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Missoula area? Snowbowl?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My 20 yo half brother is en route to be a transfer student at the University of Montana in Missoula. Where's the nearest skiing? Snowbowl? I may have to visit him...
post #2 of 22
Snowbowl is the best kept secret in the west. It is only about 45 min. from the campus in Missoula, has 3,600 vert and some fantastic terrain. It is not a destination resort, so it is never crowded. I worked there for 5 years and it is a fantastic mountain with good people. Volant Addict has posted lots of pictures of his spring skiing there after it closed. I am sure he will post a totally justified rave about it. Definitely go visit your brother!
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Snowbowl is the best kept secret in the west. It is only about 45 min. from the campus in Missoula, has 3,600 vert and some fantastic terrain. It is not a destination resort, so it is never crowded. I worked there for 5 years and it is a fantastic mountain with good people. Volant Addict has posted lots of pictures of his spring skiing there after it closed. I am sure he will post a totally justified rave about it. Definitely go visit your brother!
SHHHHH!!!

To be accurate, Snowbowl has only 2600 verticle feet served by two chair lifts. The chair lifts are powered by industrial strength rubber bands, and on rare occasions move faster than a sugar ant on a puddle of honey. They were moved to Missoula after being excavated from the site of an ancient ski resort in nepal, it is believed to have existed approximately 3000 B.C. This is evident by the lack of safty bars or foot rests.:

The locals are a surly lot, often heard uttering words that are not fit for these forums, consuming foul potions (one of which is refered to as a Sheer Hell Bloody Mary!) which cause them to belch and fart and speak loudly, and some of these miscreants periodically shoot off explosive devices at each other. At times strange rituals involving hula hoops and disco music have been observed. And if all of that wasn't enough, some of the locals refuse to shave!!!:

The ski patrol has been known to carry shotguns and shoot the branches off of trees!!:

The place is just plain behind the times, very little grooming of the slopes is done, there are some there who still swear by their straight skis, and (horror of horrors) I've yet to see ANYONE on Metron B5s!!!!!: :

Even their pizza oven is made out of stone instead of the state of the art ovens available, they heat it by shoving wood right in there with the food (the barbarians)!! The food lacks the mildness which all goodly folk prefer, but is rather choked with all manner of spices and other things to cause the flavors to overwhelm the palate so that one might find onself immodestly breaking a sweat!! :

There is precious little open terrain to ski, 500 of the 950 skiable acres require the dodging of trees simply to make it down the hill!! Much of the terrain is too steep for families to enjoy!!:

There is lodging on the hill if you can call it that, some of the rooms require you to share a bathroom with (gasp) strangers!! It's no wonder that two people can share such a room (including lift tickets) for half as much as a night in the cheapest motel in Jackson, WY. Further, these rooms have no room service!! They simply have a kitchen across the hall in which they expect you to make your own food, that you bring yourself no less!!!:


Now, there's nothing to see here, move along.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
SHHHHH!!!

To be accurate, Snowbowl has only 2600 verticle feet served by two chair lifts. The chair lifts are powered by industrial strength rubber bands, and on rare occasions move faster than a sugar ant on a puddle of honey. They were moved to Missoula after being excavated from the site of an ancient ski resort in nepal, it is believed to have existed approximately 3000 B.C. This is evident by the lack of safty bars or foot rests.:

The locals are a surly lot, often heard uttering words that are not fit for these forums, consuming foul potions (one of which is refered to as a Sheer Hell Bloody Mary!) which cause them to belch and fart and speak loudly, and some of these miscreants periodically shoot off explosive devices at each other. At times strange rituals involving hula hoops and disco music have been observed. And if all of that wasn't enough, some of the locals refuse to shave!!!:

The ski patrol has been known to carry shotguns and shoot the branches off of trees!!:

The place is just plain behind the times, very little grooming of the slopes is done, there are some there who still swear by their straight skis, and (horror of horrors) I've yet to see ANYONE on Metron B5s!!!!!: :

Even their pizza oven is made out of stone instead of the state of the art ovens available, they heat it by shoving wood right in there with the food (the barbarians)!! The food lacks the mildness which all goodly folk prefer, but is rather choked with all manner of spices and other things to cause the flavors to overwhelm the palate so that one might find onself immodestly breaking a sweat!! :

There is precious little open terrain to ski, 500 of the 950 skiable acres require the dodging of trees simply to make it down the hill!! Much of the terrain is too steep for families to enjoy!!:

There is lodging on the hill if you can call it that, some of the rooms require you to share a bathroom with (gasp) strangers!! It's no wonder that two people can share such a room (including lift tickets) for half as much as a night in the cheapest motel in Jackson, WY. Further, these rooms have no room service!! They simply have a kitchen across the hall in which they expect you to make your own food, that you bring yourself no less!!!:


Now, there's nothing to see here, move along.
Sounds pretty freekin inviting to me. You don't have to embellish all the finer attractions of the place so much . It could become crowded
post #5 of 22

Missoula-skiing

Yep Volant Addict is right - no self respecting real skier should expect ambience in N Mt or N Idaho. The locals are\ all ruff-gruff foul smelling loggers that no greenie should even have to see let alone make turns with, after all garry z says so and he lives in the megapolis of Spokane. Also the snows lousy, the slopes are always crowded (loggers don't work in the winter so they ski), the prices are outlandish, the people are rude, theres ice everywhere etc. etc. etc.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
Sounds pretty freekin inviting to me. You don't have to embellish all the finer attractions of the place so much . It could become crowded
The funny thing is, most of that ISN'T embellished. For those seeking skiing in such environs check out: http://www.montanasnowbowl.com/

Part of the beauty of The Bowl, is that it costs a couple hundred more dollars to fly to Missoula than it does to pretty much anyplace else, so that keeps it from being a place the masses flock to.

