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1 fish , 2 fish, anyone ski Whitefish??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Looks like a cool little town, how's the mountain?
post #2 of 19
Been there 2 consective years, but not this year cause the wife is preggers. We'll be back in 2k7 for sure It's a huge mountain with lots of great terrain to choose from and no crowds. Easy to get to, with either a layover in Minneapolis, Denver, or Salt Lake (if your coming from Boston). The town is pretty interesting as well. Some great places to eat and shop. Wait for sibhusky to post, he loves to tell stories about the fog
post #3 of 19

Whitefish

We went to Big Mountain 3 years ago and just loved it! We loved the town of Whitefish too - the perfect ski town. The problem is, we'd LOVE to go back but I can't find any connections. When we went three years ago we went from Arizona (Tucson) to Seattle and then to Kalispell, but that flight from Seattle to Kalispell doesn't seem to exist anymore. I tried to look up a trip on a travel website and they suggested taking a TRAIN from Seattle to Kalispell! Yeah, like I've got a MONTH to take off work. Does anyone know if there's an easier way to get there?

And as far as the "fog"...we LOVED it! Makes you dizzy at first, but once you get used to it, it's kind of like skiing by braille. You can't be apprehensive of what you can't SEE!! We felt it improved our skiing.
post #4 of 19
I agree. Was there about 4 yrs ago and we had all fog and one sunny day. I was much more brave in the fog and I was a much lesser skier then. I remember going down a run on the front side , I think it was Ed's run..... and following my friend who happened to be in a bright yellow ski suit. There was no way I could say those TINY flourescent markers. Anyhow, we were going pretty fast and it was a blast. The next day was sun and you could see the run was narrow AND the lake AND the sheer drop offs on both sides. Skied much more cautiously that day. REALITY check...indeed.
That being said, the mountain is huge and Hell Roaring Basin is great. Lots of varied terrain at Big Mtn. We had beginners with us who enjoyed it as well. Whitefish is a neat town. Lots of shops and even a sushi bar and there was a really good cajun restaurant by the name of Tupelo's.
I think we connected thru Kalispell too. I know of the train ride because I met some guys from there who rode it from Seattle at The Stube (what a great bar/joint) I am not sure it(The Stube) is still there. Great burgers and get a ring if it is!! They also showed Warren Miller films. Hellroaring Saloon was good for on mountain dining too, but not nearly as colorful.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiFox
The problem is, we'd LOVE to go back but I can't find any connections.
Delta flys out of Tucson about several times a day on Delta with just a stop in Salt Lake with only about an hour layover. Go to Expedia or any site that sells airfare and do a search from TUS to FCA (Kalispell)
post #6 of 19

whitefish rocks

ditto about delta, had stopped running that route but i think they are running it again!

Big mountain is a great mountain! Sure it has fog, but it has the fabulous summit hut to keep you warm! Lots of fun, long groomers if that is your style, or, great bump runs, lots of tree skiing (although got to be careful of the tree wells). No real lines to speak of, lots of terrain (front, back and hellroaring). Like the post above, wear yellow, red, pink, etc. A very easy mountain to get around,

whitefish is so much better than a lot of colorado towns I could name. no furs, dead rodents on the head, etc. A great bar for rock n roll - the northern - good restaurants if that is your thing (crappy ones, too if you prefer!!) if steady drinking is more your style, many many places to accomodate that! It certainly doesn't have the world class shopping of vail or aspen but a fun main street to wander down.

And the train really does go right through whitefish, supposed to be lovely! (never could get the time either!!)
post #7 of 19
Big Mountain, been there 4 times and still have never seen the place. Haha.

I remember they had a really strong junior race program, really long traverses to get back to the base from the few decent runs, and best of all, it's really close to Fernie!

