Maverick Mountain Ski Area
|Maverick Mountain Ski Area|
View of Pioneer Mountains
|Nearest city||Dillon, Montana|
|Top elevation||8,250 ft (2,510 m)|
|Base elevation||6,500 ft (2,000 m)|
|Skiable area||210 acres (0.85 km2)|
|Longest run||2 mi (3.2 km)|
|Lift system||1 Double, 1 Handle Tow|
Maverick Mountain Ski Area is an alpine ski area located in the Beaverhead National Forest in southwestern Montana used mainly by the residents of Dillon, Montana . The mountain's lone classic double chair ascends skiers and snowboarders 1450' to the precipice of joy. Twenty four named downhill runs spill to the south, north, and east-facing sections of the mountain. Locals enjoy a host of other unnamed trails and features such as "Battlecats", "Swampy Meadow", and "Old Henry". Beginners and intermediates can choose to exit at a midway station. When weather systems allow a glimpse through the otherwise falling snow, the mountain offers exceptional high-def views of the west facing aspect of the eastern Pioneer mountain range.
The area is known and loved for its non-ironic retro style, and no-frills attitude. The iconic ski-culture disciples known as "Bros" are decidedly less commonly spotted at Maverick. Located in the rural Grasshopper Valley, the mountain has little incentive to follow the path of many Montana ski areas that have added a number of bells and whistles to their infrastructure, "New West" decor, and lobbied for direct flights from Los Angeles and New York City. It is not uncommon to see an inordinately high level of western wear on the slopes. A six-foot tall replica statue of John Wayne greets everyone who enters the small, lively bar in the base lodge, and accompanies those who stay until they are bleary eyed. Carpeted walls in the lower level of the lodge buffer the clamor of joyful children from those enjoying the bar upstairs. The clientele also tends to sport a disproportionately high level of Patagonia-clad locals due to deals scored at the nearby Dillon Patagonia outlet.
The annual Bartender's Cup brings out the soul of Maverick in full throttle. The spirited crowd can be seen cheering local legends such as "Deebs", "Miller", and "Birk", down the accredited classic downhill run, "Remely", and across the finish line. Racers in the cup are often encouraged to sport a bikini to amp up the stakes.