WISHERD RIDGE:

Wisherd Ridge on the east side of the Rattlesnake River has been a popular backcountry ski, snowcat ski, and highmarking destination near Missoula; Backcountry skiing numerous north facing bowls and south facing glades, its popularity is warranted especially because it is so close to the urban center of Missoula. Access is from the Gold Creek rd up Hwy 200 about five miles from Bonner. A narrow and steep road winds south and west with few parking opportunities. Follow this road south passed the eastern most bowl's runout and ascend road to ridge. The entrance to the first bowl is obvious. Traversing and continuing northwest allows access to more bowls and the highpoint along the ridge at Sheep Mountain. All bowls have been known to avalanche and the big bowl at Sheep Mountain has slid with deadly consequences in years passed. South facing glades can be really fun on fast recrystallized snow in the cold sunshine. Alternate access is via the old Marshall Mountain where access to the Blue Point route to Wisherd ridge is a much more quiet and less trafficked area. I am not sure of access to Marshall anymore, but from the top of the old surface lift continue up and over the knob northeast to the saddle. Continue northeast up the face until gaining the ridge whereupon the bowl becomes obvious on the northeast aspect. For a great traverse try the Blue Point to Wisherd Ridge tour bowl bouncing as you go. Make sure to bring a map and compass as white out conditions here make everything seem the same especially on the rounded ridge. Enjoy this easier access Missoula backcountry ski destination.

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