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Today I XC skied at Chief Joseph Pass, a mile or so from Lost Trail.  Gorgeous place.  Conditions were just about perfect.  It is groomed once a week, on Friday.  It was a bluebird sunny day, 28 deg. With about a 5 foot snowpack topped with a few inches of dry powder.  I had looked at the parking lot yesterday but was put off by the lack of cars and lack of a hut selling tickets, just an outhouse.  It turns out you must ski a mile or so in to a beautiful hut, the Gordon Reese Cabin. http://bitterrootxcskiclub.net/?page_id=572  the place is maintained by the Bitterroot ski club and there is no trail fee.
They do accept donations and memberships.  The cabin can be rented, for $9 per night at this time of year but you
Must bring your food, water, and sleeping bag and pack out all trash.  It's one of the nicest huts I've seen.  I skied 
out to a bench at the top of the pass on the continental divide and enjoyed a snack break in the solitude of the mountains.  
Saw 4 other skiers.  A couple I met at the cabin said it is by far the best XC skiing in Montana.  They were married 50 
Years ago on the summit of Mt. Snow.

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