Forums Trip Reports A Note from the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness, SWMT
Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #576812
    700 Posts

    (this is cross-posted from my site… hoping to add some neglected 2012 MT content to the site in upcoming months)
    With the current amount of time I spend sitting at a desk, I’ve become mildly obsessed with SNOTEL and NOAA data and using it to attempt prediction at spring skiing conditions. Despite the accuracy(?) of forecasts and reliable temperature and snowfall data from the SNOTEL sites, one can still be utterly surprised. In a good way.

    Such was the case this weekend as Patrick, Kate and I decided to venture into the Absaroka Beartooth for the first time this season (Kate’s first time in the range on skis in fact). Using said data to figure out a spot to shred was difficult, but it seemed like the A/B was going to receive the most snow out of a forecasted storm. Temps were forecasted to stay below freezing all day at elevation, so we decided an early start wasn’t too crucial. While there are a number of spots that offer decent access (for southwest MT anyway), we chose one that would provide the most options in terms of aspect, angle, and terrain.

    After a few of these…

    …I headed to bed. I awoke Saturday morning, did the typical SNOTEL check hoping to see some substantial numbers and got totally let down. To further let me down, the day appeared to be dawning bright and clear. Up too late to catch the corn cycle on anything good and no new snow. After briefly considering going rock climbing, we motivated and cruised into the Paradise Valley.

    What followed was another unexpectedly great day in the hills:

    Nomad heading up:

    Things stayed cool enough to provide the proverbial “corn in the sun/powder in the shade” until well after noon. This was my third or fourth trip into this basin and I have yet to be disappointed. The amount of ski terrain up here is truly mind boggling. If only the continental snowpack would cooperate…

    If any locs want to lend a hand in some NoTell Motel construction this summer let me know.

    Managed an excellent run down a feature I would like to call Whitebark Point, to memorialize the forest on its flanks that will only hold living whitebarks for a few more years. Nomad airing onto the face:

    Kate skiing the north facing exit chute

    Our run:

    Classic day. Happy to have spring arrive after dealing with all kinds of persistent facets through the winter.

    wasatch surf
    979 Posts

    damm. that looks rad. glad to see some MT stoke!

    864 Posts


    Don’t mean this as derogatory, but that kinda reminds me of lone peak…like riding liberty in the dictators or something.

    It’s been a while though. Am I far off base?

    700 Posts

    Yeah, we actually remarked on the similarities between some Big Sky terrain and the Emigrant basin.

    82 Posts

    A fellow weekend warrior and I from Missoula are probably looking to get after some spring lines that direction this weekend. Maybe the Crazies if they are still holding enough snow….

    700 Posts

    Definitely let me know what you find out if you go into the Crazies.

    1490 Posts

    Nick, thanks for sharing the stoke. That spot looks like it holds a lot of great options for terrain/aspects. Is it too tough to access in winter? I understand what you are saying about continental snowpack, but I have learned the last few years that there are (some) times our snowpack can be safely dealt with in mid/late winter conditions (at least on a good year). My home computer sucks and is clearly not doing justice to these pics, so I will check back later today on my laptop when I am down in Boulder.

    700 Posts

    Barrows- that spot is not hard to access in the winter. In fact it’s one of the easier-access spots near Bozeman! Same holds for midwinter access.
    My jab about a continental snowpack was tongue in cheek and meant more as a lament of low/unpredictable snowfall this season. I have learned to deal with the typical continental instabilities and still manage to get some good riding in midwinter as well through calculated decisions and careful route selection.

    2486 Posts

    Really fun looking terrain. Good to see Nomad out and about

    288 Posts

    A few more to add…

    700 Posts

    Rad Patrick! Thanks for posting those up. They look great.

    474 Posts


Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.