Waking Up Winter on Blacktail Mountain

Downhill devotees party for powder at small, affordable ski area with mom-and-pop charm

The charming, drive-to-the-top ski area on Blacktail Mountain is waking up for winter, preparing to offer Flathead Valley skiers and riders another season of affordability, discreet powder stashes and après delights.

The good fortunes of Flathead area skiers is truly unrivaled, situated as they are between the snow-heavy hubs of Whitefish Mountain Resort to the north and Blacktail Mountain Ski Area in Lakeside to the south, where skiing is not only affordable but also holds secret reserves of powder snow and a dearth of crowds when the lines are long on Big Mountain.

Southbound skiers can behold beautiful views of Flathead Lake and the nearby Swan Mountain Range, and the drive up is almost as enjoyable as the ski down — Blacktail is the only Montana ski area where you can drive to the top.

Every run is easy and accessible, making Blacktail feel like a secret spot for winter enthusiasts.

To kick off another season, Blacktail is hosting its “Wake Up Old Man Winter Party” at Tamarack Brewing Co. in Lakeside on Dec. 7, offering another chance for locals to purchase their 2019-2020 season passes if they haven’t yet done so.

“All of us skiers and boarders are doing our fair share of praying for snow these days, but come Saturday, Dec. 7, we are planning one heck of a party to Wake Up Old Man Winter,” the ski area announced. “How does one Wake Up Old Man Winter? Well, hootin’ and hollerin’, stomping our feet and making as much noise as possible.”

Although it hasn’t yet set an opening date, visit its website at blacktailmountain.com to check out the storms hitting the hill, as well as for a snow report.

The party kicks off at 6 p.m. with ski and board waxing provided by the Blacktail Quick Response Unit Ski Patrol, for whom donations are accepted and appreciated.

Blacktail employees will be on scene selling season passes and punch cards. It’s also great time for pass holders to have their season pass photos taken, so they’re ready for the day the lifts start spinning.

To help celebrate Blacktail Mountain Ski Area’s 22nd year in business, it will be offering a limited number of adult lift tickets for $22 each (limit one per person).

Also, don’t forget to dress in your favorite retro ski gear for a chance to win prizes.

In recent years, Blacktail has also added more glading, extended its lower Little Salmon Run and finished a new run between West Ridge and Bucksnort, so skiers will have plenty of new terrain to explore.

For more information, visit blacktailmountain.com.