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Discovery Basin

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Last week we took a family day trip over to Discovery Basin. It's located about 30 miles west of Butte,MT. The mountain is layed out with 2 main chairs and corresponding runs facing south, these runs are primarily blues and greens, and because of the exposure, often have spring instead of winter snow conditions. The lodge is pleasant and so is the help. The lift ops are outgoing, the lifts appear to have lots of recent maintanance and run smoothly, and the trails are well marked.

But Discovery has 2 faces like the Greek masks of tragedy and comedy, or like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The other side faces north, has good snow, a quick lift, and puckering terrain. The north side has 1 blue run and 1 black run, the rest is double black (about 15 runs or so). Vertical is maybe 900 feet, and every double black has a section approaching 45 degrees. A couple runs must hit 50 degrees, and 1 actually has a cliff band across it from 6 to 16 feet high. Some runs I would stop in the bottom of the bowl feature and marvel at the layout and steepness of the hill. It's one of the best playgrounds I know of. I'm happy it is so close to home, (2 hours). Every time I have to leave I vow to come back next year. If you ever come to Montana for a ski trip, check into Discovery Basin for their current conditions. Given a choice, I would choose Discovery over Big Sky most of the time (for expert skiing terrain).<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by GregB (edited March 22, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 13

Discovery was one of the sweetest surprises of any of my ski adventures. We stopped in there for a "rest" day after a road trip from Boseman to Big Mt & Fernie and since it's only open thurs thru sun we hit untracked all day in incredible terrain (3 days after the last storm). We didn't even know the backside existed - what a sleeper of a mountain!
post #3 of 13

This is my home area...and I almost hate to bump up this thread because it's such an undiscovered jewel! 

post #4 of 13

Bump. I'm excited to check this place out for a day while I'm based in Bozeman and skiing Bridger Bowl. 

post #5 of 13
You do realize it's 129 miles each way?
post #6 of 13
My wolf season pass works here because the same family owns both hills. Is it worth driving a long, long day each way to come play? I'm into quality no frills ops.
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

My wolf season pass works here because the same family owns both hills. Is it worth driving a long, long day each way to come play? I'm into quality no frills ops.

Well, I've skied one day at Disco and four or five at Wolf so I have definite impressions but admittedly they lack the insight of a local.


I enjoyed Wolf and look forward to returning but I guess I'd compare the two by saying that Discovery is Wolf x10.  Without looking at data, I'd be surprised if Wolf doesn't have a pretty huge advantage in the snowfall department and maybe it's easier to get to but other than that Disco rules.  Same level of frills (none), but at Wolf I get frustrated trying to find the goods.  They're often either difficult to find or require a (fairly short) hike for a fairly short steep shot.  At Discovery I think someone looking to avoid steep trees with untracked snow would encounter the same sort of frustration.


If I were you I'd wait for a MT storm cycle then get in the car and drive.  Check out a couple of other small areas while you're in the neighborhood , lift tix are cheap up there.


Caveat:  I literally laughed out loud when I read Sib's warning about 129 miles each way from Bozeman.  Shoot man, that's not even a tank of gas.

post #8 of 13
But it is over two hours each way, which is just at the edge of what I want at either end of my ski day. I've certainly done down to Missoula and back, but days are short here, you're tired after skiing and critters adding to the mix are more than I like. But most of the Bozeman/Disco drive is interstate, unlike my drive to Missoula. Plus, you've got Homestake Pass.

It just seems like stress not needed when you've got a TON of terrain available with Bridger/Big Sky/Moonlight. If you're on the way to something and headed past it, that's one thing, but seems nuts to take that excursion otherwise.
Edited by sibhusky - 12/31/13 at 6:57am
post #9 of 13

^^^^Completely understand.


Different standards for different folks.  When I drive to ski, even within my own state, it's 300-500 miles round trip.  When I drive to really go skiing I'll need an oil change when I get back.  So the 'whoa, that's over 250 miles' just strikes me funny.


I'm certainly looking forward to the day when I can adopt your standardsThumbs Up:beercheer: 

post #10 of 13
My round trip is 16. :-)

Have kicked myself every time I've decided to hit up Blacktail. You drive to UPGRADE not downgrade.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

 You drive to UPGRADE not downgrade.

Was thinking of this thread on my 126 mile drive to wish my Mom a happy new year =)



The upgrade is kinda what I had in mind.  I've skied the three Bozeman areas you mentioned (just a day or two each).  They were all very nice, BB far and away my fave of the three.  Personally, in my outlier opinion, I'd chuck all three to ski Disco.  It's a special place IMHO and the thought of never getting back there bums me out.  The other three...been there, done that, I'd be happy to do it again, or not.

post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

You do realize it's 129 miles each way?

I sure do. Last year I made two separate 300 mile EACH WAY SOLO day trips to Blue Knob in PA to get the goods. 129 miles by interstate is nothing if the skiing is good. My brother and I decided on principal that we were not going to spend $102 for a day at Big Sky. We want to try someplace else for a day outside of BB while we are up here. When you grow up in northeast Nebraska and currently live in Ohio your idea of whats a long ways for good skiing adjusts. Disco it is!
post #13 of 13
God, I don't blame you! Can't believe a place in Montana is charging so much. Yeah, there's more acreage now, but it's not like you could cover the whole place before they merged with Moonlight in a day. Unbelievable. Last time I went it was in the $70s and I thought that was nuts.
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