Pros: Great vibe, good snow, no crowds interesting terrain
Cons: More than a little out of the way
I went to Maverick the day after a day at Big Sky and what a dramatic difference. As opposed to Big Sky's massive area (which seemed to me to ski much smaller than its size), hard skier packed slopes and ungodly priced food and lift tickets, Maverick is a small area (only one fixed grip lift) that skis bigger than its size, has great snow quality (the trees were completely untouched), no crowds and the kind of homey, family vibe that you can only get at these little mom and pop ski areas. In this case the new Mom and Pop are former ski racer Erik Borge and his wife Kristi. And the best part is the lift tickets are only $36 and lunch well under $10. Not a place you would want to spend a weeks vacation, but absolutely worth a day trip if you are in the area.