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Whitefish Magic, Jan 12 - 15

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My sons and I just returned from 4 fabulous days of skiing in Whitefish.

Both Saturday and Sunday were foggy (no surprise) and mid-20's, and there was a little fresh snow overnight. For us, used to skiing man-made snow (which quickly turns to ice) in Minnesota, skiing beautifully groomed REAL snow was a treat! We took a lesson the first morning. I've been telling my kids for 5 years to keep their shoulders pointed downhill and it never took, but as soon as they heard it from an instructor it seemed like a good idea! Their skill improved with each run, and it was a blast to watch. The instructor took us off-piste, but the boys weren't ready for it yet, and didn't like it. We were more than heppy to stick to groomers, especially when the visibility deteriorated.

Monday I got my wish - a clear, sunny day, so my boys could get their first view of mountains. It was like skiing a whole new place when we could see where we were going! We tried skiing crud again, and this time the boys were hooked! Ptarmigan Bowl became their new favorite run. We practically had the mountain to ourselves, and had a blast.

Tuesday morning we woke to falling snow. The snow report indicated an inch of powder at the summit, but that was at 5 am - by 9:30 it was more like 6", and it didn't stop all day. The last report I heard in the afternoon was 15"! It was magnificent, and by this time my sons had enough experience and confidence to really enjoy and appreciate it. They wore these big grins all day!


This was my first trip to the mountains since my sons were born 14 years ago, and it was worth the wait. One makes reservations in October and hopes for the best, and we certainly got lucky in terms of snow and weather.

As always, the folks at Big Mountain bent over backwards to make our vacation a terrific experience, from the friendly lifties and cooks in the chalet to the helpful lady in the ski shop to the shuttle drivers, and especially our terrific instructor, Clay.

We can't wait to go back!
post #2 of 18
Great to have everything go well isn't it

The wife and I have been on a few trips in the last 5 years and while they've all been good we've had a couple of almost perfect ones.

Glad it went so well and hope you're able to get back soon.
post #3 of 18
That's what I like to see.

Skiing excitement!!

Good for you!
post #4 of 18
...I think those boys are smiling because they know all the effort mom put into the trip...great TR.
post #5 of 18
Makin' me drool Ann. Won't be at Big Mountain till Pres. Day.

Keep snowing ! ! !

As you stated, you make these plans and hope it is everything you dream it will be. So great when it works out.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 18
Great shots Ann ... Big Mtn is a great place to ride and ski. Especially when the sun is out ... when this happens, there's no better, more spectacular view.
post #8 of 18
That second pic is incredible. I don't think I've ever seen snow covered trees like that. Looks like a great trip.
post #9 of 18
Ann, thanks for the TR. The family and I are here now. Had our first day of skiing today. A bit foggy at the top, but otherwise ok. It's started snowing around lunch time and hasn't stopped. Supposed to get up to a foot tonight, but it is very windy and wind chill advisories are in effect through Monday.
post #10 of 18
Thanks for the photos. I've always wanted to ski Whitefish, so maybe this will be my incentive. My wife and I can't wait to take our son out skiing. He's 2 1/2 this year, so next winter might be the time.

Heading to Alta and Snowbird in 2 weeks. Can't wait.
post #11 of 18
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hiya Sibhusky! Your photos are glorious!

I've been watching the snow/weather report since I got home, and I don't think you've had 4 days in a row that compare to the 12 - 15, in terms of overall snow conditions and fantastic temperatures.

I am appreciating all over again how lucky we were!
post #13 of 18
Well, we had 18 inches or so in the last 24 hours. The place was an absolute mad house with powder hounds (and it was a MONDAY). The town must have emptied onto the mountain. Added more pictures to the link up there.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I read the snow report on the web site. Good for you!!

We want to go back next year, but with hubby's new job, it might have to wait until mid-March. Could be good; could be pretty slushy.
post #15 of 18
Great, Great pictures.

Hope you don't mind, I poached a couple for desktop wallpaper.

Excitement around home is getting to fever pitch. The family boards the Empire Builder in 20 days. For now it's learning how to use the new video camera, waiting for the new ski/board bag to arrive in the mail and trying in vain to get some work done.

Can't wait to rediscover Big Mt. and show my kids where I was born as a person and a skier.

M - O - N - T - A - N - A Montana, I Love You
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Where are you getting on the train, Deadmoney?

We took the train as well, and had a blast. My kids got most of their homework done on the way out! The train was on time for us in both directions.

Not so good for my frined, however. We got on in Grand Forks; he was supposed to get on in Fargo at 3:30 am, but his alarm didn't go off, so he missed it.

He made arrangements to come out the next day, and he managed to get on the train this time, but there was a grain car derailment in western ND, and the passengers got loaded onto buses to ride from Minot ND to Havre MT, where they swapped trains with the east-bound passengers. Their luggage got loaded into a trailer, but the guy who supplied the trailer underestimated the ammount of luggage, and the pickup he sent to pull it wouldn't budge it. All the luggage (eventually) got transferred to a U-haul truck.

My friend showed up at the condo at about 3:30 am (instead of his scheduled arrival of about 9:30 pm); his luggage - including skis, boots, and clothes - got in about 8:30.

He missed a day of skiing, but had such a wonderful time on the other 3 days that he forgot all about his terrible trip out.
post #17 of 18
WOW Ann, your friend had quite a run of bad luck. Glad it did not continue.

We will get on in St. Paul Sunday eve. the 17th of Feb. We've done the train as a family in the summer about 5 years ago. Great way to travel with children. More freedom of movement than car or plane travel. They made friends in the snack/movie and observation cars. The transportation was part of the vacation and adventure.

I love the homework idea. They will not.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Trust me - they are a alot more enthused about doing homework on the way out than the way home! And if they finish most of it, they don't have to think about it on ski days.

The train is perfect for us - we get on at 5 am (which is plenty early, but we can nap on the train), and get home again at 1 am (which is late, but we slept in the next day). And it's dirt cheap compared to flying. It's one of the main reasons we go to Whitefish - though we certainly have NO complaints aobut the mountain!
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