By Robert Lucke
When planning your winter recreation schedule, don't overlook a weekend at the Bear Paw Ski Bowl. It is open and skiing is reported to be very good.
Many people who live around here overlook skiing the Bear Paw for several reasons.
First, it is not open all that often. The mild winter conditions of the last three years have made skiing there erratic at best.
And then there is that old syndrome that goes something like: The hometown ski bowl is too close to be any good. The farther away a skier ventures for the weekend, the better the skiing.
There is nothing that mortal man can do about the lack of snow that seems to pervade Bear Paw every so often (short of a snow making machine or two). But not skiing the course because it is too close to home is nonsense.
Think about this. Rates are inexpensive. A day at Bear Paw is cheaper entertainment than most any other ski bowl in Montana. There are virtually no crowds, so skiing is fun. Waiting is not in the Bear Paw vocabulary, and the runs, well, they are just simply awesome or mellow or gentle, depending on what part of the mountain is being skied.
The views are as awesome as the runs. The air is clear, the sun usually shines, and looking at the top of Baldy from the ski hill is as incredible a view as there is in eastern Montana.
In fact, about the only complaint is why North Central Montanans don't get together, have a fund-raiser or four and buy a couple of snow-making machines? After all, if they work just north in the Cypress Hills, they can work in the beautiful Bear Paws as well.
Oh, and one other thing. The food is awesome too!
Get on out and experience the Bear Paw while it is still open this season. In the words of Dave Martens, get out and ski knee-deep cheap at the steep and deep Bear Paw Ski Bowl.