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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Big Sky, Montana December 20th-26th
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Big Sky, Montana December 20th-26th

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


My family and I are going to Big Sky for Christmas this year. I'm glued to the snow report in hopes that there will be enough snow. I'm an avid snowboarder and have gone every year for the past 7 years. I have a couple questions regarding Big Sky.


I understand, via snowboardermag, Big Sky will launch into their first season as one resort with Moonlight and Spirit Mountain, bringing 5,750 acres under one lift ticket. Also that they have rebuilt terrain parks. All of which I am so stoked about and is partially why I talked my family in to choosing Big Sky.


My first question is, since Big Sky has combined with Moonlight and Spirit Mountain, what are some of the best runs I should make sure I get on?


Next, I would classify myself as an advanced boarder. I have been down double black chutes at Breckenridge comfortably and I'm a backcountry advocate. Having said that, I do not have avalanche training or equipment. As I understand, Big Couloir is the best run at Big Sky. Assuming there is enough snow, I am very interested in making it down this run and I'm briefly familiar with the requirements to do so via another thread on this cite. 


So my second question would be: Is there anyway to rent avalanche gear, and if so would there be people I could partner up with on the run (my little brother is coming on the trip as well but I'd say he's at an intermediate level -sticks mostly to blues, so I don't know if he could do it) ?



Finally, as I am over 21, I'd love to know any local hotspots for a good brew?? :)


I'd appreciate any feedback regarding these inquiries and any other tips you may have. Let me know if you too are looking for an advanced boarder/skier to shred with - just shoot me a message!



Thanks in advance for your help,



post #2 of 3
Walker, welcome to Epic!

You will love Big Sky. It's a fantastic mointain with tons of terrain. I recommend that you try a few things out before contemplating the Big Couloir to make sure you really want to ride and have the skills to do so. Virtually all of the double blacks at Breck are not even in the same league as the Big.

I'd recommend starting out off of the Challenger chair. If you start on Moonlight you'll have a good pitch that rolls overi into a short but relatively steep section. You can work the right side of challenger as well to get a more sustained steep pitch. If that's still ok, move to the middle and ski big rock tongue.

Presuming that's all working, it might be time to do a tram lap or two. First ski Liberty Bowl. Presuming no problems with that, then you might try the yeti traverse into the gullies. Realize there are consequences to a fall here -- if you don't successfully self arrest you have a cliff band below you onto the bowl.

Presuming this is all fine, you now could try some of the dictator chutes. Don't do it if it is very firm -- a 1000 vertical foot slide on a slope that is above 40 degrees is not something to risk (IMO).

If all of this is fine, you could consider the Big. Or the Headwaters chutes off of the headwaters chair at moonlight. Or the north summit snowfield.

I have no info on renting equipment, but I believe that they got rid of the requirement a year or two ago.

You might consider hiring a guide/instructor. I highly recommend Jeremy Wood -- he guided me skiing in Kashmir last year and is probably the best snowboarder I've ever skied with. And a hell of a backcountry rider as well. We nicknamed him "huck monkey."

post #3 of 3

Big Sky is a blast and skiing pretty well right now. Mike is right, "The Big" is exposed and scary and not always appropriate to ski (conditions). It is not open yet and unless another big storm hits, it likely will not be open by Christmas. That being said, the mountain has lots of great terrain open now. Challenger is a great proving ground and lots of fun.


Since you will likely fly into Bozeman, you should really spend a day (or more) at Bridger Bowl. They are completely open now and have more steep terrain open than Big Sky. The Ridge is my favorite skiing anywhere. It is hike to only and you CAN get cliffed out, but the ski area  provides guides and the locals are friendly. Schlasman's lift requires an avalanche beacon (which you can rent from Panda Sports (last gas station on the left as you are driving up Bridger Canyon from Bozeman) for $10 per day. Basically, If you get bored at Bridger, you are either fooling yourself or the best skier since Harkin Banks!


PM me if you want more info, I am usually in Bozeman twice a month.



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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Big Sky, Montana December 20th-26th