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Big Sky- Must do runs

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

In mid January I am headed to my virgin trip to Big Sky with 5 of my bro's.  We are all similar, pretty advanced with a few of us that think we are experts.  We come from all over the US twice a year to shred for a few days.  We have blown all the Utah resorts.  We go Barry Barry Steep at snowbird with little to now new snow (for a guage).

 

I have been reading and have some insight but would appreciate any from the know it-alls of the mtn.  thanks

matt

post #2 of 26

  This is with a large caveat that I haven't skied Big Sky yet, but this is the deal for almost any area with significant above tree line skiing... Ignore the named slope checklist, and ski by aspect. Sure, you might miss a black line on a trail map, but they'll be many more that will offer better snow if you think more about weather (wind direction, sun expose, etc..) and topography than trail map. If you're lucky, you still might to ski the trail map, but it's nothing to make bets or definitive plans on once you're above the trees. smile.gif

post #3 of 26

Have you read this?  A little dated but not much has changed for the most exciting areas.

 

 

http://www.bigskyfishing.com/Montana-Info/skiing-big-sky.shtm

 

How many ski days for Big Sky?  Any plans to check out the Ridge at Bridger?

post #4 of 26

Well, if you like steep, Big Couloir off the tram.

post #5 of 26

Someone told me that you need to carry avy gear + transceiver + be signed out by patrol in order to ski BIg Couloir.  True?

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

Someone told me that you need to carry avy gear + transceiver + be signed out by patrol in order to ski BIg Couloir.  True?

Yep, and you also need a partner. Avy gear required is a shovel & a probe.


Edited by Rio - 12/20/12 at 8:04am
post #7 of 26

Rio, wasn't there a place to rent beacon's a few years ago?  I own my own now but I'm sure that some people attending the gathering may be interested in renting. 

post #8 of 26

I was at Big Sky for the first time last season.  Coditions were variable during our week but we did get 2 powder days mid week.  During my trip I was dissapointed that I only got on the Tram twice.  The Tram was either closed or there was a humungous line most of time we were nearby.  As mentioned the Big Couloir is The Signature run at Big Sky, unfortunately as I do not have avy gear and I could not find a partner to split the cost of a guide I did not get a chance to ski it.  I did however ski the front face to skier's right of the Couloir.  The very top was not skiable so you traverse towards Liberty Bowl, the drop dow 600-700 ft to the traverse that brings you back around to the front just beneath the giant fingers (chutes) at the top.  From there you have several choices as to which chute to take down to the Bowl.  Very steep and much fun!

 

Other favorite areas that I remember were the Challenger Chair where we spent a lot of time as it is all expert terrain and short to no lift lines.  Lots of terrain to explore, some of it quite steep.  You will find everything from open bowls, to chutes, trees and bumps (under the chair at the bottom).  From there you can also access Moonlight Basin, but you will need an upgraded ticket to explore more than the two chairs that are shared by the two resorts.  It does make a nice lunch stop though.

 

The other area I spent a lot of time skiing was off the Shredhorn and Dakota chairs.  The Dakota chair in particular has probably the best tree skiing at Big Sky.  Moderately steep pitch, moderately spaced trees, lots of soft powder made for a couple of awesome powder days.  The Shredhorn lift does have a small mid hill lunch stop, one of the only ones at Big Sky which was a dissapointmet making for some boring lunches.

 

That is about all I got.  Enjoy your trip!

 

Rick G

post #9 of 26

Talk of lunch reminded me . . . there is a cafe above Lone Mountain Sports that is ski in/out from a trail on Andesite Mtn.  Was recommended by the Mountain Host who gave me and my ski buddy a great free 2-hour tour.  Since her group usually skis blacks, we had time to get all the way over to the lift shared with Moonlight Basin.

