we have two young kids, we are taking them to Big Sky around the 1st, we are very excited....any insider info or fun stuff that you have done? thanks
Mod note: moved to Family Skiing
cyepsen: Welcome to EpicSki! Are you local to Big Sky? I'll be joining the EpicSki Big Sky Gathering in late March. Had a very good time there last Feb.
What are Yetti Dogs?
Actually, I misspelled it - its Yeti Dogs. Its a super fun, easy, inexpensive hot dog stand at the base of the mountain, in the plaza. Grab a dog or two, a beverage, and sit around one of the outdoor firepits. (Great souvenir t-shirts, too).
There's lots of stuff for kids at Big Sky: check out the Basecamp -- http://www.bigskyresort.com/Activities/Winter/Outdoor-Activities/Basecamp_Fun.asp
Have you thought about an excursion to Yellowstone Park? Your concierge can hook you up.
Big Sky has a great Kids Ski and Ride School too with half and full day programs.
Aah, that kind of dog. I was thinking dog sled.
Here is a quick overview:
Lifts to think about:
Explorer Chair - Generally the first chair the ski school takes beginners on. The runs off Explorer chair are a sane length for beginners and very easy. The downside is this chair runs really slow so it takes a long time to ride considering the distance.
Swift Current - The main lift at Big Sky. It accesses a good amount of intermediate and beginner terrain. Its main downside is its a trek for beginner skiers from the top of the lift to the beginner runs, Morning Star & Mr. K. Those two runs are very long for beginner runs; some think that's a plus, but it can be a minus for two small kids.
Ramcharger - This lift provides access to the other lifts on Andesite mountain plus access to good intermediate & advance intermediate groomer runs. It also has numerous glade runs which kids love if they are decent skiers.
Southern Comfort - This lift is on the other side of the hill from Ramcharger. It has a series of good beginner and lower intermediate groomers. It is a lift most people miss but I highly recommend checking it out with your kids.
Thunder Wolf - Another lift accessed by Ramcharger. It has two classic intermediate bomber runs, Elk Park Ridge & Big Horn. Big Horn is very popular with families.
Lone Peak Triple - I'm listing this because it is how you access the tram. This triple can be very unnerving for some so you might want to check it out before dragging the kids up there. Also, do not go up there with your kids if it is foggy. The northern runs, which you use to access the tram, can cause disorientation & vertigo in foggy conditions.
Runs to consider:
Mr. K & Morningstar - Two classic long green runs. At the top of Morningstar, to the right, is a natural half pipe that kids love to ski.
Calamity Jane - This run runs under Swift Current and is a fairly easy blue run. It has the saner terrain park jumps and obstacles.
Pacifier - The easy way down off Ramcharger.
Safari - The next easiest, and most popular with families, way down off Ramcharger.
Congo - The easiest to access glade run that is very popular with families. Glade runs are runs where the trees have been thinned, but not totally removed. It it hasn't snowed for a while they can become mogul fields with trees in them so be cautious.
Wounded Knee - Another glade run off Hangman's that is easy to miss. It is the easiest glade run to ski and a good choice if your kids are adventurous.
Silver Knife & Tippy's Tumble - Two steeper groomers off Ramcharger
Ambush - The most popular run on Ramcharger. It is often icy due to the traffic and the man-made snow they put on it early in the year. There are some monster jumps and half-pipes beside Ambush. Because they are constructed with man-made snow they can be very very punishing to land on for kids.
All of Southern Comfort - A good collection of green and easy blue runs.
Big Horn - A long groomer with some steeper sections.
Elk Park RIdge - A long blue groomer with a good pitch all the way. Great for speed. My favorite warm up run at Big Sky. (Silver Knife & Tippy's are a close second.)
If it snows & your kids want to try powder look at the grooming report for runs that were groomed in the evening meaning they are smooth underneath the powder that fell overnight. They are ideal for learning to ski powder on.