't 'trails' as such so what do you look for? As for terrain, I think the pictures show it reasonably well. There are some steep shots, some rocks and cliff bands, fairly open skiable tree lanes, etc. All that shows okay in the pictures. Beyond that, you would have to ask yourself what the purpose of the photo was in the first place. If the purpose was to write a TR here that would act as a locals guide, then maybe this would make sense. But if the purpose is to excite skiers to try a new operation and to show them some of what GN offers in order to entice them to look deeper, then I think this kind of photo array probably is more effective. Considering the primary purpose is the latter and the secondary purpose is the former, I think the target has been hit. But, that's just my opinion.

 

Disclaimer: Having been involved with the OP, Freeride over the years in just this kind of endeavor, I understand the goals and think he hit them well. Again, just my opinion.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Uphill Skier- Lighten up! Apparently you must have gotten your climbing skins wrapped up around your man parts!  I'm not writing a Brochure here, I'm spreading the Stoke about this great sport that all of us on this site are passionate about and visually exciting images definitely help tell the story.

 

This site is about sharing fun ski information and spreading the stoke, don't take it so serious.


Edited by Freeride - 3/19/14 at 7:39pm
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