Tag Archives: Skiing

Warren Miller + Montana = A Match Made in Winter Heaven

Being a born and raised Montana girl, I know that winter here is pretty special. But I also know that not everyone thinks of Big Sky Country as a winter travel destination, especially when there are so many other places that have great ski scenes, solid snow and multiple resorts to choose from. But I do know that there’s at least one guy who knows that winter in Montana is pretty rad: Warren Miller.

A skier catches air in Western Montana's Glacier Country. Photo: Noah Couser

A skier catches air in Western Montana’s Glacier Country. Photo: Noah Couser

At 90+ years old, Warren is known as one of the most recognizable people in the ski and snow industry and to be honest, he’s got a lot of feathers in his winter-loving hat: he founded Warren Miller Entertainment in 1949, he’s been a filmmaker for 60+ years and he made films for WME for 40+ years. After a several-year hiatus from making films with Warren Miller Entertainment, Warren Miller himself is appearing in this year’s 67th feature film, “Here, There & Everywhere.” And while it’s pretty incredible to have Warren in this year’s movie, what makes it even sweeter is that Montana is one of the locations featured in this year’s film. 

The Montana segment of the movie—which was filmed at Turner Mountain, Whitefish Mountain Resort, Martin City and Seeley Lake—features ski athletes Tyler Ceccanti (read more about Tyler’s love for Montana snow here) and Collin Collins, as well as Montana native and snowmobile athlete Keith Curtis. And from some of the photos the boys sent me from filming in Montana last winter, it looks like they had a blast.

Take a look…

Taking in the view over the Kootenai River near Libby. Photo: WME

Taking in the view over the Kootenai River near Libby. Photo: WME

Night skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Photo: WME

Night skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Photo: WME

Skiing on trails in the backcountry of the Swan Mountains. Photo: WME

Skiing on trails in the backcountry of the Swan Mountains with YurtSki. Photo: WME

Keith Curtis catching air near Seeley Lake. Photo: WME

Keith Curtis riding near Seeley Lake. Photo: WME

This year, Montana is one of the main sponsors of the movie tour which means if you attend one of the movie’s domestic premieres, you can enter to win a customized winter trip for four to Western Montana’s Glacier Country. The film tour will be making various premiere stops in Utah, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, California, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Ohio, Maine, Vermont and Alaska. Check out the full schedule here.

And, just in case you can’t make one of the movie’s premiers, you can also enter to win monthly prizes (including a Whitefish Mountain Resort weekend getaway) weekend stay and play package here from October 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.


The Top 5 Winter Activities in Montana

I’m just going to say it: winter in Montana is the stuff that powder-lovin’ dreams are made of. Not only are we situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, but four Montana ski resorts recently ranked among the “Top 10 Deepest Snowpacks in the US” list. Combine that with sunshine, cute towns and some of the most epic terrain in the continental U.S., and it’s no wonder winter is one of Montana’s most fun-filled seasons.

To help you take advantage of winter fun in Western Montana’s Glacier Country, I rounded up the top five winter activities to do this year.

Ski or Snowboard
Montana’s Glacier Country is home to six downhill ski areas. And while I don’t think I can pick a favorite (that would be like making my mama pick her favorite kid), I am particularly fond of snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort and Lookout Pass. The views from Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain in Whitefish are seriously stunning and I love the laid-back atmosphere at Lookout.

The view from the summit of Big Mountain, looking into Glacier National Park.

The view from the summit of Big Mountain, looking into Glacier National Park.

My favorite run at Lookout Pass, solely because its name.

My favorite run at Lookout Pass, solely because its name.

Shred (or Snowshoe) Backcountry Powder
One of my most memorable winter trips ever was a backcountry adventure into a yurt in the Swan Mountains. We rode snowmobiles from the Rich Ranch to the yurt and spent two days taking in the untouched terrain and incredible powder, and of course trying to keep the wood stove burning. Because I’m a little bit of a baby and not great on skis (I’ve only snowboarded in recent years), I opted to snowshoe up and down and it was incredible.

The terrain outside of the yurt. Photo courtesy of my pal, Brody Leven.

