EpicSki › Groups › 2013 EpicSki Gathering - Big Sky, Bridger Bowl, Moonlight Basin, Montana › Discussions › Combined Moonlight Basin - Big Sky One Day?

Combined Moonlight Basin - Big Sky One Day?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I hate to be more of a dick than I normally am, but is there interest in having a group doing a combined Moonlight Basin-Big Sky lift ticket/terrain exploration one day.? (Tony C mentioned it, but it was on my radar...)  I am asking now, cuz the lodging option posted here by Lady S and Das Boot allows for a combined ticket. And I'm thinking of booking it in the next few days. I know of a few who have already booked it.

 

AFAIK, this would be for useful for only advanced skiers in steep exposed terrain (we know who we are from previous Epic Gatherings.) I'm already in touch via email with separate likely trip partners for lodging, car rentals, etc.

 

Nolo, sorry for complicating your logistics, but 1) Big Couloir will pose a logistics challenge regardless 2) I only get so much vacation time so I have to hit it when I can.

 

If we do this, I propose doing it on Thursday or Friday. This will allow us newcomers to assess the terrain. Even though I'm one of the newcomers, I'll be willing to accept guide duty for the day. (I am a  terrain bird dog. But I'll gladly defer guiding to a local for this proposed excursion.)

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 20

To be honest, the combined Biggest Skiing in America (BSIA) ticket is tough to justify.  Both resorts have more than enough terrain to just purchase the individual day tickets at.  The one reason the BSIA ticket makes sense is if you're going to ski the North Summit Snowfield at Moonlight - it's only accessible off the Big Sky tram and then you end up inbounds at Moonlight.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The one reason the BSIA ticket makes sense is if you're going to ski the North Summit Snowfield at Moonlight - it's only accessible off the Big Sky tram and then you end up inbounds at Moonlight.

 

Only reason I was considering it.
 

post #4 of 20

JohnL, I don't know how much exposure you can tolerate, but skiing the Headwaters at MB puts me close enough to the danger zone for my stomach. On the other hand, if Ursula is available and amenable, we might be able to grant your wish. 

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

JohnL, I don't know how much exposure you can tolerate, but skiing the Headwaters at MB puts me close enough to the danger zone for my stomach. On the other hand, if Ursula is available and amenable, we might be able to grant your wish. 

 

Nolo,

 

If I end up doing the MB Snowfields, it will be after the Gathering. (It's not looking convenient for the Gathering.) I'll only do it if I still have the legs, the conditions are good and I like what I see when I'm at MB in terms of the exposure. I'll talk to you at the Gathering if it looks like there is a chance I'd be doing it. Thanks.

post #6 of 20

I'll bet you can upgrade your ticket on the fly if it comes to that, JohnL. This is Montana, where you really can git 'er done. 

post #7 of 20

So how does Moonlight compare to Big Sky if you can only ski Moonlight's top stuff from the Big Sky tram?  If you don't have the joint ticket then it sure looks like Moonlight is a heck of a lot smaller and just a duplicate of a lot of the terrain already at Big Sky.  What's the compelling reason why locals might choose Moonlight over Big Sky?

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

So how does Moonlight compare to Big Sky if you can only ski Moonlight's top stuff from the Big Sky tram?  If you don't have the joint ticket then it sure looks like Moonlight is a heck of a lot smaller and just a duplicate of a lot of the terrain already at Big Sky.  What's the compelling reason why locals might choose Moonlight over Big Sky?

 

Finding out my personal answer is to this kind of question is precisely what is going to make it fun to go see for myself. At least I sure hope it will be fun. smile.gif  If you just look at a map or casually on line, you might come to the conclusion that Saddleback and Sugarloaf - which are both 4,000 feet at the top and 2,000 feet at the bottom, and are within a handful of miles of each other as the crow flies - are so similar as to invite the question, "why have both?" In practice, when you actually ski at the two areas, you see immediately that they offer radically different experiences. Both good, just different. Might be a similar situation with Moonlight and Big Sky.

post #9 of 20

I have never skied the North Summit Snowfield so I can't comment on what I may have missed, but I can assure you that Moonlight Basin's Headwaters terrain plus the other runs at MB will satisfy even the most expert skier for one day. The area faces north so snow stays good long past its expiration date. Big Sky during the week is very quiet so we will be able to do laps on the tram without disruption. (Weekends are another story, even at Big Sky, especially regarding the tram.)

