Hometown Hills: Discovery Basin, Vital Stats

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oPhone

(406) 563-2184

oInformation Discovery Basin Ski Area, P.O. Box 221, Anaconda, MT 59711; www.skidiscovery.com.

oTicket Price For 1999-2000, $24 for adults, $12 for children (12 and younger) and seniors (65 and older).

oVertical Drop 1,300 feet

oSnowfall 200 inches

oWhen To Go Crowds are not a problem, but the best powder is generally found in January and February.

oGetting There Both Delta Airlines (800-221-1212) and Alaska Airlines (800-252-7522) offer flights into Butte, Mont., where rental cars are available. By car, take Interstate 90 to Highway 1 through Anaconda.

oLodging None is available at Discovery Basin and though Anaconda offers a number of motels, skiers should reserve a room at the historic Fairmont Hot Springs Resort (406-797-3241; 800-332-3272; www.fairmontmontana.com). Offering indoor and outdoor Olympic-size hot spring pools, a water slide, 158 rooms, a real sense of Montana hospitality and easy access to Anaconda and Discovery Basin, the Fairmont is highly recommended.

oEats Don't miss Barclay's steak house on Commercial Street in Anaconda. For deli sandwiches, try Uncle John's on Main Street.

oDrinks During the smelter's heyday, Anaconda's downtown section had dozens of bars. Today, if the decor is short on polished brass, leaded glass and oak façades, the atmosphere is definitely authentic. Start at the Anaconda Bar and navigate from there. On the road to the resort, stop by the Inn of the Seven Gables for fire-hot jerky and a strong dose of local color.

oLocals' Tip If Peter Pitcher's sons, Alesandro, Karl or Ciche, are around, ask them to show you their secret lines on the backside of the mountain. But be forewarned: Don't bother unless you rip. Also, be sure to try Discovery's Caesar salad and chocolate chip cookies.