The last handful of Montana’s small mom-and-pop ski areas launched their 2012-13 seasons this weekend. Blacktail Mountain, Maverick Mountain, and Montana Snowbowl loaded skiers and riders on lifts while Teton Pass bumped its first day to Dec. 22.

Blacktail Mountain opened the upper mountain with three lifts running and 80 percent of its terrain skiable. The ski area, which is usually closed Mondays and Tuesdays, re-opens Dec. 19 for daily operation through Jan. 6. After the holidays, the ski area runs lifts Wednesdays through Sundays.

The best ticket deal at Blacktail is Thrifty Thursdays. Each Thursday, except Dec. 20 and 27, lift tickets cost $25.

Maverick Mountain logged more than 500 dead trees from the slopes, providing skiers and snowboarders with new gladed terrain for exploration. On opening day, the ski area launched with 100 percent of its terrain skiable with powder and packed powder conditions. The ski area is now open Thursdays through Sundays and daily Dec. 26-Jan. 1.

For discounted skiing on Sundays, Maverick Mountain sells a Sunday Passport that costs $200 for adults and $100 for juniors. The pass grants unlimited Sunday skiing and riding throughout the season.

Montana Snowbowl opened its bowls this past weekend for its second weekend of the year. Almost 90 percent of the slopes are skiable with runs available from top to bottom. The Missoula ski area operates lifts Fridays through Sundays until Dec. 20, when it opens daily except for Christmas.

Here’s a snippet of what Montana Snowbowl looks like this year through the lens of Landon Gardner:



Teton Pass outside of Choteau did not open last year. But this year, it aims to be back in business. The ski area pushed back its opening to Dec. 22 and is scheduled to operate lifts Fridays through Mondays.

The ski area is selling lift tickets as stocking stuffers. Adult lift tickets cost $35. All other age groups except kids six years and younger cost $30. Tickets can be purchased at the Mountain Front Market and Buck’s Sporting Goods.

For more information on tickets, look here: Blacktail, Maverick, Montana Snowbowl, Teton Pass.