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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Discovering Discovery

Montana has some fantastic world-renowned ski areas.  Visiting my son over the Christmas holiday, I'd packed my boards, hoping for an opportunity to sample the goods at one of them.  The following Wednesday I got my chance.  But not at the big boys, Big Sky or Whitefish Mountain.......No, my son took me to a local resort in the middle of nowhere.  I spent the day "discovering" a small but mighty ski area named Discovery.


View towards Georgetown Lake

A two-plus hour drive from my son's home through slippery roads and beautiful but sparsely populated country brought us to this charming local gem.  Situated above Georgetown Lake, I immediately noticed grand views from the top of the first slope.  And that was on an overcast, snowy day.  I'm sure the scenery is even better when skies are blue.


Lots of treetops sticking out!

Sadly Montana was suffering from the same lack of snow that had been plaguing ski areas throughout the west.  Riding the lift I noticed lots of treetops sticking up through the snow.  Several runs appeared to show almost as much brown as white.


Chairlift selfie (my son is not amused)

Despite the thin snowpack, my son and I still had a fun morning checking out the trails.  Seeing me puzzling over the trail map, a friendly ski patroller stopped and gave us a rundown of the good places to ski.  After a few tries my son and I finally located "Truefisher" a black diamond run highly recommended by our ski patrol friend.  It was impeccably groomed and so much fun to scream down, we immediately jumped back on the lift to try it again.


View from the lodge deck

It was well after noon when my son and I finally headed into the lodge to find some lunch.  The place was packed!  After locating a table, we stood in an extremely long line (25 minutes!).  A large basket of freshly baked dinner rolls was strategically located next to the grill, and they smelled so good I just couldn't resist grabbing one.  Not only the rolls, Discovery touted their cookies as the best ever ("It's all about the cookie" a sign proclaimed) so of course I had to sample one.


Cute day lodge

The lodge was full of families enjoying a day together.  A favorite of the locals, it seemed everyone knew each other (my son even ran into a woman from his church).  The vibe was relaxed and friendly - something you rarely experience in a large ski area.


Old snowboards were used for trail signs

Belly full of chili, dinner roll and cookie, I was feeling sluggish on the slopes after lunch.  But my son and I made a valiant effort to get some more turns in.  We followed one run downhill until the groomed slope vanished into a tangled mess of treetops and deep snow.  My son and I slowly picked our way down, trying to avoid all the hazards, but one tiny tree snagged my ski and down I went!  (Luckily nothing was harmed but my pride)



Discovery is apparently famous for it's cookies!

My son with his young legs and boundless energy, proceeded to kick my butt on the slopes that afternoon.  By 2:30 I was crying "uncle" and suggested it was time to start heading to the car.  Knowing there was a long, slippery drive ahead I wanted to make it back before darkness fell.  Of course before leaving, I had to stop by the lodge for a last-minute potty break.  It was there that I came across the official "Discovery" t-shirts for sale at the gift shop.  Most ski areas advertise their great snow, steep terrain, or numerous runs, but at Discovery they take great pride in their cookies.  (Personally I thought the dinner rolls were better)


A lovely little ski area

I had a wonderful time hanging out with my son and exploring a "new to me" ski area.  Discovery had a mellow, family-friendly vibe.  Some of the terrain was every bit as challenging as the big boys, and the runs just as long.   I'd love to come back on a deep powder day - I could really have some fun here.  Next time I visit Montana in the winter, I just might!

23 comments:

  1. Iamso pleased for you to be able to spend thiswonderful day with your son sking in these most beautiful snow setting.

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  2. ...it sure looks snowy to me!

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  3. Great, that's put in the right frame of mind for my ski trip next week. I worry about those days when my kids start skiing and start to leave me behind and kick my butt :)

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  4. Sounds like a fun day. Loved the cookie story.
    Great post!

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  5. Hello, looks like a fun time skiing with your son. A great mother-son day. Nice to try out a new sky resort. The cookies sound yummy too. I like the view of the trees and from the deck. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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  6. It's always nice to find a new area to visit. We get cookies similar to that photo here in the supermarkets. I like the ones sprinkled with Smarties.

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  7. Least you had a good time skiing. Wish we had some snow rarly get any now

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  8. What a nice day out with a place you've not skied before. Looks so pretty and cool as well. Glad you didn't hurt yourself. Don't need another broken...... Have a good weekend! hugs!

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  9. What a very special Christmas this has been for you. Such a shame about the depth of snow but you still managed lovely images.

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  10. What a great day with your son! I like the idea of a small, remote, uncrowded ski area!

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  11. I used to love the little, out-of-the-way ski areas, especially when I was first learning to ski. This one sounds great!

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  12. How I would love to still feel confident downhill skiing! You're a lucky lady!

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  13. I am really pleased for you. What a lovely day!

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  14. Looks like a fun day with your son...what a pretty place and I bet it is just beautiful when the sun is out:)

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  15. That looks like fun - a small, uncrowded ski area can make for a great day.

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  16. I've never been to that one. We have plenty of snow up here, so the resort is happy.

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  17. Hi! It's nice to go skiing with your son. The cookies look very delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. It was fun seeing a Montana ski area and learning about its attributes. I'm glad you were able to spend this time with your son and also glad you were not hurt in your fall!

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