 

You're entirely welcome to do the BSIA ticket too. There's just no group deal on that option. 

post #10 of 20
I'm happy to show you and anyone else around both sides of the mountain, including the snowfield and the lines it accesses. If you are an expert skier no big sky trip is complete without it. I can only be around on saturday and sunday, before and after the gathering. Just bring a beacon, shovel and probe (even though its not required, it's just plain smart)
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm happy to show you and anyone else around both sides of the mountain, including the snowfield and the lines it accesses. If you are an expert skier no big sky trip is complete without it. I can only be around on saturday and sunday, before and after the gathering. Just bring a beacon, shovel and probe (even though its not required, it's just plain smart)

 

Thanks, I am interested in your generous offer. I am skiing Big Sky the Saturday after the Gathering. (Flying out the Sat before, committed to Bridger the Sun before.) Noodler, you interested in the Sat after (or is that a travel day for you)? Bumpfreaq and any others?

post #12 of 20

JohnL - Would love to, but that is a travel day for me.  HOWEVER, if the road conditions mean that driving home would be dangerous, then those very same conditions would mean that skiing would be awesome.  So even though I'm supposed to be home by Easter, my safety is clearly the higher priority. wink.gif

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

JohnL - Would love to, but that is a travel day for me.  HOWEVER, if the road conditions mean that driving home would be dangerous, then those very same conditions would mean that skiing would be awesome.  So even though I'm supposed to be home by Easter, my safety is clearly the higher priority. wink.gif

As of now, this applies to me as well.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

JohnL - Would love to, but that is a travel day for me.  HOWEVER, if the road conditions mean that driving home would be dangerous, then those very same conditions would mean that skiing would be awesome.  So even though I'm supposed to be home by Easter, my safety is clearly the higher priority. wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

As of now, this applies to me as well.

 

 

My prediction is there will be a 'freaq" unpredicted snowstorm Fri night and travel will not be recommended.

post #15 of 20

I have great news for the people who are on our Big Sky group ticket sale: you can upgrade to the Biggest Skiing in America ticket for $27 at the ticket office. I am not sure if this applies to ticket holders who bought elsewhere. I'll check on that and report back.

post #16 of 20

Well that sure makes things interesting.  Thanks for the info/effort.

post #17 of 20
For those who did not buy their ticket with our group, the cost is $34 to upgrade to the BSIA ticket.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
For those who did not buy their ticket with our group, the cost is $34 to upgrade to the BSIA ticket.

 

Thanks!
 

post #19 of 20
Quote:
To be honest, the combined Biggest Skiing in America (BSIA) ticket is tough to justify.  Both resorts have more than enough terrain to just purchase the individual day tickets at.  The one reason the BSIA ticket makes sense is if you're going to ski the North Summit Snowfield at Moonlight - it's only accessible off the Big Sky tram and then you end up inbounds at Moonlight.

Two other reasons:

 1) Challenger and Headwaters are connected at the top. Advanced/expert skiers might want to concentrate on that area, especially if they don't want to deal with bad weather or excessive lift lines on Lone Peak.

 2) With spring conditions you might want to spend the first 2-3 hours of the day on north facing Moonlight, then move over to Big Sky when the east and south facing terrain softens.

 

Quote = my TR from March 4, 2013:
The Moonlight run is technically in Big Sky's terrain, though it ends near the top of the Iron Horse lift shared by the areas. In fact everything skier's left of the Challenger lift or above the BRT Road can be skied from the top of Headwaters with an easy return to Iron Horse if you have a Moonlight only ticket.

We spent some apres ski time in Moonlight Lodge with Eric Morrison, Moonlight's marketing director. The combined ticket we're using is marketed as "The Biggest Skiing in America" due to combined acreage exceeding Vail's. The reality is that few people actually buy the combined ticket for $103 and with Big Sky being the larger area including the Lone Peak tram, Moonlight gets shortchanged in skier visits. As it is now 2 lifts and a substantial amount of terrain are common to both areas. The topography is far more intertwined than Alta/Snowbird for example. Eric agreed with me that eventually various financial issues will get sorted out and the incentive will be compelling for someone to step in and merge the areas.

I will also add that Moonlight's parking is far more convenient than Big Sky's with a walk or shuttle.  Since the Iron Horse lift is common to both areas, you can actually use the Moonlight parking with a Big Sky ticket, though you probably can't buy that ticket there.

post #20 of 20
FYI - Yes, you can buy Big Sky tickets at the Moonlight Lodge ticket booth. Not sure if the same goes for the Madison Lodge location at Moonlight, but parking at Moonlight Lodge is way easier & avoids the long winding drive to the other lodge.
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