Whitefish Mountain Resort

As a Snow Reporter, all you need is love

Early mornings and hard work lead to fresh tracks ... every day


Famed Snow Reporter and part-time Beer Barter Judge, Big Dave, leads the way down an untouched line on the backside of Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Photo courtesy of CURT DERBYSHIRE/SnowSeekers

WHITEFISH, MT — Well before the sun rises, before most have made their skiing decisions for the day, the Snow Reporters of Whitefish Mountain Resort are up and at it. Not only are they awake, they've already authored their first report on the conditions, recorded their voice for the radio and snowphone dialers, have their boots on and are ready to ride the first chair of the day … half an hour before it opens to the public. 

The constant early mornings make it a demanding job, but Whitefish Mountain Resort's two-man team of Big Dave and Erick are the ultimate skiers, so it’s a small price to pay for the privilege of first tracks every morning, especially on the big snow days.

Whitefish Mountain Resort makes a concerted effort to provide the public with the most accurate description of the current conditions on their mountain. With two reports, one at 6 am and another “on-the-snow” update at 10 am, visitors to the website will not only get the initial, early morning feel for the conditions - like most ski hills - but they will have a direct pipeline to how the mountain is actually skiing on any given day.

Getting social

Whitefish ski and snowboard guide
Early bird gets the worm...and the undisturbed hoar frost.
Photo courtesy of CURT DERBYSHIRE/SnowSeekers

Frequency is just the beginning. Every day, Big Dave or Erick films and edits a video of the action at the ski hill and has it posted by early afternoon. This is a unique effort; in a society that is falling more in love with YouTube every day, it's a great way to showcase the mountain and events to anyone who is already here or possibly planning a visit in the future. 

Social media offers the ability to provide up-to-date information to customers, and the marketing team at Whitefish has seized this opportunity and run with it.

I was lucky enough to grab an 8:30 am ride with Big Dave up Chair One, the Big Mountain Express, and snag a few early-morning turns. Whitefish has long been known for their superior grooming, and on this spectacular morning, highlighted by the valley fog below, it was certainly in fine form. 

Untracked powder? Lots of runs? We could get used to this

Rising above the valley clouds, to ride the near perfect corduroy of Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Photo courtesy of CURT DERBYSHIRE/SnowSeekers

While untracked groomed is not quite untracked powder, it definitely does alright for itself, and we were able to lay a few high-speed arcs down the front side.

The backside may not be long, but its northerly aspect keeps the snow cold and dry, which keeps me excited and happy, and allowed us to capture a few cushy turns.

By the time we reached the summit again we had pounded through five runs, and it wasn’t even 10 am. Big Dave left me to race my way to the legendary Winter Carnival festivities back in town, while he went in to do his second report (followed by some more skiing). 

I could definitely wake up early for a job like this.

Check out the Whitefish team's efforts by checking the SnowSeekers Snow Conditions page.

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