God of Snow Answers Big Mountain's Prayers


Skiers offer prayers and ski gear in a traditional snow dance and bonfire over Thanksgiving weekend, and they get results.Whitefish, MT, Dec. 1--As tradition going back to 1978 dictates, eager skiers and the Brotherhood of the Snows gathered at Big Mountain, MT, last Saturday to pray for snow. They tossed old ski equipment in a sacrificial bonfire to Ullr, the god of snow.

Since its inception twenty years ago, the Pray for Snow bonfire has had an amazing track record. Every dance has to yielded snow within 48 hours on the slopes of Big Mountain, MT, and this year proved no exception. Flurries started falling shortly after lighting the fire.

"The snow during the fire was certainly magical," said Brian Schott, Big Mountain, MT public relations manager. "We are skiing some of the best early-season conditions in the nation right now with a 27-inch base at the summit."

The event took place at the base of Big Mountain Ski Resort where some 200 celebrating participants hooted, hollered, and danced snow dances to live music. Just to be sure they grab Ullr's attention fireworks capped off the evening.

"Whitefish is a town of fanatical skiers that love snow," said Schott. Indeed, and looking at last season's 359-inch snowfall, it would seem they may be on to something.


Montana: Come for the militias, stay for the powder. Erik Lovold, gunning through Big Sky.

Private Powder at Big Sky

Starting this winter, Big Sky, Montana, is offering a chance for guided early tram rides at 8 a.m., a whole hour before the masses. We spoke with director of snowsports, Troy Nedved, to see if the program also includes shooting the Howitzer (it doesn't).

Big Sky 2011

Big Sky

It’s not just the sky that’s big; it’s the mountain. There’s the rapidly expanding, hyper-modern village. There’s 11,166-foot Lone Mountain, soaring more than 4,000 feet above the base. There are 50-degree chutes, exposed faces, and miles of low-tuck, high-speed cruisers.