 

If anyone in your group wants to demo skis, Lone Mountain Sports is the better place in the Big Sky village.  Wider selection of brands.  A little cheaper than Big Sky rentals.

post #10 of 26

Weather makes a difference. You can get into a cycle of weather related closures that usually bring snow then following the storm the locals hit the tram pretty hard for a few hours. Getting to the tram early helps a little - mid week helps too. Everything on the top to the skiers left of Liberty bowl all the way around to the tram should give you a variety of chutes and bowls. Big Couloir is the signature run but there is also a lot of variety off of Tram and the Challenger chair. Last year you could make a reservation for a time slot that can save you some time too so try that if it's available this year. If you go to the Moonlight side try the Snowfield, but only with a guide and avi gear. Ski the tram when you can and opt out for Challenger chair when the Tram gets full. Challengers offers some steeps, trees and soft bumps PLUS you can hike across from the top of the Challenger chair to A-Z chutes. Also, you can just ski the bumps on Challenger until your legs are so tired you forget about the Tram and head for the bar.

The Cabin in the top of the Lone Mtn. Sports building and the Bar at the Moonlight Lodge are the two best lunch spots for good food and comfort.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post

Weather makes a difference. You can get into a cycle of weather related closures that usually bring snow then following the storm the locals hit the tram pretty hard for a few hours. Getting to the tram early helps a little - mid week helps too. Everything on the top to the skiers left of Liberty bowl all the way around to the tram should give you a variety of chutes and bowls. Big Couloir is the signature run but there is also a lot of variety off of Tram and the Challenger chair. Last year you could make a reservation for a time slot that can save you some time too so try that if it's available this year. If you go to the Moonlight side try the Snowfield, but only with a guide and avi gear. Ski the tram when you can and opt out for Challenger chair when the Tram gets full. Challengers offers some steeps, trees and soft bumps PLUS you can hike across from the top of the Challenger chair to A-Z chutes. Also, you can just ski the bumps on Challenger until your legs are so tired you forget about the Tram and head for the bar.

The Cabin in the top of the Lone Mtn. Sports building and the Bar at the Moonlight Lodge are the two best lunch spots for good food and comfort.

The Cabin is where Bob had the best Wasabi he's ever eaten.smile.gif

post #12 of 26

Must do runs in Big Sky?

Liberty Bowl, Lenin, Marx, Lenin to Dictator 2 to the Wave Wall into Rockville Bowl, Castro's Shoulder (if snow is sufficient..) The Gullies. Big Couloir. North Summit Snowfield.

 

For the Big Couloir you will need the avi gear and partner, for the North Summit Snowfield you don't. (I still recommend it highly!!!) Big Couloir is sign out with patrol, 2 go at a time.

North Summit has sign out also (top of Lone Peak), four go at a time. If you don't have a partner, you can go with a team that has space for you. For the North Summit you will need the combined pass for Big Sky and Moonlight.

 

If you ski Moonlight one day, you can pick any of the Headwater chutes to get your adrenaline up.

 

Let me know if I can help you with anything else. I will be on the mountain most of the days. 

Ursula

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

Wow.  Thank you everyone for your input.  I am seriously excited and have written it all down.  I have a shovel and probe...any suggestions on transciever? My one and only time Heli they supplied. 

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post

Yep, and you also need a partner. Avy gear required is a shovel & a probe.

What do you need the partner for?  Can't you dig yourself out with your shovel?   :P  

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

What do you need the partner for?  Can't you dig yourself out with your shovel?   :P  

 

Ski Patrol policy at Big Sky.  Along with the avy gear that is the only way you can ski the Big Coulior  after you sign in with Ski Patrol and satisfy them, they assign you a time slot.  IMHO, avy danger in the Big Couloir is pretty low as it is contolled and will not open if danger exists.  It is mostly to keep the tourons out of there.

 

Rick G

post #16 of 26

Moved to Resorts to see if we get more input.

post #17 of 26
The bowl alone offered enough excitement for me. Lapped the bowl for like 2 days straight going all the way around. It feela like unlimited powder with all the snow coming off Lone Peak. Liberty bowl is great. Im at blue/black skier so never even tried a double black. Shedhorn and Dakota are great too.

