Yesterday was as fine a ski day as anyone could ask for.  Several days worth of light dry 6" per day snow had made for deep turns in whitefish's trees and to top it off, the sky was blue and cloudless at dawn.  Overall I've had great skiing here, but had begun to think I'd never be able to see the whole thing.  Ullr be praised!  Mon. Was also a powder day and I met up with my friend Sharon from VT skiing and 3 of her friends from central NY.  They are all good skiers and we all fed off the group enthusiasm.  I followed their lead deep into the trees, and skied stuff I'd probably not ski alone.  The place to be was the north side, where the snow was deeper and the underlying base, which had never frozen hard in the past week, was seamlessly bonded to the new snow.  Last night we all had a great dinner of steak and wine.  Thanks friends.

Skiers are not necessarily at the top of the food chain in MT.  Hellroaring Basin, one of 3 major areas in Whitefish's 360 degrees of skiing, closes on March 31.  There will still be plenty of snow but it is grizzly bear habitat and they will be waking up soon thereafter.  This is required by their use agreement with the forest service.  The whole area closes a week later, not required as far as I know, but prudent.  Interior BC areas do the same.  But that's not all.  Just a few days ago a couple cross country skiing a half mile from the main base lodge saw a half eaten deer carcass wedged in a tree 30 feet off the ground.  Only one North American animal can do that.  Their daughter, a resort employee, showed me a picture on her phone.  Last Friday, before hearing of this I cross country skied alone in Glacier National Park.  At one point I had that eerie feeling that I was being watched and soon after saw a mountain lion track in the snow.  Locals assured me that I was likely correct on both counts.  

Back to skiing.  The valley is white this morning and another foot is expected in small shots over the next 3 days.  Sharon and friends are here for a week and are going to ski until they drop every day.  I'm going to check out of Whitefish and travel to Lost Trail to catch Powder Thursday there tomorrow.  I can rest while driving.  I'll be watching the weather on the northern plains and when I catch a clear window will start home, with a stop in Chicago to see son and granddaughter.  

Sent from my iPad

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