The terrain outside of Yurtski in the Swan Mountains. Photo courtesy of my pal, Brody Leven.

Soak in a Hot Springs
Montana’s hot springs are the best. Glacier Country is home to a handful of hot springs: Lolo Hot Springs, Symes Hot Springs and Quinn’s Hot Springs. My advice? Hit the ski trails at Lookout Pass and then head over to Quinn’s Hot Springs to spend the night and soak in their pools. Also, hands down, Quinn’s is one of the best places (and I’m not even kidding) for dinner in Montana. If you haven’t eaten there, do yourself a favor and make plans to venture there for dinner. (Just be sure to stop and pick me up first. You need a Montana friend, right?)

Serenity found at Quinn's Hot Springs in Paradise.

Serenity found at Quinn’s Hot Springs in Paradise.

Literally, snowmobiling in my all-time favorite winter activity. Sure, it’s not as heart-healthy as cross-country skiing or snowboarding, but I just love it. How much do I love it? So much that I already have two snowmobiling trips booked for this winter.

If you haven’t snowmobiled before, I’d recommend taking a guided trip with either Swan Mountain Snowmobiling in the Flathead Valley or Rich Ranch in Seeley Lake. Going with a guide helps alleviate some safety concerns and having one there (especially if the guide is cute), always makes me feel better.

One of the views on the Canyon Creek Trail near Whitefish/Columbia Falls.

One of the views on the Canyon Creek Trail near Whitefish/Columbia Falls.

Take a Road Trip
Let’s be honest: winter driving in Montana can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re not used to driving on snowy roads. However, Montana has some of the best road crews in the nation and they do a great job keeping our roads clear and drivable. The one thing to keep in mind: drive according to the road conditions. Sure, it make take you a tad longer to get somewhere, but not only will you arrive safely, you’re going to see some of the most gorgeous scenery along the way.

Cruising I-90 west of Missoula.

Cruising I-90 west of Missoula.

A perfect winter scene along a Montana backroad.

A perfect winter scene along a Montana backroad.

My favorite winter road trips destinations include the Bitterroot Valley, Missoula, Paradise and Whitefish.

Your turn: What are your top picks for winter fun in Montana?


Montana Shows Off in Warren Miller’s “No Turning Back”

Alright fine, I’ll admit it. Winter is on the way. And while I may not be totally stoked that it’s creeping up (I want to enjoy Montana’s fall colors just a little bit longer), something that I am totally stoked about is this year’s Warren Miller Entertainment film, “No Turning Back.”

This year’s film features nine delicious minutes of winter in Montana and two of Montana’s most rad ski areas: Discovery Ski Area and Lost Trail Powder Mountain. Last winter, pro skiers Julian Carr and Sierra Quitiquit spent time playing in Montana’s powder. Here’s a look behind the scenes of their Montana segment:

This year’s film tour is already underway and you can check out the full schedule here.

An added bonus: If you’re heading to the premieres in Portland (this Friday and Sunday), Minneapolis (this Friday and Saturday) or Seattle (November 21 – 22), be sure to stop by our Glacier Country booth and enter to win a four-day/three-night winter getaway to Whitefish, Montana.

Happy shredding,

Storm Cycles, Amtrak and Montana: A Match Made in Powder Heaven

Last winter, I had the utmost privilege (and I mean that in the most serious way) of working with two of the skiing industry’s up-and-coming skiers: TJ David and Brody Leven. I kid you not, these guys are two of the most stellar gentlemen I’ve ever know. They came to Montana to ski areas along Highway 93 for Skiing Magazine (read all about it here) and to produce an episode (check that out here) of Storm Cycles.

I’m happy to tell you that TJ David has returned to Western Montana with another stellar crew to capture footage for season two of Storm Cycles in partnership with Amtrak. This time TJ and the boys (as I’m now calling them) traveled from Chicago on Amtrak’s Empire Builder to Glacier Country where they’ve been hitting up our ridiculous amounts of snow. From the looks of it, they’ve been in powder heaven.

And because this crew is as great as they sound, they offered to share some of their photos (which are stunning) on the blog so I can share them with all of you.

