Northern Rockies/Alberta 2023 Inland NW/Idaho/Wyoming/Montana Ski Resorts/Conditions/Meetups

SnowbirdDevotee

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
May 8, 2017
Posts
82
Location
Poconos, Pa
Last year I skied Silver Mtn and Schweitzer. First trip to ID. My cat skiing trip with Selkirk was cancelled because I hit the hard freeze after a warmup. I'm heading back in two weeks with Selkirk cat rebooked and plan on also hitting 49 North and Schweitzer again. Last year almost ALL of the Schweitzer & Silver blacks were totally refrozen unskiable. I guess that's what can happen in ID.

I usually like 2 trips a year and here is what i'm thinking.
3 choices for last weekend of Feb. Any advice?
#1. Fly to Spokane and Ski Red Mtn. Out of all these mtns, from my seat(pretty far away in Pa.), Red looks like the place to go.
#2. The easy trip is fly to Glacier and ski Whitefish. Very little driving!, Whitefish certainly looks big enough, but I'm concerned about the flat light/fog skiing on a new mtn.
#3. I'm leaning to Boise>Brundage>Tamarack>Bogus Mtn. One day at each with staying in Donnelly, hopefully I can find a place to sleep reasonably. The are so called undiscovered mtns but they look plenty big and fun for a day.
 

David Chaus

<insert clever custom title>
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,880
Location
Stanwood, WA
Last year I skied Silver Mtn and Schweitzer. First trip to ID. My cat skiing trip with Selkirk was cancelled because I hit the hard freeze after a warmup. I'm heading back in two weeks with Selkirk cat rebooked and plan on also hitting 49 North and Schweitzer again. Last year almost ALL of the Schweitzer & Silver blacks were totally refrozen unskiable. I guess that's what can happen in ID.

I usually like 2 trips a year and here is what i'm thinking.
3 choices for last weekend of Feb. Any advice?
#1. Fly to Spokane and Ski Red Mtn. Out of all these mtns, from my seat(pretty far away in Pa.), Red looks like the place to go.
#2. The easy trip is fly to Glacier and ski Whitefish. Very little driving!, Whitefish certainly looks big enough, but I'm concerned about the flat light/fog skiing on a new mtn.
#3. I'm leaning to Boise>Brundage>Tamarack>Bogus Mtn. One day at each with staying in Donnelly, hopefully I can find a place to sleep reasonably. The are so called undiscovered mtns but they look plenty big and fun for a day.
I like all three options.

I will shamefully admit I've never skied Whitefish. I keep telling myself I'll hop on a train from Everett, WA, literally a 20 minute drive from my house, arrive in Whitefish overnight, ski a few days, rent a car and drive to Fernie for a few days, drive back and take the train home.

I love Red and will be there a couple of weeks earlier than you.

Brundage is pretty chill and uncrowded and one of the best places to find powder for days after it snows. It's not very big, but big enough to have fun for 3-4 days, certainly plenty for a day. Haven't been to Tamarack, but others tell me Brundage is the better mountain. I don't know what's at Donnelly, but McCall is a nice outdoors resort town with decent restaurants and accommodations.

Haven't been to Bogus for a long time, I remember really enjoying the place. Not a ton of snow, but when they get snow it can be really light powder.
 

chris_the_wrench

Spinning wrenches and throwing spokes.
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2020
Posts
963
Location
Big Mountain Montana
#2. The easy trip is fly to Glacier and ski Whitefish. Very little driving!, Whitefish certainly looks big enough, but I'm concerned about the flat light/fog skiing on a new mtn.

The fog can be legit gnarly. Ive had total vertigo experience and frequently im skiing by memory. There’s days when I cant imagine being a first time skier on that mtn, but most locals are pretty chill. Ive escorted a few out of towners into the trees where the visibility is usually much better. We usually dont have total top to bottom no vis, so you may get stuck riding chair 2 if you want no fog since its frequently below the fog line. Bring low light lens and a chill attitude.

Now rime on the other hand can make it not very fun…
 

Bad Bob

old n' slow
Skier
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
4,769
Location
West of CDA South of Canada
Red, 49, and Schweitzer make a nice combination without too much driving. Flowery Trail Road that 49 is on is the shortcut over to Sandpoint. If you wanted to add a 4th area into the trip add Mount Spokane; it is well worth a day.
 

New2

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
May 3, 2017
Posts
644
Location
Spokane
Last year I skied Silver Mtn and Schweitzer. First trip to ID. My cat skiing trip with Selkirk was cancelled because I hit the hard freeze after a warmup. I'm heading back in two weeks with Selkirk cat rebooked and plan on also hitting 49 North and Schweitzer again. Last year almost ALL of the Schweitzer & Silver blacks were totally refrozen unskiable. I guess that's what can happen in ID.

