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Big Sky vs. Whitefish

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Please compare and contrast.  200 words or less.  Extra credit for pictures.   smile.gif   (thanks!)

post #2 of 14

Hey, you want pics, see my "Local's Guide".  biggrin.gif

 

Main differences:

 

  • Big Sky is bigger
  • Big Sky has more sunny days
  • Whitefish is a "real town".  For Big Sky, you'd have to drive to Bozeman, not all that close.
  • Big Sky has two other areas within "easy" driving distance:  Bridger and Moonlight
  • Whitefish has a higher % of locals compared to Big Sky
  • Big Sky has some terrain you could die on.  Not saying you couldn't kill yourself at Whitefish, but the cause would be different.
  • Whitefish probably has more great bars for those without Platinum cards.
  • Big Sky has a tram....
  • Both are pretty much crowd free
  • Everyone's heard of Big Sky
post #3 of 14

From my experience, there are a lot of opposites between the two mountains. Ex. Big sky has much more expert terrain, while Whitefish has got a lot more glades and quality groomed runs. Big Sky is clear alot, Whitefish has poor visibilty more often. Sib's got it right^^ Whitefish is more of a ski town.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks to both!

post #5 of 14

Did you make a decision?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Thanks to both!



 

post #6 of 14


No problem.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Thanks to both!



 

post #7 of 14

Whitefish shows up on Epic's Montana map, Big Sky doesn't.

post #8 of 14

cool.gif

post #9 of 14

Sib summed it up well. I'd add that neither mountain has a big base area at the bottom of the mountain but Big Sky has two or three times more base area activity. Multiple hotels, restaurants and ski shops etc. Some shopping and a lot of condos. The selection at Big Mountain is less but the Whitefish is a great town. The total activity around Big Sky and Moonlight Basin is less than the total activity of the base area of Whitefish Mountain and the town of Whitefish a few miles down the hill. Neither is anything like Park City, Steamboat Vail or Aspen in size and scope.

The altitude is different. Big Sky's base area is lower than many Colorado resorts but it's higher than Whitefish. If altitude is an issue with your group then Whitefish gets a plus for being lower - particularly if you sleep in town and drive up the hill each morning.

The skiing is different too. Whitefish is more like Tahoe or the Pacific Northwest with heavier, wetter snow and more clouds and fog. The Big Sky snow is lighter - more like Utah Snow but neither are Alta style Powder Palaces - but few are.

Both would be great choices for a week of skiing where skiing is the most important point of your decision because neither will have significant lift lines.

post #10 of 14

While I agree that we don't have the dry powder of Utah, the notion that it is HEAVY and WET is just wrong.  It's just heavy and wet enough to stay put when it lands more so than the cold smoke of Bridger.  But, it does regularly get blown from the front to the back, so it's not like concrete or anything.  No arguments about fog, of course.  Think of that fog coating not only the trees, but ALSO the trails.  All the coating seen on the trees has also landed on the snow, helping preserve the base.  Looking at eye level on a groomed run, you can see the crystals building up like small trees.  

 

IMG_4205 (2) (1024x575).jpg

 

And, another thing I forgot to mention....it's loads cheaper for a lift ticket here.  

 

  • Big Sky 6 of 7 tickets, bought online, $450
  • Whitefish, 6 days, bought at window, $360...if you buy a Frequent skier card now, it'll end up being only $302.
post #11 of 14

icon14.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

While I agree that we don't have the dry powder of Utah, the notion that it is HEAVY and WET is just wrong.  It's just heavy and wet enough to stay put when it lands more so than the cold smoke of Bridger.  But, it does regularly get blown from the front to the back, so it's not like concrete or anything.  No arguments about fog, of course.  Think of that fog coating not only the trees, but ALSO the trails.  All the coating seen on the trees has also landed on the snow, helping preserve the base.  Looking at eye level on a groomed run, you can see the crystals building up like small trees.  

 

IMG_4205 (2) (1024x575).jpg

 

And, another thing I forgot to mention....it's loads cheaper for a lift ticket here.  



 

post #12 of 14
I'll add one more thing about Whitefish. Ok, maybe seven. (I haven't been to Big Sky yet)
1) I pulled my Avalung tube out more times skiing the trees at Whitefish than I did skiing o/b at Jackson Hole. They have some truly menacing looking tree wells and lots of 'em in some areas.
2) The snow was nice and dry when I was there back in Feb. Nothing like Tahoe.
3) Visibility was good when we were there. It was far worse at Revelstoke, but I'm sure we were just lucky.
4) Lots of tight glades, and many not so tight. Very fun but technical tree skiing IMO.
5) Plenty of real steep areas, just not so much fall and die steeps as JH or Snowbird types, and not as long, but plenty challenging for most folks.
6) To me, It reminded me of a more rounded off version of Jackson Hole. Lots of different aspects and massive amounts of exploration and/or local knowledge to hit some of the best spots.
7) Sibhusky was nice enough to show us around for 2 days! Made all the difference and we loved the place. I can't say enough good things about the Mtn., the town and the people there!
icon14.gifbiggrin.gificon14.gif
post #13 of 14


Yeah the tree-wells are nuts. Fell in one last season thank god i wasn't skiing alone. Shhhh about the steeps!
biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post

I'll add one more thing about Whitefish. Ok, maybe seven. (I haven't been to Big Sky yet)
1) I pulled my Avalung tube out more times skiing the trees at Whitefish than I did skiing o/b at Jackson Hole. They have some truly menacing looking tree wells and lots of 'em in some areas.
2) The snow was nice and dry when I was there back in Feb. Nothing like Tahoe.
3) Visibility was good when we were there. It was far worse at Revelstoke, but I'm sure we were just lucky.
4) Lots of tight glades, and many not so tight. Very fun but technical tree skiing IMO.
5) Plenty of real steep areas, just not so much fall and die steeps as JH or Snowbird types, and not as long, but plenty challenging for most folks.
6) To me, It reminded me of a more rounded off version of Jackson Hole. Lots of different aspects and massive amounts of exploration and/or local knowledge to hit some of the best spots.
7) Sibhusky was nice enough to show us around for 2 days! Made all the difference and we loved the place. I can't say enough good things about the Mtn., the town and the people there!
icon14.gifbiggrin.gificon14.gif


 

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

...Extra credit for pictures.

If you want some photos, you'll have to be my Facebook pal. biggrin.gif I have a few there. Otherwise, I posted a rather long helmet cam video from Whitefish & Revelstoke earlier this year in this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/102172/another-late-t-r-video-whitefish-revelstoke-feb-2011#post_1317144
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