After a brief hiccup, Teton Pass has reopened under new management. Formerly known as Rocky Mountain Hi, this resort is located in northwest Montana near Choteau, just east of the Continental Divide. It’s location along the Rocky Mountain Front provides spectacular views and amazing skiing. There are 43 named runs on 330 acres of territory with a 1010-foot vertical drop. Three lifts carry skiers, with two rope lifts and a double chair servicing the mountain. One rope tow handles the novice area, while the other provides access to the glade and bowl skiing that cover the northern face of the mountain.
Trails and Skiing
Getting around the mountain can be a little confusing for first timers, as the ski area sprawls across the eastern face of the mountain. The novice runs take long lines down the mountain, turning so the run is never exceptionally steep. From the top of the lift, the Easiest Way Down lopes around and intersects a couple of intermediate and expert trails before turning into the Lost Scout Loop, a sedate little groomer that cuts across half the mountain. From the Loop, Thunderbird takes beginners back down to the base lodge. If the thought of taking all of this in is too much, there’s a dedicated bunny hill just to the north of the lodge with its own rope tow near the ski school.
Intermediate skiers have the center of the mountain to play around with several tree lined steeps leading to wide cruisers that let you find your own way down the mountain. More adventurous skiers will find three bumpy runs leading from the ski patrol hut on the north edge of the resort back to the center.
Advanced skiers have their pick of how they want to play. The first run should always be the fall line right underneath the lift. This 1010 foot drop alternates between a short glade, tree lined chutes and a wide open bowl area before heading back into glade territory. After that, a fun open bowl invites you to find your own line back down to the base. The best expert skiing is found on the north face. Getting there is a little trip. From the top of the lift, head north to the No Name rope pull. From there, you can hit the tree-studded bowls or head down to one of the largest glades in this part of the country. Whichever lines you choose, you’re going to want to try them again and again.
Après Ski and Amenities
Keeping in mind that Teton Pass is only open on the weekends, the lodge has an atmosphere to rival some of the rowdier resorts in the state. The food is terrific and the beer is always cold. For after hours fun, the nearby town of Choteau is as small-town as it gets with friendly locals and great little hideaways just waiting to be discovered. The ski area and the town are both family friendly, and the ski instructors are as nice as you could want. Whether you’re brushing up on rusty skills or getting your kids onto skis for their very first time, the instructors know what they’re about. They’ll have you and yours out on the slopes carving pizza turns in no time flat.