Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area Closes Early

Beartooth Basin ski area, located in the Shoshone National Forest in Montana, announced that they would be closing on June 15th, before summer has even officially begun.

The ski area, which opened for the summer season on May 29th and usually remains open into July, has been challenged by the current heat wave. Earlier this month multiple days of high temperatures compounded with rain caused a large cornice to break and trigger a nearly ten-foot deep wet slab avalanche near their ski terrain.

Friends of GNFAC posted that Avalanche season doesn’t end until all the snow melts. This huge avalanche occurred last Friday (June 4, 2021) near Beartooth Basin ski area, above Twin Lakes on Beartooth Pass. Multiple days of exceptionally warm temperatures followed by rain caused a large cornice to break and trigger the nearly 10′ deep wet slab. A reminder to stay diligent with safe travel protocols and snow stability assessments, and minimize time spent below cornices.

Beartooth Basin is served by two high-speed platter lifts, Twin Lakes Headwall provides 600 Acres of skiing terrain that varies in pitch from 15 Degrees to 50 Degrees. (Steep!) The summit elevation is 10,900 ft. with 1,000 vertical feet of lift serviced terrain. Surrounding areas offer 3,000 vertical feet of shuttled or hike-in backcountry skiing and riding.

They offer some of the best steep headwall big mountain skiing and cornice skiing around. They offer plenty of great lines on their headwall! Don’t forget your helmet! Advanced intermediate/expert skills required.

Beartooth Basin was established in the mid-1960’s by Austrians Pepi Gramshammer, Eric Sailer and Anderl Molterer as an Alpine Ski Racing summer training ground. Beartooth Basin (formerly: The Red Lodge International Ski and Snowboard Camp) is one of North America’s oldest alpine ski training areas. As the previous owners aged, they found themselves bowing out to a younger generation of skiing enthusiasts who looked to open the area to the public and not just the private groups and teams as had been tradition in the past.

The ski area is staffed with professional ski patrol and and lift attendants just as any other ski area, but with a summer like setting above 10,000 feet that can sometimes turn to winter at a moments notice. Please note, there is no lodge or warming hut facilities. You could call it backcountry skiing with a lift.

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