While the rest of the Western United States had a lackluster ski season (March excluded in the Sierra’s & Cascades), Montana’s Northern Rockies had one of its snowiest seasons on record. Stand outs amongst Montana’s ski mountains start with Whitefish who for a second year in a row topped the 400” mark with an official 410” of seasonal snowfall. Big Sky and Bridger Bowl, who both experienced exceptional powder conditions through March and April came in with 350”and 338” respectively. But it’s not just the resorts that had epic seasons as Discovery, Snowbowl, Red Lodge and just about every other local ski area in the state also topped out well above the 300”mark for the season. On the border at Lookout Pass where the mountain is 50% Montana and 50% Idaho, an amazing 503” were recorded since October! That total rivals infamous Mt. Baker’s numbers in a good season! Needless to say La Nina came through just as promised by opening up the storm door in mid-December and keeping it wide open all season long through early April. The continuous track of storms helped draw in several pushes of frigid Arctic air that triggered massive multi-day storms as well as cold smoky snow statewide all the way into mid-March. I’ve included a gallery below of some of this season’s most memorable Montana powder moments. Also listed below is a graphical map of the latest Montana River Basins snowpack percentages, which look "scary" impressive. Just a reminder that it’s not too late to hang up your skis just yet as Great Divide ski area (near Helena) will open this Saturday (4/28) for 1400’ vertical feet of top to bottom skiing! Get out there and rip it up…. Thanks so much for reading this season, it's been a blast!!
Short Term Forecast
Montana had the GOODS this past winter!
High 5's, Fist Bumps and Pole Clicks go out to our amazing contributing photographers: Bryan Gill, Keith Lederman, Carl Hubbell, Matt Sawyer, and Ahlani.
Holy - Moly!! Take a look at these most recent Montana River Basin snowpack percentages... Most of these percentages are nearly double a "normal" years snowpack. It may be awhile before the high country alpine trails open up this summer...like mid-July! Also, keep an eye on NWS (Missoula, Great Falls, and Billings) for flood advisories and warnings this spring as all this snow has to melt eventually.
Map courtesy of NRCS
West of the Divide:
Idaho’s Silver Mountain will be open this Saturday, April 28th. Silver is only 20 miles west of the Montana border on I-90 .
East of the Divide:
Great Divide (located just north of Helena) will be open this Saturday, April 28th (and may be open the following Saturday as well – check website skigd.com )
West Central Montana Avalanche Center
Flathead Avalanche Center
Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center:
Geography Key :
WEST of the Continental Divide
Montana Snowbowl, Discovery Basin, Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Lookout Pass, Whitefish Mountain Resort, Blacktail Mountain, Turner Mountain
EAST of the Continental Divide
Big Sky Resort, Bridger Bowl, Red Lodge Mountain, Maverick Mountain, Great Divide, Showdown
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