New This Winter at Paws Up: Blast Mountain

Whether it’s the swoosh of your snow tube shooting down a run, the whirring sound of blades against rock-hard ice or the snap of a sporting clay being hit in midair, the sounds of winter come alive at Paws Up. Here, the landscape is filled with the kind of excitement that turns snow days into playdates.

One gathering spot for good times is Blast Mountain Tubing and Ice Skating Park, The Resort’s new wonderland within a wonderland. Experience the thrill of the ride when you fly down each chute, bouncing and bobbing on your inflatable tube, reaching heart-racing speeds and occasionally catching air. The kids will holler with glee as they take on banked curves and long stretches before gliding to a stop. And if climbing in snow boots isn’t your thing, grab a towrope and let it whisk you back up.

Don’t forget to lace up your skates for some laps and twirls and (if you dare) leaps. If you want to bring out your competitive side on the ice, head back to the rink just behind the Cook Shack to join a game of curling or broom hockey. At Blast Mountain, figure skaters have the smooth, glassy ice all to themselves.

To warm up, head to the clubhouse for hot chocolate and snacks, plus beer and wine for the grown-ups.

ANOTHER KIND OF BLAST

After visiting Blast Mountain, one option to round out your day is on the other side of the mountain. Test your shooting skills with a sporting clays adventure on a course specially designed to resemble real-life field conditions. Difficult yet fun, our scenic stations will give your sporting side an exhilarating challenge. Just take aim and get your pulse pumping. You’ll have plenty of time to relax before dinner.

With Montana’s reliable late-December snowfall, Blast Mountain and sporting clays are two of many reasons Paws Up makes for an epic Winter Break getaway. Plan your whole trip at go.pawsup.com/winter-break.

IF IT HAPPENS ON SNOW, WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED.

From skijoring to dogsledding and snowmobiling to snowshoeing, we may have thought of everything.

Up for some downhill?

A short drive away is one of Montana’s best ski resorts, Snowbowl, where you can schuss down 2,600 vertical feet. The Whitefish and Lost Trail ski areas are also near Paws Up. Around here, your skiing and snowboarding choices are endless. After the scenic ride back to The Resort, treat yourself to a relaxing soak in your luxury vacation home’s hot tub while watching more powder fall from the sky.

SKI Magazine calls skiing in Montana “Uncrowded. Unspoiled. Unbelievable.” And snow lovers at Paws Up are simply unstoppable.

Chad Melville Spills What He Loves About Wine and Montana

If you think winemakers are a fussy bunch, you’ve never met Chad Melville of Melville Winery in California’s Sta. Rita Hills. His family’s highly rated wines may have earned cult status, but this likable guy isn’t putting on any airs. In fact, he considers himself a farmer first, “I’m not a winemaker, I’m a winegrower,” he says. That distinction means everything to Melville. “Most people aren’t involved in that but that’s the most fun for me.” His wines are 100 percent estate-grown, a rarity in the wine world. “It’s all our grapes and we do all of the farming, everything by hand, organically.”

He likens the process to a Japanese restaurant:  “You can have really beautiful fish and you can cook it if you want to, but it’s such a great product, so go sashimi style.” Melville doesn’t tinker with the grapes too much, preferring a hands-off approach. “Just allow Mother Nature to humble you to a point where you recognize that she’s in charge and you’re just lucky enough to be involved in this magical process,” says Melville.

His laissez-faire attitude toward wine is similar to one of the reasons why he loves Montana: “The whole vibe—it’s so special.” He jokes that when he returns home to California, he tells people Montana was “terrible” because he doesn’t want it to change. Melville has been a frequent guest at Paws Up, and this fall he’ll return for our Visiting Vintners Series (November 6–8), along with winemakers Amy and Dominic Chappellet, as well as cheese expert Laura Werlin.

An avid outdoorsman, Melville has played, Paws Up-style, on every visit: “I’ve been in the summer and winter and gone horseback riding, skeet shooting, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. I love just running on the property, because there are so many beautiful trails.” This visit, he’s looking forward to some new adventures, including go-karting and tackling the ropes course, but when he’s around his good friends, the Chappellets, it’s anyone’s guess. “I’m the instigator, but Dominic is always up for anything,” he says.

One thing is for certain. He’ll be showcasing some of his best bottles, including the fall favorite Donna’s Syrah, and he can’t wait to try some wines from the Chappellets. “They are an iconic Napa family, but they are some of the best people on earth,” he says, “and they just happen to make really good wine.”

The fastest shutter speeds and the quickest smiles:

Let us tell you about Barbara Van Cleve.

