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Bear Paw Ski Bowl received donation of 200 skis


October 3, 2018

Bear Paw Ski Bowl south of Havre has some new equipment for the upcoming ski season and is setting up a place for people to rent skis.

Bridger Bowl Ski Shop out of Bozeman, donated 200 sets of skis, boots and poles to the Bear Paw Ski Bowl Friday after hearing there were no longer going to be ski rentals available this year, Dave Martens Sr. of the Snow Dance Ski Association said.

“The Bear Paw Ski Bowl is very grateful for the donation,” Snow Dance Ski Association President Claire Stoner said Sunday during an organizational meeting.

Martens said Friday that one of the reasons Bob Petitt of Bridger Bowl Ski Shop donated the skis was that he wanted them to be available for members of the Chippewa Cree Tribe.

The Bear Paw Ski Bowl is 29 miles south, Martens said, adding that “When the pavement ends the slopes begin.”

The hill is generally open Saturday and Sunday during the ski season, when enough snow is on the slopes.

The Bear Paw Ski Bowl is entirely operated by volunteers, with the exception of a few paid employees from Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, and is managed by the non-profit organization Snow Dance Ski Association, Martens said.

He added that the hill is owned by the Chippewa Cree Tribe out of the Rocky Boy Reservation and the Bear Paw Ski Bowl wants to get more kids and adults from the tribe on skis this year.

Havre is one out of 14 areas in Montana that is fortunate enough to have a hill, Martens said, adding that they are very grateful for the gift of the skis. He said he also wanted to thank Dan Korb of Korb Construction who donated use of the storage unit which the skis are being stored in.

Martens added that the organization is also looking for a storefront for the rentals.

During the organizational meeting Sunday, more than 20 people showed up, with some new faces wanting to get involved.

Stoner said the organization has already purchased some shelves for the rental shop but still needs a storefront, adding they are willing to pay for the space.

The store will have seasonal rentals available in addition to weekend rental, Stoner said.

Annual rentals can be used at other hills in the state and are not required to be used at Bear Paw, although they must be returned at the end of the season, she said.

The store will keep regular hours Thursday and Friday, she said, and will be open in the mornings Saturday and Sunday.

She added that they still need to set prices for the rentals.

Havre’s First National Pawn has also made a donation of snowboards, helmets, boots and goggles, Stoner said, which will also be available for rent.

Stoner said one of the biggest things is to get volunteers and to get them certified to set bindings. People who are interested in volunteering should contact Cortney Filler at 390-4788 and Tony Filler 390-6178 or go to the Bear Paw Ski Bowl Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/skibearpaw/.

Stoner added that during Thanksgiving weekend there will also be a special on seasonal equipment rentals.

There will also not be any seasonal tickets for Bear Paw Ski Bowl access, she added. Visitors will only need to purchase lift tickets.

A work party is set for Sunday at the hill, Stoner said. People who want to volunteer are welcome and should contact Cortney and Tony Filler. It is important that the work of trimming trees, clearing slopes and other things is done on the hill prior to the snow, Stoner said.

Doing this work helps assure everyone can have the safest, most enjoyable time while riding the slopes, she added.

The group also discussed the possibility of having classes and special events for tribal and non-tribal children.

The Bear Paw Ski Bowl will also be starting an Instagram page and a YouTube channel in the near future.

During the meeting Dave Martens Jr. brought up the possibility of using the online sites with the idea of being able to reach out to more people over social media. The YouTube channel would consist of videos of activity on the hill, skiing and snowboarding videos and other things related to the sports, Martens said.

Stoner said the Bear Paw Ski Bowl is a great asset to the community and at a manageable cost for families, all are welcome and she looks forward to this winter.

“Think snow,” Dave Martens Sr. said Friday.


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