Andesite has pretty decent tree skiing as well.

Tell Marty Pavelich hi after a good days skiing.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

 

Ski Patrol policy at Big Sky.  Along with the avy gear that is the only way you can ski the Big Coulior  after you sign in with Ski Patrol and satisfy them, they assign you a time slot.  IMHO, avy danger in the Big Couloir is pretty low as it is contolled and will not open if danger exists.  It is mostly to keep the tourons out of there.

 

Rick G

I was actually just making a joke. :) 

post #19 of 26
Ursula, as usual, nailed it. Those are the signature runs. I had a great day with Ursula riding laps on the North Summit Snowfield. Sometime the wind grooms it so it skis deep and untracked, and that day the Big was pretty nasty. There's a lot of different aspects to the mountain, so it's good to move around and take advantage of the best snow.

Challenger has some great runs off of it. I spent the most part of a day running laps on the headwaters lift as well. There's tons of great skiing at Big Sky, you'll love it.

Of you really want to ski the goods, take a lesson with Ursula. She'll show you the mountain and give you great tips as well.

Mike
post #20 of 26

So . . . how was the Big Sky trip? 

 

Too often overlooked is the skiing on Andesite Mountain.  The Blue Bumps and Groomers are obvious but the blue and black glade runs are everywhere and they are awesome.  Ramcharger is the fastest and warmest ride in Big Sky so you can really notch the runs -- get rid of lift time and ski!

 

Ron

Big Sky Mountain Host

post #21 of 26

I am heading out to BIg Sky March 16... gonna be there for a week and then, unfortunately, not there for the EpicSki Gathering.  Can't wait!!!

post #22 of 26

Tubba: Welcome to EpicSki!  I trust you've noticed that a bunch of Bears will be at Big Sky the last week of March.  Big Sky is on the agenda for March 26, 28, 29 but folks will be skiing there on other days as well.

 

I got my first taste of Big Sky last season.  Had a great tour from a Host the first day.  Can't wait to get back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubba View Post

So . . . how was the Big Sky trip? 

 

Too often overlooked is the skiing on Andesite Mountain.  The Blue Bumps and Groomers are obvious but the blue and black glade runs are everywhere and they are awesome.  Ramcharger is the fastest and warmest ride in Big Sky so you can really notch the runs -- get rid of lift time and ski!

 

Ron

Big Sky Mountain Host

post #23 of 26
I hope mredden had a good trip, this thread has been helpful.
I am heading to Big Sky / Moonlight in 2 days and we are pumped. Staying in ML.
Once again, thanks for the helpful info. I will post pics.
post #24 of 26

Just returned from Big Sky last week with a few old high school buddies. First time skiing in Montana and we timed the weather perfectly. Fun place, excellent skiing and lot's going on apres. The locals are much nicer than Tahoe and not as many on the hill!!! One of the guys in my group did the Steep Camp with an old Warren Miller star Dan Egan. Cool to see my friends improvment in just a few days. I saw Dan and a film crew later filming for a skiing TV show.  No idea on the name of the tv show, but it should be pretty cool as it was sunny and I saw what they were skiing. Awesome to see a bunch of good skiers tearing it up, ecspecially the girl.(not sure what pro she was but she was over 6') Any ideas?  I will definitly be back next winter and i'll probably do the Steep Camp also.

post #25 of 26

Came across these photos in my phone from the Big Sky trip, hard to focus on work after that trip. This is when we ran across Dan Egan skiing with the TV crew and the other shot is  of the private Yellowstone Club from Big Sky. Wish I was going back. Work is overrated.

 

 

post #26 of 26

this is the TV filming i was talking about seeing at Big Sky doing last week with Steep Camp coach Dan Egen, found this link on the Big Sky FaceBook page. No Warren Miller, but pretty good.

 

https://vimeo.com/61026687

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