Sean Jansen

Top 5 Activities for the Montana Winter Solstice
    `Sean Jansen

Winter Solstice in Montana is day of mixed emotions. Some of us love the day,waiting for it since the height of summer. While others loathe it. Hating the first snow fall and counting down each and every day following December 21st as each days gets lighter and longer. Whether you’re a die hard powder fan, cold weather enthusiast, or brand new to the scene, here are our top five activities to celebrate the shortest day of the year with. 

Get On A Mountain

Obviously with the arrival of old man winter, there are few activities greater than waxing up the skis or snowboard, grabbing that lift ticket, and hitting the slopes of your favorite mountain. Though the forecast throughout Montana looks like a fresh dumping of snow may not be in our luck for this solstice, the snow pack from all the storms previous should make even the grumpiest of one time skiers and snowboards have a smile.

Grab Your Fishing Rod

Though the height of winter typically screams for every layer known to man, a fresh dumping of snow, or tea and whiskey by the fire, the thought of grabbing your flyrod, waders, and fishing license are hardly on the list. But that is also the point. It is looking like the day should be relatively sunny throughout the state and above freezing. Making for the best conditions one could ask for on a Montana winter day. Gather up your midge patterns and stoneflies and get out there earning those pulls of whiskey from the flask.

Lace Up Those Running and Hiking Shoes

There is something to be said about the delicate crunch beneath your feet with each step in the snow. Most of the trails around town and even those that go deeper into the wilderness have some hard pack to enjoy a nice walk or even run despite the snow on the ground. Listen to the wind in the trees, the squirrels as they still gather their acorns, or maybe the curious deer or rabbit roaming the woods. What better way to enjoy the solstice than to get outside and enjoy the same trails we do in all other seasons.

Embrace the Dark

It is the shortest daylight of the year, so why not celebrate the darkness? Stay up all night and gaze up at the night sky and ponder the life that continues to happen without the sun. Grab the headlamp and walk around the neighborhood, enjoying the Christmas lights and fellow friends with conversation. Snuggle up and binge watch the favorite winter movies or ski clips to amp for the next powder day. The sunlight day length of the winter can spell the wintertime blues for many, but just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean your day should end. Fire up that snow mobile and snow cat. Drive on over to town pump, fill up those gas cans and fuel tanks, and go and get your adrenaline pumping. Countless trails and dirt roads that we all enjoy in the summer are now blocked with gates or feet of snow, impeding our four wheels and two legs to our favorite destinations. No more. Start that engine, put that helmet on, and get out into the wild and smile. Every day from here on out will get longer and longer for the next six months.