Here are some photos of the last few days…

They also put together a little teaser from their time in Western Montana. Check that out here.

Rumor has, from here the boys are headed over to Washington before making their way north to British Columbia. If you want to follow along on their journey, search hashtags #amtrakseason and #stormcycles on instagram and twitter for up-to-date shots of their journey. You can also read more about it on Amtrak’s blog.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a train to catch.


Tommy Moe + Private Ski Day at Lost Trail = Montana Awesomeness

It has to be said: today was one for the record books.

Why? Because today Olympic gold and silver medal winner Tommy Moe spent the day skiing with Sally Cramer–the lucky winner of our “Win Your Own Mountain” giveaway–and 10 of her friends at Lost Trail Powder Mountain in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.

While more than 18,500 people entered the giveaway, it was Cramer from Spokane, Washington who was the lucky winner. Which means that she, her crew and Tommy Moe (who we like to call the nicest man we’ve ever met) had the entire 1,800 acres of terrain to themselves.

And while I would love to tell you all about it, I really don’t think my words would do it justice. So instead, I’m going to show you. 










We’d say it was a pretty great day.


PS: Want to have your own ski day with Tommy Moe? Consider a heli skiing trip with Tordrillo Mountain Lodge in Alaska. Tommy is one of the owners and regularly hits untouched powder with the lodge’s guests.

PPS: Thanks to my lovely friend, Sammi for taking these photos of our awesome day.

Washington Woman Wins Private Ski Day With Tommy Moe

Remember the giveaway we held during the last several months where you could enter to win a private ski day with Olympic medalist Tommy Moe at Lost Trail Powder Mountain? Well, I’m PUMPED to tell you that we have a WINNER! 

Sally Cramer from Spokane, Washington will be spending January 8 on the terrain at Lost Trail with Tommy Moe. Sally, along with 10 of her friends and family, will travel to Montana’s Bitterroot Valley where they’ll enjoy Lost Trail’s 2,130 acres of terrain and have the place all to themselves.

The Cramer family.

The Cramer family. Courtesy Sally Cramer

We talked to Sally to see if she was excited about winning this contest. And, I’m happy to report that she was stoked. Sally in her own words, ” I am so excited to be the winner! Things like this don’t happen to real people!”

Hello, you gorgeous mountain. Photo courtesy of Lost Trail

Hello, you gorgeous mountain. Photo courtesy of Lost Trail

And what does the man himself, Tommy Moe think about this ski day? Well, we asked him and he said, “I can’t wait to hit some of the best powder in Montana with Sally and the rest of her family. This is an awesome opportunity and I’m pumped to be a part of it. Lost Trail is a fun local hill and it’s an added bonus that we get to have it all to ourselves.”

If I was a betting gal, I'd suspect that we'll see Tommy break out some of these moves. Photo courtesy Tommy Moe

If I was a betting gal, I’d suspect that we’ll see Tommy break out some of these moves. Photo courtesy Tommy Moe

Sounds like it’s going to be a great day. Congrats Sally—this messy-haired girl can’t wait to see you on the slopes!


Winter in Montana: It’s Here

Well you guys, I hate/love to say it but…winter is here. I awoke this week to the first official snowfall in my neck of the woods. And to be honest, I greeted it a little hesitantly. Why was I hesitant? Well, it’s just that this fall was so gorgeous that I wanted to soak up every last drop possible.

Fall in Montana. Hubba, hubba.

Fall in Montana. Hubba, hubba.

But now that that’s out of my system, onward we go toward winter. During the last few years, my love for winter has been reignited, thanks to my return to snowboarding and the steamy love affair I now have with snowmobiling. Those two things have almost single-handedly helped me fall back in love with Old Man Winter.

As for this year, here are a few snapshots of what I’m most looking forward to…

A winter road trip.

A winter road trip.

Snowmobiling with Swan Mountain Outfitters.

Snowmobiling with Swan Mountain Outfitters.

A soak in one of Western Montana's hot spring pools.

A soak in one of Western Montana’s hot spring pools.

Hitting the slopes and (not so) gracefully riding my board.

Hitting the slopes and (not so) gracefully riding my board.