Jstraw, if you come to town let me know, and I'll buy you a locally brewed potion sure to put a smile on your face. Have your bro say hello if he sees me, and he WILL see me if he skis there, I'm going for a hundred day season this year. :
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
My brother would love you. He's gone full-on dreadlocked, drum-circle, hardcore vegan hippie. He's a freeheeler. Telemark/AT, which last spring, in Wyoming, with NOLS, was his actual mode of transportation...pulling his winter kit on a skid. I know he doesn't own gear so I don't know if he'll make skiing a priority. If he makes it to Snowbowl I'll make sure he's been given your description.
post #8 of 22
Sadly, not only is Snowbowl a dive but there are 3 other dives within 2 hours of Missoula. The worst is Discovery which has a backside consisting of over 14 true double diamond runs and just one pathetic slow chair servicing it. Another is Lost Trail. It is the favorite local ski area of a now-banned ex-bear......talk about a disclaimer. Lastly, there is Lookout Pass. The place is only open 4 or 5 days a week......need I say more.
post #9 of 22
All of these descriptions sound like heaven to me. I gotta get out there!
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
My brother would love you. He's gone full-on dreadlocked, drum-circle, hardcore vegan hippie. He's a freeheeler. Telemark/AT, which last spring, in Wyoming, with NOLS, was his actual mode of transportation...pulling his winter kit on a skid. I know he doesn't own gear so I don't know if he'll make skiing a priority. If he makes it to Snowbowl I'll make sure he's been given your description.
Tell him that around Halloween there is the SOS (save our skis) gear swap at the U where good deals can be had.

Snowbowl has a very healthy amount of freeheelers, probably about a third of the folks on the hill. It sounds like he'd really like the scene. For part of the season, on Thursday nights, there are telemark races which act as the stage for a really happening party scene with many a tele-babe. It's not super competitive and there are racers of ALL ability levels. It almost makes me wish I was a knee dipper, ALMOST.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
All of these descriptions sound like heaven to me. I gotta get out there!
Damn! We better stop trying to play it down.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post
The worst is Discovery which has a backside consisting of over 14 true double diamond runs and just one pathetic slow chair servicing it.
I haven't been there, but I here it a good place to get killed if you're not careful.
post #13 of 22
Sorry about the vert error. With 2,800 vert Snowbowl had the most vertical drop in Montana up until Big Sky extended a lift up to the top of the ridge, but it still has some of the wildest terrain in the state. If you don't mind that nothing is groomed, you will love this mountain. It only has two chairs but they service a very large area, plus you can hike off the backside to even more steep terrain. It is as close to the funky feel of Canadian areas like Red Mountain, Whitewater, and Fernie as you will find in the States.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Sorry about the vert error. With 2,800 vert Snowbowl had the most vertical drop in Montana up until Big Sky extended a lift up to the top of the ridge, but it still has some of the wildest terrain in the state. If you don't mind that nothing is groomed, you will love this mountain. It only has two chairs but they service a very large area, plus you can hike off the backside to even more steep terrain. It is as close to the funky feel of Canadian areas like Red Mountain, Whitewater, and Fernie as you will find in the States.
No really (yer cracking me up) it's only 2600 vert.

In spite of my best efforts to downplay it, Mudfoot is right. As an old timer whose skied all over the US said to me: "If you learn to ski here you can ski anywhere." It's not the steepest there is, and not the biggest, but the combination consistant steepness, greatly varried snow conditions, and frequent double fall lines provides an excellent envronment to develope a broad vocabulary of skills.

Not only that, but you can rent the entire hotel for $599 a night!
post #15 of 22
As one of the best skiers I have ever known used to say, "It's the Bird, the Hole and the Bowl."
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
As one of the best skiers I have ever known used to say, "It's the Bird, the Hole and the Bowl."
Hey lets not get carried away with this. Snowbowl definately DOESN'T get the snow that those other places do, and the elevation is becoming insufficient, in these times of warm winters, to maintain a favorable amount of snow as you approach the bottom. Even though we had a respectable amount of snow last year, Grizzly Chute was closed before the last day because the snow was spotty at the bottom.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
Hey lets not get carried away with this. Snowbowl definately DOESN'T get the snow that those other places do, and the elevation is becoming insufficient, in these times of warm winters, to maintain a favorable amount of snow as you approach the bottom. Even though we had a respectable amount of snow last year, Grizzly Chute was closed before the last day because the snow was spotty at the bottom.

