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]
At this enormous mountain, huge investments in snowmaking (including more than $1 million just this season) and impeccable grooming pay off.
Louise is like a Hollywood starlet. It’s hard to stop staring at the scenery.
Hit the Apex and Horseshoe Chutes (chutes in the Midwest? Ya! You betcha!).
A bare-bones lift network means lines can be long on powder days and weekends, but the place feels empty on the upper mountain. There, explore the expansive upper bowls and chutes.
Part of Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, Mt. Brighton is the ideal place to ease off Motor City’s throttle.
You want snow, lots of freaking snow, and that’s what you get here.
Scrappy East Coast ski areas breed scrappy skiers, and Waterville Valley churns out some of the best.
How an iconic ski town’s steeps and chimichangas entice skiers.
The web series kicked off in memory of Andreas Fransson, with an Icelandic adventure, and now takes you from deep B.C. pow, to Japan, and beyond.
Because you can ski Vail for a week and never repeat a line.