All Downhill From Here

All Downhill From Here

Edwards, Becky
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I am a proud participant in Extreme Saucer Sledding. It's not your average five-year-old's sport. Extreme places tend to attract extreme people, which is no exception in our cozy little mountain berg.

More years ago than I care to remember, a group of college friends and I hiked up Sacajawea one snowy November morning, saucer sleds and ice axes in hand. After slogging up the ridges surrounding the bowl below the saddle, we took turns ripping in our saucers down the cirque, ice axes in hand in case our sliding expedition got a little too sporty. This was the start to my sledding fetish, and I'm proud to say Bozeman has some of the best sledding aspects in the West. Here's a guide to the local spiffs, slots, and rails. Just don't forget to wax up the 'ol saucer for optimal sliding. Pam works nicely.

Snowfill
Located just past the Bridger Creek Golf Course, the Snowfill site is a relatively new trail system developed by the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. In addition to stellar views of the Bridgers and a fenced-in area for the safety of your four-legged sledding partner, Snowfill has a lovely hill perfect for a little sliding. The real action is located sledder's right on the slope. Just watch out for the ditch at the bottom - it's surprised more than a few sliding enthusiasts.

Peets Hill
An oldie but goodie. The best thing about Peets Hill is the copious amount of youngsters available to erect sweet jumps with you. Bring a few shovels and a bag of M&Ms and these little tykes will be your eager labor pool. Jumps are best-situated sledder’s left, near the warming hut and away from unsuspecting walkers accessing the trail system at the right.

Langhor Campground, Hyalite
Located across the highway from the campground, Langhor offers great sledding opportunities, especially when combined with harvesting the family Christmas tree. Large jumps have been built at the bottom of the slope near the road, and it’s been rumored that more than one zealous sled-head has cleared the roadway. Speed is your friend.

The “M”
As your sledding skills increase, your objectives should as well. Once we receive ample snow coverage, give the steep face below the M a try. Also a great workout, this drop can be quite thrilling. Just watch out for random rocks and bushes near the bottom.

Montana Dinner Yurt Quarter Pipe, Big Sky
Treat yourself to a snowcat-accessed candlelit dinner on the flanks of Andesite Mountain at Big Sky Resort this winter. Not only is the food scrumptious, the best perk of this splurge is the sledding. Already equipped with several sleds to suit your fancy, the guys at Montana Backcountry Adventures who run the yurt dinners also get a little frisky with their sledding hill. This moderate aspect is finished off with a steep quarter pipe built with their snowcats. It’s worth the trip. Trust me. For more information visit skimba.com.

Here’s to a long, fruitful season of slip-slidin’ the winter blues away. Embrace your inner Clark Griswald and get out there.

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