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God of Snow Answers Big Mountain's Prayers

posted: 01/01/2000
A crowd gathers 'round the fire in praise of snow.
by Cameron Sterling

Skiers offer prayers and ski gear in a traditional snow dance and bonfire over Thanksgiving weekend, and they get results.Whitefish, MT, Dec. 1--As tradition going back to 1978 dictates, eager skiers and the Brotherhood of the Snows gathered at Big Mountain, MT, last Saturday to pray for snow. They tossed old ski equipment in a sacrificial bonfire to Ullr, the god of snow.

Since its inception twenty years ago, the Pray for Snow bonfire has had an amazing track record. Every dance has to yielded snow within 48 hours on the slopes of Big Mountain, MT, and this year proved no exception. Flurries started falling shortly after lighting the fire.

"The snow during the fire was certainly magical," said Brian Schott, Big Mountain, MT public relations manager. "We are skiing some of the best early-season conditions in the nation right now with a 27-inch base at the summit."

The event took place at the base of Big Mountain Ski Resort where some 200 celebrating participants hooted, hollered, and danced snow dances to live music. Just to be sure they grab Ullr's attention fireworks capped off the evening.

"Whitefish is a town of fanatical skiers that love snow," said Schott. Indeed, and looking at last season's 359-inch snowfall, it would seem they may be on to something.

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