A few weeks ago I was able to go on my first ever backcountry trip to Teton Pass near Choteau, MT. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this trip and amazingly it turned out to be a great experience. Teton Pass is a ski resort up in the Rocky Mountain Front Range and due to certain circumstances it wasn’t able to open up this winter. What this meant for us was a lot of snowmobiles, guns, playing cards, and enjoying a vast wilderness all to ourselves. The crew consisted of Justin Brodin, Shane Dowaliby, Karl Fostvedt, Shay Lee, Luke Perin, David Steele along with our guides Anthony, Brian, and our amazing cooks and all around fun guys Tim, Luke, and Dillon.
The first day of skiing we planned on just checking out some of the zones, and ended up finding two huge wall rides and after deliberating on what to do Karl and Shay got the bright idea of building a kind of hip on the wall ride. Although we weren't planning on hitting the feature that day we worked hard to finish it. By the time we finished building up the jump, the snow became fast enough to hit it and we ending up having a fun session.
The following day we were expecting to get 4-6 inches of fresh snow, but what we ended up receiving instead was a bunch of rain. That day Dave and Shay went skinning up the mountain for a fun run, Justin and I went to scout for potential spots to build a jump and places we might want to come back to in the future. We ended up building a river gap and proceeded to build that for the rest of the day. Got to hit it twice before Shay proposed we build a “small” landing. This turned out to be a rather “large” landing and took up the rest of the time in the day.
On day 3 we woke up to more clouds and decided quickly that we would go hike up the mountain for a run and wait to see if the sun would come out for the river gap. The hike up took around 30-45 min, but was very worth it. We all ended up skiing a fun line and a little bit of tree skiing. After skiing it started to snow and we ended up waiting for the sun to come out, but by the time it did it was already shady over the river gap. But that didn’t stop David from skiing on amazing chute and getting some shots. Later that night one of the guys proposed we set up a log rail and hit it while the bonfire was blazing hard in the background. So much fun hitting it with Dave and Shay making it a perfect way to end St. Patty’s Day.
On Sunday we woke up with hopes of sunshine, and we were greeted with snow instead. So we packed up the cabin getting ready to leave and went to check out the River Gap. Over the last two days the in-run and landing had become so incredibly iced over that we decided it was a better idea to not hit it. This kind of bummed all of us so we decided to go by the resort for a quick run and see if there was enough snow to have some fun. When we got up to the resort we were pleased to see the mountain had received around 5 inches and left us with a couple fun laps down the mountain and a perfect way to end the trip with the sun shining right before we dropped in.
Overall this trip ended up being amazing, although we weren't able to accomplish everything we wanted it was still amazing to be in this vast wilderness with absolutely no cell service and power to get away from everything and enjoy the simplistic things happening instead. Cannot wait to go on another trip like this again.
A very big thanks to the boys over at Backcountry Freeskier for helping set this trip up and for the Choteau locals Tim, Luke, and Dillon for helping us out so much!