Make your way to Paws Up the first weekend of November, and you’ll also get the unique opportunity to meet and learn from award-winning ranch-life photographer Barbara Van Cleve. You’ll cover a lot of ground, both in acres and in wisdom, during this special fall Wilderness Workshop.

Born and raised on her family’s Montana ranch, she learned ranch life hands-on at an early age before pursuing photography. She got her first camera when she was just 11 years old. Eventually she became the youngest dean of women in the United States at DePaul University, where she taught English literature and photography. And in 1995 she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

Van Cleve has been a friend of The Resort for close to 12 years. During that time, people have loved getting to know this joyful, rough and rowdy cowgirl while gaining new camera skills and improving their techniques. But the best takeaway is always her unique approach to life, on and off the ranch.

To find out more about all the events happening November 6–8, 2020, at Paws Up, visit pawsup.com/events.

Cheese, please!

Let’s be honest: there are some things that are meant to be paired. Peanut butter and jelly, for one. Cookies and milk. And, of course, wine and cheese. But, before you’re thinking of a run-of-the-mill cheese plate sided by a glass of merlot, think again. This is our Visiting Vintners Series, so you’ll be sipping wines by Napa royalty (Chappellet) and Central Coast innovators (Melville) and snacking on cheeses that will, as Laura Werlin puts it, “blow your mind.”

Werlin knows what she’s talking about. In fact, she’s written the book on it—well, actually six books—and nabbed a James Beard Award. “I really like introducing people to the great cheeses made in this country,” she says. “The biggest misconception is that all American cheese comes out of a factory, but so much of what is happening in American cheesemaking is inspiring Spain, Italy [and other countries].”

For Werlin, the chance to pair her cheese expertise with two of California’s best wine labels is a match made in heaven. “I’m really excited to be at Paws Up and work with them, because Chappellet is legendary and their wines are tried and true, really impressive,” she says. “And, Melville has really made a name for the Central Coast wines. I love Melville wines and always have.” Find more information about the weekend here.

This Fall, It’s Two Wheels Against Four

Forget quarterbacks and linebackers. The biggest battle on the field this year is between motors and engines. That’s because when it comes to adventure at The Resort at Paws Up, you won’t find any two activities that make your heart race quite like our Polaris and Fat Tire Electric Bike Tours. Let’s go tread-to-tread to see which vehicle is right for you.

See gorgeous vistas and historical sites:  Our Polaris General vehicles are engine-powered all-terrain vehicles that can travel with maximum control while speeding through mud and dirt. The Polaris can scale mountains like they’re molehills, slice through streams and power through off-road brush. On our Backcountry Tour, you’ll drive to Garnet Ghost Town, the most pristine and well-preserved ghost town in Montana. On the Extended Tour, you’ll head to the Garnet Mountain Range, where, at more than 7,000 feet, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the valley and then traverse the mountains all the way back to The Resort.

Get into the woods and spot unsuspecting wildlife:  Fat Tire Electric Bikes are designed to let you motor over surfaces, including bumpy roads, rock and even sand in ultimate comfort. With four-inch or larger tires, they come in a variety of frame styles, including the full-suspension mountain bikes you’ll find at Paws Up. These environmentally friendly, all terrain e-bikes scoot quietly over trails and along the fabled Blackfoot River, so you’ll spy all sorts of creatures. Able to go up to 20 miles per hour, without pedaling, you can tackle the terrain while ogling mile-after-mile of scenic wilderness.

No matter which way you choose to ride, either on a Polaris or on a Fat Tire Electric Bike, you can’t lose when you have 100 miles of trails and 37,000 acres of pristine wilderness to explore. It all comes down to what feels right for you.

Getting walked all over in your equine relationship?

Getting along well with others is all about give-and-take, and with the newest activity at The Resort at Paws Up, you’ll have the chance to practice—with a horse. Paws Up Equestrian Manager Jackie Kecskes, our expert in all things horse-related, has created a new activity designed with you and your steed in mind:  Foundational Horsemanship. Be prepared to be challenged, because as Kecskes says, there are no horse problems, only human ones.

You may have a specific problem to work on, like how to help a horse that doesn’t load well. Or you might need to understand how to manage certain traits, for example, if your horse back home seems flighty, pushy or lazy.  Whatever your issues, these sessions will steer you and your horse in the right direction toward a long-lasting happy life together. Each session is individually designed and could include groundwork or saddle work (or both), depending on what you’re wanting to focus on.

With Foundational Horsemanship, you’ll begin the process of working things out. While you can’t fix everything in one day, you can get a taste for what a successful relationship is all about. And better still, you’ll leave Paws Up with a whole new outlook when it comes to your relationships, on the trail and off.

To see the full menu of fall adventures at The Resort, visit  pawsup.com/fall-adventures.