Discovery, MT 2/28 and 3/1/14


Active member
By the end of our day at LTPM on 2/27/14 (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11399), it was slightly above freezing and misting in the parking lot. As we lost elevation traveling East on 43 toward Philipsburg, the temperature dropped into the low 20’s. 43 was well-plowed and relatively easy driving and we made pretty good time to the junction with 569 (Mill Creek Rd) into Anaconda, things were starting to get icy, so we opted to stay on 43 over to 15 and up to 90, which significantly lengthened our drive.

We took advantage of our brief return to cell coverage while driving through Anaconda to book at room at the Kaiser Hotel (one of four, very ornate and Victorian rooms above a touristy general store). By the time we pulled into Philipsburg, it was below freezing and raining. The town was glazed with ice, and pretty much a ghost town. There was only one other table of diners in the restaurant we ended up in. They told us it had been raining at the base of Discovery when they left at the end of the day. We were not optimistic when we turned in for the night.

Friday 2/28

It got much colder overnight. Discovery reported 5 inches at 5 a.m. Patrol said it was 8.5 at 9 a.m. By the time we got there at 9:45ish, there was at least 10 inches of new snow and it was still snowing hard. There were 45 cars in the parking lot.

We headed straight for the North side and warmed up with a couple of moderately steep cruisers off the Granite chair. They had been groomed before the snow started falling. I tagged bottom a couple of times on our first run, but had full flotation everywhere for the rest that day and the next. The snow was light and dry and by late morning we were finding 12-14 inches just about everywhere. We quickly moved into the terrain served by Limelight. Limelight (1000’ vertical) serves two medium-sized bowls split by a ridge that the chair runs up. The terrain is fantastic. The Eastern bowl is very steep with a numerous tree-defined chutes that remind me of the entrance to Eagles’ Nest at Alta. The trees between many of the chutes are quite skiable. Terrain on the West side of Limelight is also served by the Granite chair (1600’ vertical) and is quite a bit more open and only a little less steep. It took ALL DAY for obvious and open portions of this terrain to get tracked up. A lot of the tracks must have been ours. When we got back to the base at the end of the day, there were far fewer than 45 cars in the lot.

Like LTPM, Discovery had a really nice, laid back, friendly feel. Discovery claims much lower annual snowfall than LTPM, but the terrain is fantastic, the skier density is low, and with so much of the best terrain facing directly North, the snow preservation must be pretty good.

Saturday 3/1

It only snowed 3 inches overnight, but temps between -9F and about 2F seemed to keep the locals at home and had turned the extensive stashes of leftover powder into cold smoke. John had some cold- toe issues quickly solved with some chemical warmers purchased in the ski shop. After this winter in Minneapolis (the coldest since the 70s – more than 50 nights below zero), I was feeling more or less acclimated. The wind was howling in Philipsburg, but Discovery was somehow protected from it. We got to the hill around 10:15 a.m. and counted 44 cars in the lot. We were now skiing tracked powder on most of the obvious runs, but still able to find extensive stashes of untracked both in and out of the trees. In spite of the cold, we skied until closing bell. It was good enough that I opted to skip lunch subsisting on handfuls of nuts and dark chocolate eaten on the lifts.

After skiing we headed up to Missoula where we met up with Mr. Crocker and skied Lookout on 3/2/14. (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=11391)


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flyover":2rhx3en2 said:
Discovery claims much lower annual snowfall than LTPM, but the terrain is fantastic, the skier density is low, and with so much of the best terrain facing directly North, the snow preservation must be pretty good.

All true. LT averages 300+, while Disco rarely breaks 200. It is a Feb. - March mountain for sure but still a gem.

Glad you got the goods, the Mom and Pop areas in Montana are still the real deal!