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Discovery Ski Area

posted: 07/25/2005

Elevation: 8,150 feet
Vertical: 1,670 feet
Snowfall: 210 inches
Acres: 614 (not including tree skiing)
Info: 888-678-7669;

Beta: So what if the skiers wear Carhartt overalls and the bumps grow to certified Angus sizes—hit it right, and you might find yourself free-falling through hip-deep powder on some of the steepest (45 degrees) lift-serviced runs in the state.

First Tracks: If there's more than six inches, take Mother Lode or Haunted Forest to the back-side lift, Limelight. Both runs plunge off the ridge—affording 1,000 feet of fall-line skiing. Farm everything you can off Limelight (including the tree shots to skier's far right) before heading to the Granite Lift.Must-Hit: Play around in the steep and shady Snaggle Tooth and Spooky Hollow areas (off Limelight as well), looking for natural hits and soft landings.

Après: If you like the sounds of John Madden's turducken dinner, stop into the Chalet Bearmouth in Clinton (right off I-90 on the way back to Missoula) for a Trout Slayer Ale and a Bearmouth burger: a pork-sausage patty with Swiss cheese and a beef patty with American cheese lovingly placed on the same bun.

The Tip: 35 minutes west on I-90 is Fairmont Hot Springs. Book a ski-and-stay deal for $165 per night, which includes two lift tickets, lodging, and unlimited use of hot springs. (800-332-3272;

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