What's the brewery called in town?
post #8 of 19
Great mountain, lots of variety and low crowds.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2
I agree. Was there about 4 yrs ago and we had all fog and one sunny day. I was much more brave in the fog and I was a much lesser skier then. I remember going down a run on the front side , I think it was Ed's run..... and following my friend who happened to be in a bright yellow ski suit. There was no way I could say those TINY flourescent markers. Anyhow, we were going pretty fast and it was a blast. The next day was sun and you could see the run was narrow AND the lake AND the sheer drop offs on both sides. Skied much more cautiously that day. REALITY check...indeed.
That couldn't be Ed's Run. Ed's has trees on both sides and goes straight down to Moguls. Possibly could be Inspiration, which has black runs coming off both sides as it heads down the ridge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2
That being said, the mountain is huge and Hell Roaring Basin is great. Lots of varied terrain at Big Mtn. We had beginners with us who enjoyed it as well. Whitefish is a neat town. Lots of shops and even a sushi bar and there was a really good cajun restaurant by the name of Tupelo's.
I think we connected thru Kalispell too. I know of the train ride because I met some guys from there who rode it from Seattle at The Stube (what a great bar/joint) I am not sure it(The Stube) is still there. Great burgers and get a ring if it is!! They also showed Warren Miller films. Hellroaring Saloon was good for on mountain dining too, but not nearly as colorful.
The Stube is still there. Hellroaring on a fine spring day is wonderful, sitting on the deck having a few brews.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapseats
Big Mountain, been there 4 times and still have never seen the place. Haha.

I remember they had a really strong junior race program, really long traverses to get back to the base from the few decent runs, and best of all, it's really close to Fernie!

What's the brewery called in town?
Used to be Blackstar, now Great Northern.

We have a terrific race team, with a terrific coach. Luckily the school system works with us to allow the kids to practice their sport without having to leave home and go to a ski academy.
post #11 of 19
But, uh, please don't come here. I like having no crowds.

REMEMBER THE FOG.
post #12 of 19

Cold!

We went 2 years ago, I think. We were there 4 days during the first week of January. Actual temp one day was -23F/ windchill -46F. Lifties were not letting anyone on who had any skin exposed. But, the mountain is so fun, we were on it as much as possible. Going inside for only short times to warm up.

We went to Whitefish one night to eat and shop. There is a shuttle bus, but it runs only ever hour or so. Good food, but the shops closed up at 5:00. Don't know if that's typical or not.

We'd love to go back sometime. The Kandahar Inn was fantastic and so far our very favorite ski accomodation, followed by Fairmont Banff Springs! We took Northwest from Providence and connected through Minneapolis and on to Kalispell. The Kandahar arranged shuttle transportation for us. Great service! Best thing is, if you have a season pass to any other mountain, you get a discount on lift tickets!
post #13 of 19
I went 3 years ago, for a late season trip in Mid-March. Had a blast - Big Mountain was nearly empty, conditions were still good. Really loved Whitefish. Perfect, small Western mountain town.

Yes, I took the train. And I was coming all the way from Boston.

If you're coming from the Pacific Northwest, the train is a great deal, and it's only an easy overnight. Gets into Whitefish, right in the downtown, at about 7am and you can head right to the mountain. Heading back West, it leaves at night, so you can get in a full day of skiing, and dinner, before heading back to either Seattle or Portland the next morning.

The sushi restaurant in Whitefish that someone else mentioned is really good. As is the Wheatfish beer!

There are some cheap motels just a ways down the road. I think I paid something like $35/night at a Super8 about 1/2 mile from downtown.

Definitely a great place to go. As much as I love living in Colorado now, when I first thought about moving to a ski town last year, Whitefish was up near the top of my list.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim
...the shops closed up at 5:00. Don't know if that's typical or not.

We'd love to go back sometime. The Kandahar Inn was fantastic and so far our very favorite ski accomodation, followed by Fairmont Banff Springs! We took Northwest from Providence and connected through Minneapolis and on to Kalispell. The Kandahar arranged shuttle transportation for us. Great service! Best thing is, if you have a season pass to any other mountain, you get a discount on lift tickets!
The store where I work closes at 6 PM except on Sundays when it closes at 4. I think we are typical. There are stores at the mountain as well.

I tell people I moved here because of the Hidden Moose Lodge, where I stayed probably 10 weeks or so over the course of building our house. GREAT breakfasts! The shuttle bus stops just a hop away at the Pollo and the owners are a ski racing family.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
That couldn't be Ed's Run. Ed's has trees on both sides and goes straight down to Moguls. Possibly could be Inspiration, which has black runs coming off both sides as it heads down the ridge.

