Start of 2017-2018 Ski Season

posted Dec 19, 2017, 9:03 AM by Richard Sevenich   [ updated Dec 19, 2017, 9:03 AM ]
Our ski season is off to its usual randomized start:
  • Skate skiing at the UI property north of town began in early November (earliest ever)

  • Then shut down after a few days when the warmer weather and rains washed away the snow

  • Schweitzer had its 3rd earliest opening, before Thanksgiving, with a decent early snow pack

  • Which was then nearly destroyed by rains

At this point I have accrued a dozen skate ski days and one alpine day (yesterday). Despite grim alpine conditions the skate skiing has been decent. Schweitzer’s Nordic grooming folks have done a splendid job. Nevertheless the lower level of the Nordic track system has been marginal on occasion, but is now recovering. The Nordic skiing is, at best, a marginal money maker for Schweitzer and it is great that they do such excellent grooming. The poor money flow evidently justifies their decision to loan out and allow the fat tire snow bikes on the track. This sort of multi-use Nordic track is a risky choice. The bikes can leave dangerous tire tracks along with post-holing walkers who can’t ride their bikes up the steeper areas. There is some attempt to forbid snow bikes when the snow is soft, but this is not completely successful.

Schweitzer needs more snow quickly to lure the holiday tourists. Today’s snowfall looks likely to help significantly, although another high pressure awaits.

Later this season we hope to visit Whitefish Mountain (formerly Big Mountain), near Kalispell. Being over 70 we ski for free there. There are other ski areas in our vicinity that provide such deals, but not Schweitzer unfortunately.