Words: Mike Yoshida Photos: Mike Yoshida
Last week a portion of the Bonfire team had the opportunity to travel to Whitefish, Montana to ride at Great Northern Powder Guides. As soon as we arrived we had a good feeling that the trip was going to be amazing. During the previous week, it had snowed several feet, and luckily blanketed GNPG with enough snow for us to be their first guests of the season.
Beau gets sendy into some bottomless Montana blower.
To warm up our powder legs we headed to Whitefish Mountain Resort for the first couple days of the trip. We drove up to the mountain late in the morning of our first day and were pleasantly surprised with some deep powder turns from open to close! Although none of us had been to Whitefish Resort, with the trail map in tow, and Beau's keen sense of powder hunting, we found some incredible places to ride. This resort is a must visit if you like powder, fun side hits, and perfect tree runs.
Ralph and Aspen get a taste of Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Snow ghosts were in full effect in Whitefish, Montana.
With our legs warmed up, for the next three days we ventured out to Great Northern Powder Guides in Olney, Montana. A quick 30 minute drive from Whitefish transported us to another world out in the wilderness. We were greeted by the gracious owners of GNPG when we arrived. Ky and Jay have been running the operations at Great Northern for 10 years now, and it is one solid cat op. The main lodge has heated lockers for the guests, a ton of great merch, and an amazing breakfast spread.
Riding in luxury. At GNPG they build all their own cat cabins.
Ralph Kucharek knows a thing or two about tweaking!
After grabbing a light breakfast, we hopped into the most luxurious cat I have ever seen, fully decked out with leather captains chairs, sunroofs and a bumping sound system. Ken, our lead guide proceeded to take us to some great warm up laps, and the snow quality was that rare champagne powder! On the first day we mostly got a feel for the snow, and new more exciting terrain awaited the next couple days.
Aspen amongst the snow ghosts at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Throughout the week we kept going further into the GNPG tenure, as they still needed to build roads out to the back zones. When we made it to the yurt the team does overnight trips in, we found the steep and deep terrain that we had been searching for. Our lead guide Ken was super professional, and always found us the best snow and terrain, all the while assessing the snow and keeping us safe. Carl, our tail guide, also held it down and put us on top of some great cliffs and lines.
We weren't joking when we said it was DEEP!
Great Northern has been partnering with us for 2 years now. We supply the guide crew with custom outerwear, and they gave us a ton of feedback on new features that you will see for the 2020 season. We had the best experience out in Montana. The snowboard culture, and people are something we will never forget, and we can't wait to head back next year. Thank you to Ky, Jay, Ken, Carl, Rob, Keith, and everyone who made our team trip one for the books.
Here's a little sneak peak of next seasons Aspect Jacket GNPG uniform.
Temperatures dipped below zero, which made for some blower powder.
Our tail guide Carl is the man!