The Stube is still there. Hellroaring on a fine spring day is wonderful, sitting on the deck having a few brews.
Yes, you are right....it was Inspiration. I looked at the trailmap and thankgoodness both the Stube and Hellroaring are still there. Is the tradition of getting a ring at the Stube still exist??
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2
Yes, you are right....it was Inspiration. I looked at the trailmap and thankgoodness both the Stube and Hellroaring are still there. Is the tradition of getting a ring at the Stube still exist??
No clue. I ski the whole day and go home and drink the beer I have in my own fridge.
post #17 of 19

Other Big Mountain thread

You may also want to check out this thread in the general section http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=32999

Here's my contribution to that thread copied here for your convenience and hopefully reading pleasure:

-------------------
I was there in March of 2000. I understand there has been a fair amount of development at the base since then.

Don't miss the nachos at the Hellroaring Saloon at the base-- literally the best nachos I have had in my life-- I'm sure the ambiance of sitting on the deck apres-ski on a bluebird day also enhanced the taste.

Big Mountain is unusual in that the front side faces south. Going in March, you may find it getting a little sticky on warmer days in the afternoon with the southern sun exposure. In that case, just ski the lift on the back (North) side. Relative to Colorado, the altitude is fairly low-- summit 7,000 ft-- so that's good for anyone in your group who might have altitude issues.

For intermediates and even beginners (beyond first-timer level), Hellfire in Hellroaring Basin is a lovely run. Very long-- more than 3 miles-- kind of meandering, but thankfully not flat catwalk for the most part-- with a couple of trees sprinkled in-- just isolated and very pretty over there.

For challenge, Bighorn on the North Side is probably the steepest "run" there. There is also some challenging stuff in the east rim and Haskell Slide areas on the front side. There aren't real defined "runs" over there. When I was there, it wasn't all that well marked with signs, you just kind of pick your way through the trees and rock outcroppings. It's fun though, a very natural-- almost backcountry-- experience.

Ski school can be great. It's so uncrowded, that my wife and her friend ended up with just the two of them in a "group" lesson.

The "snow ghosts" are cool. The trees really cake with snow there. Just remember they're not as soft as they look.

You hear people say it's often foggy there. At least the week I was there I didn't find it to be a big issue. I remember one day that was snowing and
not-so-good visibility but the mountain is big, thus the name, and was able to find tree lined runs where you could see much better.

Hope those are some helpful tidbits. You'll enjoy it. It's a cool place.
post #18 of 19
In the best groomed run thread, someone mentioned Moe's Run. I assumed it was Inspiration, that's a great groomer! It sounds like Inspiration is still there. I was at Big Mountain the day Tommy Moe won Olympic gold in Lillehammer. I still have the lift ticket that says MOE. So where is Moe's Run?
post #19 of 19
There is Moe-Mentum, but I don't know that I'd rank it among the best groomers in the nation or anything, it's too short and dumps you down onto a long cat track. While you're on it, it's great, but that's about it.

For a long cruising run at Big Mountain, I'd pick Hellfire if you like Moe-Mentum's rollers. It's longer by far and down the bottom there's some great dodge-em' trees to get through and around. If you want a bit better conditions and just one chair ride to keep lapping it, "Around the World" which is a succession of trails basically starting out down the ridge over to Big Ravine, across Interstate and then down either Slalom or Hellroaring or Ed's Run will give you a nice long scenic cruise, but it lacks rollers. On the back where the snow is always prime, there is Gray Wolf which has a bit of roll to it, then the Caribou Cut-off over to the bottom of Caribou which has a nice section where you can pretty much lay down huge sweeping arcs across the hill without fear of anyone being there. Unfortunately the back side is only about 1200 feet of vertical though. Finally, if you like vistas, Inspiration has them. It follows the ridge the other direction from the Around the World series, and if you cut over to Hogan's East you'll find some lovely stuff that people tend to ignore. You can then stay on the cat track just a brief bit after Hogan's and jump down onto the lower part of Corkscrew and down to the Outpost.
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