Montana's Teton Pass Ski Area may join the handful of small Northern Rockies ski areas forced to close down in recent years. Its owners announced in early October that the ski area outside of Choteau won't open this winter unless a buyer can be found to purchase the resort and keep it operating.

The ski hill has two lifts, 26 runs totalling 144 acres, and 1,010 feet of vertical, . It is known for its natural half pipes - two inbounds gullies and several outside the boundaries that attract the jib crowd - and its out-of-bounds, hike-to skiing and riding.

The ski area usually opens in early December, but unseasonably late snows last year postponed its opening until New Year's Day. Annual snowfall averages 250 inches, but the area has no snowmaking to compensate for moisture-deprived seasons.

Teton Pass Ski Area is on 407 acres leased from the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It sits on the Rocky Mountain Front, just east of the wild Bob Marshall Wilderness. The ski area has been listed for sale for several years, but the owners continued to operate it three days per week.

The ski area is listed for $279,000 with Buck's Inc. of Choteau. It usually hires about 20 employees and reaches 3,400 skier visits. The sale includes the lodge set up for food service plus a beer and wine license, rental shop with equipment, and maintenance shop.

More information. Or call 406-466-5102.