Montana Public Radio

skiing

Cars fill a parking lot at Snowbowl mountain April 01,2020. Guidelines for safe recreation during the coronavirus pandemic include social distancing and toning down the risks in order to protect first responders and preserve hospital beds.
Nick Mott / Montana Public Radio

According to a 2018 report from Headwaters Economics, nearly 90 percent of Montanans participate in outdoor recreation for physical and mental well-being. But safety concerns amid the novel coronavirus outbreak are complicating how people get outside.

Several ski resorts employing hundreds of Montanans announced this weekend they’re ending lift-service early amid peak season. They’re responding to recommendations from public health officials about limiting crowd sizes in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Whitefish Mountain Hellroaring Basin project.
U.S. Forest Service

Whitefish Mountain Resort will begin work this spring to add an additional ski lift and several new runs in the Hellroaring Basin area. The U.S. Forest Service approved the project Wednesday.

 A crosscountry skier in Yellowstone National Park.
Nate Hegyi

Yellowstone National Park officials say a coyote attacked and injured a cross country skier on the morning of Tuesday, January 28.

 


The annual cross country ski festival in West Yellowstone, Montana wrapped up this weekend. The week-long event, which draws thousands of people from across the U.S., provides an economic boost to a community largely dependent on summer tourism. 

Uphill skiing has become increasingly popular at ski hills like Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Whitefish Mountain Resort

When you think ski season, you probably think of people skiing downhill.

But using skis to hike uphill has increasingly become a sport of its own.

"Whitefish, in particular, has a very strong community for that," says Nick Polumbus, the director of marketing and sales at Whitefish Mountain Resort. 

Partial map of the suggested improvements in the Hellroaring Basin.
Hellroaring Basin Improvements Project/ FS USDA

A ski resort in Whitefish is proposing sweeping changes to ski runs and chairlifts in one of its basins. Those changes are currently subject to public comment.

Whitefish Mountain Resort recently released a proposal to add a new chairlift, move an existing chairlift and create eight new cleared and seven gladed runs in Hellroaring Basin.

Missing skier Jonathan Torgerson was believed to be skiing out-of-bounds in the Canyon Creek area off of Flower Point at Whitefish Mountain..
Google Maps.

Search and rescue teams are still looking for a man who went missing Saturday night after skiing into the backcountry outside of Whitefish Mountain Resort. The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating the multi-agency search for 62-year-old Jonathan Torgerson of Columbia Falls.

Torgerson, a physician at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, was reported overdue Saturday night after skiing alone just before a storm moved in carrying strong wind gusts and a foot of snow. He was believed to be skiing out-of-bounds in the Canyon Creek area off of Flower Point.

Dr. Jonathan Scott Torgerson
Kalispell Regional Health Care

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has identified the missing backcountry skier they’ve been searching for since Saturday evening as Dr. Jonathan Scott Torgerson, a 62-old-physician from Columbia Falls who has long practiced in the area.

The Sheriff’s office says it got a report at approximately 7:15 p.m. Saturday that Torgerson was overdue from a solo ski in the Flower Point area of Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Whitefish-native and Olympian Maggie Voisin.
Brian Schott

Whitefish-native Maggie Voisin is competing at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday night, in the women’s slopestyle skiing event.

At a bar in Whitefish, locals are sure to turn out tonight to cheer on nineteen-year-old Voisin. She spoke with NBC Sports in January after clinching her spot on Team USA.

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