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Old 02-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Whitefish - First Timer

I signed up last minute with a bunch of friends to Whitefish. I have never been to Montana for snow sports, only hiking trips. So this was a completely new experience:

Terrain:

3 faces on the mountain. Front side is sun facing and features an insane amount of long groomers along with cat tracks. It has one of the longest steep groomers I've ever seen. Of course being sun facing the snow melts and freezes, so conditions are variable. There are some steeper terrain that are half way to becoming big moguls.

Backside is shaded, and has large variety of tree runs, steeps, valleys and small bowls. This is where we spent most of our time. There are two hikes, one to radio tower and one from T-bar drop down. Probably one of the best tree runs I've ever been on. The other nice thing about back side is htat there are two cat tracks spanning the trees, once you hit the second one you can always follow it back to the high speed lift. No getting lost.

Hellroaring is a mixed bag of trees, slalom style cat tracks and steeps. Probably the steepest part of the mountain. There are couple good bowls mixed in but condtions are very variable. (Similar to Fernie) However it was difficult to access the top and hard to get out.

Overall I thought it was an easier hill with large amounts of terrain. Nothing that makes you feel like you are about to die like in BC and Lake Louise. Enough terrain to keep you challenged. I kinda wished I had it as the hill to learn on as some areas are on great practicing pitch and length.

Conditions:


Bluebird day first day with variable clouds. Second day was mixture with over cast. No insane fogs but we did spot a few areas being completely surrounded. It snowed tons the week prior so there was lots of fresh snow in backside and if you are willing to hike a little bit. Everything was soft until it gets close to base. Frontside is mostly tracked out/groomed. Hellroaring was good up high but progressly worse as you go down. Some roots sticking out towards the bottom. Great snow conditions overall.

Lifts:

Weak. 2 high speeds, one front and one back with a bunch of old lifts in odd places. A couple lifts are side by side and was not running. Resulted in some long lines on Saturday. Hellroraring is serviced by two seprate slower lifts. T-bar on the backside was temperamental but provided good runs.

Resort:
Condo was great with ski out. Lot of high end features and right on Tamarack Ave. I highly recommend it. The nightlife is pretty tame at resort itself. Everything is very old school with a local atmosphere like castle. Superbowl was crazy at tube with giveaways. Very cheap too, $10 pbr pitchers etc. Terrible girl to guy ratio (or even age groups for younger crowd) if you are looking for that.

Overall it felt like a more chilled Jasper cene.

Actual Riding:
Great first day but trying a Bataleon the second day I did not do well. Trees etc were more difficult than at any time this year other than opening day. Overall it was great fun but I didn't feel like I challenged myself on anything.... except:

Found a big kicker someone built in the hike. Did 3 jumps and probably got most air than I've ever gotten. Didn't manage the land them as I am not used to the feeling of big airs. However I did get closer with each jump. Wish I found this thing earlier.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sweet review! Sounds like a fun hill to try once a year or so... I'm still trying to find that perfect mix of high speed lifts and terrain I like. So far I think Fernie is the closest thing to it, although it does have that "I could die here" feeling at times.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hated the bataleon? takes some getting used to but in the end, its such a fun ride. I dont know why im asking this, sick you have a kessler, and that is the best.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wouldn't say hated bataleon. I had a less an ideal stance on it and I am not used to how TBT and a true twin feels. I think this will take a couple of days to get used to.

Even if it ends up not being ideal for free riding it doesn't matter as I want to use it for freestyle.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Which model might i ask?
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ganjaleon. Same thing as an evil twin.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I ride a lobster, same thing as well. I like it alot.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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quick I'm in Whitefish right now, any suggestions on runs to take? Any secret stashes you found?
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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When i was there the t-bar was good and there was a short hike you could do from the top and drop in to the back side that had some really good snow.

Hell roaring would be awesome if the snow is good. It wasn't good snow when i was there. Sunbaked and mogled out.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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just got back from whitefish yesterday night and got to ride in the sickest pow ever in my life. Got there friday night and it was snowing in whitefish and when we awoke the snow report on the hill was 9 INCHES up top!!!!! The visibility wasn't the greatest but the pow was insane. First time to the hill and the only complaint is the lift lines but thats to be expected on that day
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