Discovery, MT, Mar. 4, 2021

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Discovery, MT, Mar. 4, 2021

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:29 pm

Driving into Philipsburg from the north we got a good view of Discovery’s backside.
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The Granite runs are in the middle foreground. Part of the Limelight terrain is visible behind at left.

The warm week peaked today at maybe 40F and crystal clear. If this is the kind of day q gets frequently on his March trips, we certainly saw the appeal. Nearly everything on north facing Granite and Limelight remained packed powder. The mellow frontside cruisers Claimjumper and Southern Cross turned to pristine corn by noon, and with low Thursday skier traffic stayed that way the rest of the day.

We headed to Granite right away after 10AM arrival, and though snow was chalky it was not completely smooth. We later found out that Granite is only groomed twice a week. That might be problematic if those runs sustain a melt/freeze later in spring. We skied Winning Ridge and Tap r Lite. The latter run led here, so Liz wanted this pic for her NYC friends in the Diamond Dogs.
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We skied Sluice Box to the base. As one of the steeper front side runs it softened early, though since it had not been fresh groomed it was best to stay in skier tracked lines.

Now it was time to check out Limelight, which we learned was so named because its chair used to serve the Limelight run at Sun Valley. Liz did not get stuck in Bad Finger, but like many Limelight runs it has its confined steep spots so it took her a while.
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So for a break we skied Claimjumper/Southern Cross to the base. The corn rivaled Mammoth/Bachelor at their finest for effortless cruising so we took two encores before returning to Limelight.

Liz found the single black runs Limelight and Trilby’s within her comfort zone. I found the soft chalk/windbuff in Christmas Park to my liking in the western bowl. It and other similar exposed lines are visible here from the opposite side of the western bowl.
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From Christmas Park, here’s the view across to Good Finger and Bad Finger.
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View down Christmas Park:
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Catch a Wave in the eastern bowl often required one-a-time turns in steep trees with occasional low tide obstacles.
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Obstacles were generally not rocks but not quite covered vegetation. Nonetheless if you hit one of them by mistake and lost your balance you might have a long and possibly consequential slide.

Liz skied to the base to collect one of Discovery’s touted shortbread cookies while I skied Manhattan, a long bump run into Limelight’s eastern bowl. The run to the base to regroup remained a corn delight.

We shared the cookie while riding Granite, where we skied Center Stage and Truefisher. Liz returned to the base while I skied Good Finger to Limelight. I was able to get two more runs in before it closed at 3:45. These were Spooky Hollow and Guns and Roses, which had the same aspect and snow as Christmas Park.

This was my 30th day of the season, and those last 3 Limelight runs were the first time this season where I’ve skied demanding terrain for a sustained period without requiring excessive rest stops. Total for the day was 22,600 vertical. Qualitatively it rivaled the first day at Schweitzer as my best ski day of 2020-21.

We drove about an hour an a half to Jackson Hot Springs to spend Thursday night. Our timing was good because it's closed Mon-Wed in winter like many of Montana ski country establishments.

The natural hot spring pool definitely hit the spot after our last two ski days.
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Lewis and Clark visited Jackson Hot Springs. They estimated its water temperature of 140F by the amount of time it took to cook food.

Central room of the resort with many mounted game trophy heads:
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People in lower part of the picture are sitting at the bar. We had an excellent filet for dinner. As we found in our summer 2013 trip, Montana has superb local beef.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Discovery, MT, Mar. 4, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:48 am

A shame that Q wasn't around to provide quasi local guidance.
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Re: Discovery, MT, Mar. 4, 2021

Postby q » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:43 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:A shame that Q wasn't around to provide quasi local guidance.


A shame indeed! Would have pointed out and taken Tony to some real skiing :lol:
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Re: Discovery, MT, Mar. 4, 2021

Postby jamesdeluxe » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:40 am

Welcome back, mate!
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Re: Discovery, MT, Mar. 4, 2021

Postby q » Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:02 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:Welcome back, mate!


Good to be back, hibernated through the lost winter of 2021, better not have to do the same in 2022 but currently I'm ~50/50 if I'll get out to the USA in March
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