Give it up, VA...it's too late to derail Club Med Snowbowl now.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
SHHHHH!!!

To be accurate, Snowbowl has only 2600 verticle feet served by two chair lifts. The chair lifts are powered by industrial strength rubber bands, and on rare occasions move faster than a sugar ant on a puddle of honey. They were moved to Missoula after being excavated from the site of an ancient ski resort in nepal, it is believed to have existed approximately 3000 B.C. This is evident by the lack of safty bars or foot rests.:

The locals are a surly lot, often heard uttering words that are not fit for these forums, consuming foul potions (one of which is refered to as a Sheer Hell Bloody Mary!) which cause them to belch and fart and speak loudly, and some of these miscreants periodically shoot off explosive devices at each other. At times strange rituals involving hula hoops and disco music have been observed. And if all of that wasn't enough, some of the locals refuse to shave!!!:

The ski patrol has been known to carry shotguns and shoot the branches off of trees!!:

The place is just plain behind the times, very little grooming of the slopes is done, there are some there who still swear by their straight skis, and (horror of horrors) I've yet to see ANYONE on Metron B5s!!!!!: :

Even their pizza oven is made out of stone instead of the state of the art ovens available, they heat it by shoving wood right in there with the food (the barbarians)!! The food lacks the mildness which all goodly folk prefer, but is rather choked with all manner of spices and other things to cause the flavors to overwhelm the palate so that one might find onself immodestly breaking a sweat!! :

There is precious little open terrain to ski, 500 of the 950 skiable acres require the dodging of trees simply to make it down the hill!! Much of the terrain is too steep for families to enjoy!!:

There is lodging on the hill if you can call it that, some of the rooms require you to share a bathroom with (gasp) strangers!! It's no wonder that two people can share such a room (including lift tickets) for half as much as a night in the cheapest motel in Jackson, WY. Further, these rooms have no room service!! They simply have a kitchen across the hall in which they expect you to make your own food, that you bring yourself no less!!!:


Now, there's nothing to see here, move along.
This is so well written in the subtle/enticing/tongue-in-cheek style that they should post it on their website as a promotional testimonial for the place.
Just noticed VA's post count. No wonder he's such a fine wordsmith.
post #19 of 22
Obviously snow is important, but I too have always looked at the Bowl as a mini-version of those other excellent areas when it comes to challenging terrain. Not very many places you can jump into non-stop expert skiing (with virtually no other skiers) for "2,600" vertical feet. The trees are tight but skiable from one end of the area to the other. Heck, old Rick N. with is Atomic Fatboys mounted tele showed me some new tree lines down to the parking lot the last time I was there and I patroled that place everyday for 4 years and thought I knew it all. The Bowl is not the size of giants like the Bird and the Hole, but almost every inch is skiable without really climbing, and boy they've got some gnarly inches.

Face it Volantaddict, you've been raving about the Bowl for so long that people are starting to take notice.

P.S. On a weird note, Bill Kiidd named the Grizzley Chute "one of his ten favorite runs." Sorry to hear they snow didn't last to the bottom at the end of last year.

Note to JamesJ: Volantaddict's post isn't as tongue in cheek as you might think.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Obviously snow is important, but I too have always looked at the Bowl as a mini-version of those other excellent areas when it comes to challenging terrain. Not very many places you can jump into non-stop expert skiing (with virtually no other skiers) for "2,600" vertical feet. The trees are tight but skiable from one end of the area to the other. Heck, old Rick N. with is Atomic Fatboys mounted tele showed me some new tree lines down to the parking lot the last time I was there and I patroled that place everyday for 4 years and thought I knew it all. The Bowl is not the size of giants like the Bird and the Hole, but almost every inch is skiable without really climbing, and boy they've got some gnarly inches.

Face it Volantaddict, you've been raving about the Bowl for so long that people are starting to take notice.

P.S. On a weird note, Bill Kiidd named the Grizzley Chute "one of his ten favorite runs." Sorry to hear they snow didn't last to the bottom at the end of last year.

Note to JamesJ: Volantaddict's post isn't as tongue in cheek as you might think.
Heh, Rick got caught clearing his own run with a chainsaw a couple years back. He's still bombing the hill on Powder Rides mounted tele, but I've never seen him drop a knee. He won "The Best of the Bowl" last season (for the uninitiated, it's a timed run down the heavily moguled Grizzly Chute with points given for style).
post #21 of 22
VA: I've got a big picture of Rick from the paper 20 yrs. ago where he is crashing off the Gelande Jump on a pair of 218 Kazama teles in a Hawiian shirt. He and his wife Sue are great examples of the spirit you find at the Bowl.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
VA: I've got a big picture of Rick from the paper 20 yrs. ago where he is crashing off the Gelande Jump on a pair of 218 Kazama teles in a Hawiian shirt. He and his wife Sue are great examples of the spirit you find at the Bowl.
Yeah, they rarely miss a day, and barely ever ski together. If Sue actually stops on the slopes to say hi, she gets kind of antsy after a few seconds, before saying "I gotta go now". She hates stopping for even a minute. I've become that way too. I hate the thought of losing the chance to get in one more bowl runs. A good day is twelve bowl runs and two Griz.
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