The winter of 2014/15 was about as lackluster as they come. Finding the silver lining in a winter rife with complete resort closures is hard for any skier, much less the powder junkies of the Northern Rockies. The following summer was the driest ever recorded; homes evacuated, wildfires blazing on the horizon, and billions of dollars spent fighting them. By the time fall arrived rumors of El Nino and a low tide winter had become the mantra for the seasonally depressed. Every powder day of the past where that “one more run” was skipped seemed to haunt even the waking hours. …You fool… you wasted it…
Alas, despite the forecasts, prognostications, and outright winter blasphemy a beautiful December storm graced Northwest Montana with its snowy holiness. As the snow steadily accumulated and temperatures continued dropping the anticipation of a big powder day became palpable. Alarms would be set extra early, coffee would be pre-brewed, skis waxed, bags packed, boots readied by the door. No stash would be untouched, no hike would be too long, and burning legs would suffer. The haunting ghosts of powder turns past would be avenged.
And so it was. The Christmas storm delivered in a way that only fat jolly men who ride in mythical sleighs can. Snow was deep, smiles were wide, and stories were told. While the season may yet unfurl into a boney, corn skiing madness no one yet knows. But we’ll rest assured knowing we gave it all when we had the chance and that no turns were wasted.
All the shots in this post were shot in December around Whitefish Mountain Resort and the Whitefish Range. We hope you enjoyed the start to the 2016 season as much as we did. Happy New Year!