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.
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.