This weeks winter storm in Western Montana has provided a good base of powder for some backcountry skiing this winter! I am a powder hound when I go out to developed ski hills and am always looking for a clean run. But lately I have been thinking the best powder would be somewhere few people can reach.
Montana company Yurtski has developed a truly unique backcountry skiing guide service to just such an area, and provide overnight accommodations in cozy yurts, and meals too! They provide trained guides who will haul your gear to a yurt and break trail the next day taking you to the best untouched powder the Swan mountain range provides. Packages offer everything from basic yurt rental to full-on three day gourmet catered and guided tours, with promises of après-ski socializing around a wood fire in the evening amongst friends.
The ski trek into the yurt is around 8-11 miles and requires skins, but the crew will haul your gear if needed, leaving you with just a day pack to carry. The powder skiing ranges from mellow glades to steep wide open bowls. The area offers exceptional views of the Missions, Swans, and the Bob Marshall/Scapegoat Wilderness and has endless potential.
I have been pining over one of these backcountry ski getaways, but the only catch is you are required to bring avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes for anyone visiting the yurts. I love powder, but haven’t gotten that serious in exploring the deep stuff quite yet. They do offer a couple backcountry avalanche and field courses over the winter for those interested in getting serious.
Check out their website www.yurtski.com for more details.