At 70 years old, Showdown Ski Area still has plenty of kick. With new beginner amenities added this year and fun fall-line drops, it’s worth a stop on anyone’s ski tour. Located in central Montana—in the Little Belt Mountains of Lewis and Clark National Forest—it’s central from just about anywhere in Montana.
For beginners, the ski hill installed a Sunkits carpet this winter along with the Sluice Goose Caboose—both accessible right outside the day lodge, where grandma can sit on the deck and watch the kids ski. For carvers, each cut has distinct varied terrain--no line of cloned runs here. The longest, sweeping groomers drop 1,400 feet to Prospector double chair with sweet-turn pitches on Second Thought. Or if you’re feeling like a show off, you can strutt down Payload lift’s Big Seven in a straight slice to the lodge.
While a powder day would lure me out King’s Ridge to Glory Hole for a steep fall line mogul shot, firmer spring off piste moguls kept us on groomers. Top layers softened into corn snow by mid-morning, luring jibbers to the the terrain park to hawk their air wares and grind on rails.
The best thing about Showdown is its size: big and varied enough to amuse, but much like a neighborhood where you can hook up with ski buddies. And it’s friendly: every liftie chatted with me. Contrary to my foggy home resort, blue skies were a welcome change. Might just have to head back for a taste of its celebrated dry powder!