Thursday Apr. 24, 2014
Sports Across Montana
 
Billy O’Donnell, a former professional skier who plans to develop the Ridge Mountain Academy. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Billy O’Donnell has enjoyed quite the adventurous life, touring high-country powder around the globe as a professional skier, scaling technical pitches of rock and ice, pedaling through mountain labyrinths and paddling into wild water as an all-around sports devotee.

No doubt, O’Donnell is an acolyte of action, and now he wants to mentor a new generation of adventurers from a home base in Whitefish.
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One of the great things about being an outdoorsman of some moderate skill level is that now and then I manage to gather some healthy protein. I love to cook, especially when I’ve got great ingredients to work with.

Most falls I manage to kill at least a handful of pheasant. The bird makes my top three list of tasty critters I’ve killed and eaten, along with Gambel’s quail and elk backstraps. Which meat tops the list varies depending on what I’m putting in my mouth at the time.
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Richard Briles of Kalispell ran his fifth Boston Marathon on Monday, more than a year after three people were killed in a pair of explosions at the finish line. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon.

A year after bombs rocked the finish line, nearly 32,000 runners competed in the Boston Marathon on April 21, including seven from the Flathead Valley.

Leading the pack on Monday’s race was Meb Keflezighi, who became the first American man to win the marathon since 1983, finishing with a time of 2 hours and 8 minutes, his personal best for Boston. Rita Jeptoo of Kenya became a three-time female winner of the marathon with a time of 2 hours and 18 minutes, a women’s course-record.
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The future Flower Point chairlift at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Following another record breaking season, Whitefish Mountain Resort is already preparing for the 2014/2015 season with more than $2.4 million in improvements this summer.

Whitefish Mountain Resort will complete its two-year $1.29 million Flower Point Project by installing a fixed-grip triple chairlift to the north side of the mountain for next winter. This will open up access to new runs and glading from the top of Flower Point creating an additional 200 acres of lift-served terrain and will provide more dependable conditions early and late season on its north-facing slopes.
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This has been a winter of extraordinary weather patterns and snowfalls. This season, more snow fell in Detroit and Chicago than they have had since 1884. The surf in Southern California was estimated at over 25 feet recently to the delight of every surfer within 100 miles of the coast.

Early last October, Crystal Mountain, about 75 miles southeast of Seattle, was open for skiing. Until early March the snowfall was below normal, but since then it has snowed heavily. So much that in late March a massive avalanche wiped out an entire chairlift.
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Snowpack along the North Fork Flathead River drainage. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

 The abundant winter that caused near-record snowpack across Montana is making a troublesome transition to spring. Rapid snowmelt is leading to widespread flooding and ice jams in rivers and streams, prompting the governor to seek a presidential disaster declaration.

As seasonal temperatures begin melting unusually high levels of snow in the mountains, Gov. Steve Bullock last week asked the White House to issue a federal disaster declaration for Montana. The declaration would provide additional resources for cleanup and recovery from worsening flooding that is already damaging roads, bridges and other public infrastructure.
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Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

An osprey flies away from Dry Bridge Pond Thursday after a successful morning of fishing. With the help of a group of fourth-graders from Cornelius Hedges Elementary School, the pond was recently stocked with thousands of trout from fish hatcheries in Creston, Eureka and Arlee. Click here to view photos of kids stocking the pond.
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