I usually like 2 trips a year and here is what i'm thinking.
3 choices for last weekend of Feb. Any advice?
#1. Fly to Spokane and Ski Red Mtn. Out of all these mtns, from my seat(pretty far away in Pa.), Red looks like the place to go.
#2. The easy trip is fly to Glacier and ski Whitefish. Very little driving!, Whitefish certainly looks big enough, but I'm concerned about the flat light/fog skiing on a new mtn.
#3. I'm leaning to Boise>Brundage>Tamarack>Bogus Mtn. One day at each with staying in Donnelly, hopefully I can find a place to sleep reasonably. The are so called undiscovered mtns but they look plenty big and fun for a day.
You can get refreeze plenty of other spots beside Idaho. Including all these spots on your list--but hopefully you'll look will get better! Red's fantastic, if you're comfortable with fixed grip lifts. But keep in mind that they don't have anything high-speed... and it can feel like a step back into history and not in a good way. I haven't been to Whitefish, but seems like a good plan. If you're staying in Donnelly, Bogus might make sense the day you arrive or leave, but too much driving for a day trip from Donnelly. You'll probably like Tamarack and/or Brundage enough to pick one for an extra day, anyway.
 

SnowbirdDevotee

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
May 8, 2017
Posts
82
Location
Poconos, Pa
I'm going to block out my schedule(end of Feb), take a look at 2 week forecast and if it looks decent book one of these options. I don't want to end up skiing all groomers like I did last year. W/o the fog, is Whitefish probably the best option? What are bad fog chances end of Feb? Does that fog last all day? For the lower Idaho option, if I was going to skip one of those three (vs. BB or Brundage), would it be Tamarack? My trip in 2 weeks looks good! I've done lots of skiing in CO & UT but I can't deal with the **it Show crowds anymore!
 
Last edited:

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,373
Location
Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
I've done lots of skiing in CO & UT but I can't deal with the **it Show crowds anymore!
If you want to avoid crowds, consider just about any resort in western Canada not named Whistler.
 
Thread Starter
TS
Sibhusky

Sibhusky

Whitefish, MT
Skier
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Posts
4,254
Location
Whitefish, MT
End of February is usually very very, snowy. In fact, I'd say that last week of February is the best week of the season about 60-70% of the time. Whether it's foggy or not depends on the cloud layer. Sometimes all it needs is to be 50-100 feet higher. Today started out socked in, but the layer rose just a tad and it made a huge difference.
 

SnowbirdDevotee

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
May 8, 2017
Posts
82
Location
Poconos, Pa
Hey thanks everyone for your comments. I put a 2 week fare lock reservation on a 2 day ski @ Whitefish last of Feb .Sun/Monday. The flights for that trip kinda worked out the best and it's nice that there is no real driving involved. Hopefully the conditions will be decent but I know you have to take your chances in this avocation.
 

SnowbirdDevotee

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
May 8, 2017
Posts
82
Location
Poconos, Pa
Finishing up four days at Whitefish. FREAKING AWESOME.
Great! In my way of thinking last week of Feb is best week of yr to plan a trip. End of real winter, just before the sun can start making a mess of things. Big mtn, hoping for not too bad crowds??, hero moguls and soft snow in good shape. I just ordered my low light yellow lenses. Guess I shouldn't expect too much bluebird?
 

agreen

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Nov 28, 2015
Posts
222
Location
So Cal/OC
Hi, its been a long time since I've been here. I'm headed to Spokane this Saturday skiing Sun, Mon, Tues. Thinking of 49* on Sun then Schweitzer Mon, Tues. I'm wondering if the shortcut is open and maintained as I'll be driving a rental SUV? Also wondering if I am going to freeze to death! Just looked at temp forecast and I'm seeing negatives. Any tips would be appreciated for itinerary and/or staying warm. Thank you
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,373
Location
Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
Hi, its been a long time since I've been here. I'm headed to Spokane this Saturday skiing Sun, Mon, Tues. Thinking of 49* on Sun then Schweitzer Mon, Tues. I'm wondering if the shortcut is open and maintained as I'll be driving a rental SUV? Also wondering if I am going to freeze to death! Just looked at temp forecast and I'm seeing negatives. Any tips would be appreciated for itinerary and/or staying warm. Thank you
If you are talking about highway #2, I have driven it a couple of times and other than some steep pitches, it was fine both times.
 

David Chaus

<insert clever custom title>
Skier
Team Gathermeister
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
4,880
Location
Stanwood, WA
If you’re talking about Flowery Trail Road it’s usually open and well maintained.
 

Bad Bob

old n' slow
Skier
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Posts
4,769
Location
West of CDA South of Canada
Flowery Trail will save you a bunch of time. When you leave 49*North just go right at the stop sign and it's pretty much all downhill from there.
 

SnowbirdDevotee

Putting on skis
Skier
Joined
May 8, 2017
Posts
82
Location
Poconos, Pa
Hi, its been a long time since I've been here. I'm headed to Spokane this Saturday skiing Sun, Mon, Tues. Thinking of 49* on Sun then Schweitzer Mon, Tues. I'm wondering if the shortcut is open and maintained as I'll be driving a rental SUV? Also wondering if I am going to freeze to death! Just looked at temp forecast and I'm seeing negatives. Any tips would be appreciated for itinerary and/or staying warm. Thank you
I'll be following in your footsteps the next weekend! As far as temps go, I always figure 20F is optimum skiing temperature. 5F on Sunday looks a bit chilly!!!! Hopefully the wind (and visibility) won't be too bad.
Re: Flowery Trail - looks to be fun ride. Hopefully you won't get stuck in a snow bank on a curve and have to walk out 5 miles!
 
Top