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From the Hill - Crowd hits Bear Paw Ski Bowl Easter weekend

Spring skiing! A bittersweet time. A warm day, the sun shining, the two conspiring to undo the snow that brought such delight this year.

A small crowd was expected the Saturday before Easter. Warm temperatures drive people to other pursuits. But people weren't ready to see the season end. A great crowd made its way to the hill, and kids, there were loads of kids. Many who were beginners at the start of the season had progressed to making regular runs from midway, some even from the top. What a joy to see the progress of these youngsters enjoying the hidden treasure called Bear Paw.

The snow was generally soft and accommodating but required extra effort. One run felt like two, even for bodies conditioned by months of skiing and shredding. Shady places remained slippery. Transitioning from shade to sun was tricky as skis and boards slowed in the heavy snow while everything above the boots had a great desire to keep the momentum going. At about 2 p.m. clouds converged and blocked the sun's warming rays. Though sunshine was preferred, the cloud cover had the beneficial effect of making the snow conditions a little more uniform.

Saturday may have marked the end of a great ski season. Many acknowledgements need to be made. First and foremost, thanks go out to the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy. Without it there would be no ski bowl. The tribe has allowed the Snowdance Ski Association to operate the hill for several decades and has supported many efforts to keep the hill going.

The lift operators this year were awesome. They worked hard and were outgoing and friendly to volunteers and patrons alike. They never missed a day. Even a week ago, when four-wheel drive vehicles were recommended, the lift operators somehow made it to and from the ski hill in a front-wheel drive car.

Thanks to the Havre Daily New for printing these articles and spreading the word about Bear Paw.

Last but not least, thanks to all the volunteers who make the Bear Paw Ski Bowl go. It seems like whatever need arises someone with the necessary skill steps up to fill the need. Stay tuned in case there is another chance to raccoon the eyes, rack the boards, rack up some runs and rack up some fun at Bear Paw Ski Bowl.


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