Bring it on, winter.

PS: Check out these sweet travel deals to Western Montana’s Glacier Country and come play with me.

Montana, Winter & Warren Miller

There’s one thing I look forward to every year about this time: the latest movie from Warren Miller Entertainment. And even though I could never–in one million years–keep up with the guys and gals that grace the screen in these films, their athleticism and sense of adventure make each year’s movie so fun to watch.

But you know what makes me even more excited about this year’s film? Our very own Montana is in it. Last winter, a crew from Warren Miller Entertainment (along with some of our favorite skiers like this guy) spent time in Big Sky Country filming for Ticket to Ride.

And while we haven’t seen the film with our own eyes yet, rumor has it that Whitefish Mountain Resort looks particularly gorgeous.

Hello Whitefish Mountain Resort.

A sneak peek from Whitefish Mountain Resort’s debut.

Since Montana is making such a splash in the movie (and since we feel like her proud parents), we’ll be attending some of the premieres in Washington, Oregon and Minnesota. Representatives from Glacier Country will be at the Warren Miller premieres in the following cities…

Minneapolis, October 18 & 19
Spokane, October 25
Portland, October 25
Seattle, November 22 & 23

If you make it to the premieres in any of those cities, be sure to stop by our booth and enter to win winter prize packages to Western Montana. As an added bonus, we have prize packages for each of the shows, which means someone will walk away with Montana swag immediately after the movie.

In the meantime, check out the movie trailer here and see if you can spot Big Sky Country.


Be a Winter Warrior (and win cool stuff)

We’re saying it: Happy winter! While the first official day of winter isn’t until December 21, around these parts we get pumped for winter early. How pumped, you ask? Very pumped.

In fact, this year we’re so excited about winter that we’re celebrating it and spreading the good word about winter in Montana with our Winter Warrior campaign.

Catching air at Lookout Pass last February. (Photo by Glacier Country Tourism)

As part of the campaign, we’re encouraging folks near and far to sign up to become a Winter Warrior and to learn more about their favorite winter-geared activity of choice in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

The best part, besides finding out all the info you need to shred, sled and play in Western Montana this winter, is that after you sign up you’re automatically entered into our weekly giveaways.  And boy howdy, we’ve got some good swag to give away!

Here’s a list of the goodness we’re giving away every week, all winter long. Drumroll, please…

Now that you’ve made it through this list (pretty sweet stuff, right?), be sure to head over and sign up to become a Winter Warrior.  After all, winter is rad.

And winter in Montana? Well, it’s even radder.

Bonus: When you order your Winter Warrior packet, we’ll send you one of these cool stickers.

Happy shredding,

Get Your Slopeside Kicks In NOW

Well, it’s that time of the ski season…closing time.

And while April is being a bit of a finicky woman so far (she’s not sure what she wants to do: skipping around between crying, throwing snowballs and being downright cheery with sunshine) this is THE WEEKEND to hit the slopes on Glacier Country’s ski resorts.

Wondering where to ride your board or get sweet air on your skis? Look no further…

Lookout Pass
-Located on the Montana/Idaho border, Lookout Pass garnered a total of 513″ of snow this season! Plus, they received 31″ of new snow since Sunday. Boo to the Yah.

Lookout Pass is open today, Saturday and Sunday, so make like freshly waxed skis and get on out to see them.

This guy knows what\’s up. photo courtesy lookout pass

Whitefish Mountain Resort
-This season at Whitefish Mountain Resort brought the deepest settled snow base in 20 years. We like your moves, Big.

Closing day is Sunday, so if your winter travels haven’t taken you to Whitefish this season, well…shake a leg.

Skiing the Big. photo by larry turner

Montana Snowbowl
-Located within a few minutes drive of Missoula, Snowbowl is showing us just how April skiing should be done. They’re open now through Sunday. And because they refuse to go quietly into the night, their slopes will be open for skiing Friday, April 15 – Sunday, April 17.

Can Snowbowl be any prettier? (No). photo by larry turner

Where are you skiing this weekend?

(PS: If you see a crazy haired blond on the slopes, be sure to give us a shout!)