Mountain High 

Forget about gorging on eggnog and turkey, and lazing around the house on Christmas Day. If you yearn to hit the freshy pow pow and wanna bust out some sweet jumps over moguls on this holy holiday, you my friend, are in luck as a number of ski hills around western Montana will be open for your pleasure.

Our neighbors to the south at Lost Trail Powder Mountain, located near the Idaho/Montana border off Hwy. 93, report they'll be opening at 9 AM on Dec. 25. As of Dec. 19, the mountain has a base of 63 inches of powder at the summit, with a total of 45 trails open. Adult lift tickets are $35 for a full-day/$30 for a half-day. As I turn my gaze to the east, Discovery Ski Area, located off Hwy. 1 near Georgetown Lake, reports that it opens at 9 AM. Its ski report on Dec. 19 indicates a snow depth of 44 inches at the top of the mountain, with 60 trails open. An adult lift ticket for the day runs you $38, and $29 for a half-day. To the north I see that the Whitefish Mountain Resort opens at 9 AM, and its Dec. 19 snow report looks promising with a settled base at the summit of 69 inches of powder, and 95 trails open. Tickets are $64 for an adult-full day pass/$56 for an adult half-day pass. Of course, other hills around the state are open too, so just browse the calendar listings below for more white-hot powdery action.

Visit losttrail.com, skidisovery.com and skiwhitefish.com for updates on snowconditions.

click to enlarge CHAD HARDER

FRIDAY DECEMBER 24

Catch air on Christmas Eve day on a newly reopened ski hill when Teton Pass Ski Resort, located near Choteau, opens at 9 AM. $29 adult full-day pass/$23 adult-half-day pass. The resort will be closed Dec. 25, but opens again Dec. 26 at 9 AM. Visit tetonpassresort.com for directions and details, and call 466-2209.

Watch a jolly man shred down a ski hill with torch-wielding skiers and snowboarders behind him during Whitefish Mountain Resort's Santa's Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade, which begins at 6 PM at the top of Ed's Run at the mountain, 3905 Big Mountain Road. Visit skiwhitefish.com or call 862-2900 for pricing.

SATURDAY DECEMBER 25

Rock some sweet indie grabs when Moonlight Basin, 1020 Hwy. 64 near Big Sky, announces thatit opens at 9 AM on Christmas Day for your skiing/snowboarding pleasure, with holiday activities planned throughout the day. $58 full-day adult pass/$49 half-day adult pass. Visit moonlightbasin.com and call 993-6000.

Go ahead and carve down trails like "Dude Park" and "Crazy Horse" with a jolly smile on your face when Big Sky Resort, 1 Lone Mountain Trail outside of Big Sky, opens on Christmas starting at 9 AM. $81 adult full-day pass/$71 adult half-day pass. Visit bigskyresort.com and call 995-5900.

Take a break from the powder porn and dive skis first into the real thing when the Blacktail Mountain Ski Area, located outside of Lakeside, opens at 9:30 AM. $36 adult full-day ticket/$30 adult half-day ticket. Visit blacktailmountain.com for specific directions and call 844-0999.

Burn off some of Grandpa's spiked eggnog when you hit the slopes at Bozeman's Bridger Bowl, 15795 Bridger Canyon Road, which opens today at 10 AM. $47 adult full-day pass/$39 adult half-day pass. Visit bridgerbowl.com and call 587-2111.

Feed your inner carvaholic and celebrate the holiday with fresh tufts of the white stuff when the Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area, on the Montana/Idaho border off I-90, opens today at 10 AM. $35 adult full-day pass/$30 adult half-day pass. A Christmas buffet also occurs from 11 AM—2 PM. Visit skilookout.com and call 208-744-1301.

MONDAY DECEMBER 27

Just don't show up with a stomach full of Boston baked beans when Run Wild Missoula presents its Boston Marathon Training Class, a 16-week training program designed for runners who plan to compete in the Boston Marathon in April, starting at 5:30 PM at Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave. $75/$50 Run Wild Missoula members. Visit runwildmissoula.org for more info and to download a registration form.

TUESDAY DECEMBER 28

Any and all women who want to hike in the company of their fellow XX chromosome holders are hereby invited to a Ladies' Hike Group that meets every Tue. and Thu. at 4 PM in Missoula. Contact Rissa at simpleretreat@yahoo.com to find out meeting locations and to finalize plans.

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 29

Run like a freak with pizza and barley soda on your mind during Run Wild Missoula's Beer Run–Fat Cat Pizzeria, a five-mile run that begins at 6 PM at the pizzeria, 1502 Dearborn Ave., and ends with pizza and beer at the establishment. Free. Visit runwildmissoula.org.

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