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Summer Stashes: Beartooth Pass, Montana

By this point in the summer, photographs of steep South American couloirs and idyllic New Zealand peaks are probably filtering through your Instagram feed. With sweltering summer heat and the end of Fourth of July festivities, you may have admitted defeat, tossed your skis into the closet and traded them in for your mountain bike. But rest assured—there’s still plenty of summer skiing to be had without spending your life savings on a plane ticket to the southern hemisphere—you just have to be willing to work for it.

Here’s the latest installment from A Skier’s Guide to Summertime Stoke. All summer long we’ll be sharing from our list of enough summer ski zones to keep you satisfied until the snow falls.

BEARTOOTH PASS, MONTANA: SUMMERTIME STEEPS APLENTY

The Beartooth Highway, U.S. 212, opened in 1937 and tops 10,972 feet. [Photo] Ben Townsend

The Beartooth Highway, U.S. 212, opened in 1937 and tops 10,972 feet. [Photo] Ben Townsend

LOCATION: U.S. Route 212, also known as the Beartooth Highway, between Red Lodge and Cooke City, Mont.
POPULAR ROUTES: Rock Creek Headwall, Gardner Headwall, Reefer Ridge, the June Couloir and Hanging Couloir.
MORE INFO: The Beartooth Highway typically opens around Memorial day weekend, giving skiers access to backcountry terrain right off the pass, without even having to hike. Read more information about the Beartooth Highway at beartoothhighway.com

“The Beartooths are a small chunk of a contiguous 1,000,000-acre Wilderness area with tons of terrain and ski routes for those that wish to go and seek the goods…. It is a low snow year, but you could still pull off a few turns into August from snow patches that can be found along the Beartooth Pass,” says Austin Hart, owner of Beartooth Basin, a summer ski resort located on the Twin Lakes Headwall which, on good snow year, is open from Memorial Day weekend until July 4.

If you are a summer skier and have an adventure or destination worth sharing, send your story and photos to intern@backcountrymagazine.com.

Comments

  1. Nice coverage of the Beartooth pass. I was introduced to Rt. 212 on a college summer class road trip. As we all stood near the top, looking at all the alpine glaciers and lakes, one of the things that crossed my mind was, if only I had a pair of skis and the skills to ski down some of these slopes. Some of us did improvise a few sleds with cardboard beer case boxes and garbage bags, but we didn’t get very far.

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