Last December, Montana Backcountry Adventures’ 450-square-foot canvas yurt—called the Bell Lake Yurt—was heli-dropped deep inside Montana’s 10,000-foot-plus Tobacco Root Mountains, an hour’s drive west of Bozeman. The rudimentary shelter, which can accommodate six skiers and two dogs, comes with cots (bring your own sleeping bag), a wood stove, a propane stove, cookware, and an outhouse a short walk from the wooden deck. The area’s nonmotorized-use rule means no snowmobiles and plenty of fresh lines. On nearby 9,698-foot Branham Peak, there are a half-dozen couloirs and the wide, powder-filled bowls of Bell Lake cirque. Park your car on South Willow Creek Road. From there, they’ll snowmobile you in (for an additional fee) three miles on a Forest Service road, and you’ll skin in the last two and a half miles over 1,700 vertical feet. Staying at the Bell Lake Yurt can be as cheap as $35 per person per day unguided (Level I avy certification required). Or pony up $500 each for a three-day guided, catered trip, where co-owner Andy Goggins will cook you locally raised, grass-fed beef tenderloin filets and, for breakfast, hot huckleberry flapjacks. [Open from mid-December to late June; skimba.com]
Snowshoe, an upside-down mountain in the Monongahela National Forest, averages more snow than most mountains in New Hampshire.
Our short spring corn mission was just enough to make us want more.
It’s like Europe, but you can drive there from East Coast cities.
You’ll need days to explore it, even without making time for Pico.
The village at the base of Tremblant (an Intrawest-owned resort) could be Whistler.
When conditions allow, the hike-to (frequently closed) Slides are some of the gnarliest terrain in the East.
The steeps of Kachina Peak should be on the résumé of any skier who’s got the chiles for it.
Fernie’s a big-kid playground. Now go play.
Marmot Basin is now a modern resort full of high-speed lifts.
Hit Crystal on the right day and you will lap deep, untracked snow that keeps refilling.