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Big Sky Montana trip report

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Went to big sky January 9 -13, 2014. First time there. The short story, It's now in my top 5 places ever skied. My qualifications.  I'm a decent expert skier, ski a lot of US and some of Europe. Off groomers as much as conditions allow. 

 

The long story. Left NY JFK to Denver then about 45 min flight to Boseman Montana. Total round trip air about $600 on united. They say there is direct NY to Boseman but it's booked up.  4 guy trip. One of the guys has a son going to University of Montana. He picked us up and gave us dads car for the 4 days. I hour up the canyon road to a Big Sky. To our surprise there's a few decent size complexes of stores and restaurants. The mountain village at the main base has three or four hotel types. Lots of condos. Our three bedroom condo ski in /out might be called Beaver Head, was great.

 

We skied 3 days. I brought my Blizard Bushwackers, the other guys rented at $66 a day. About 6" to a foot of powder and snowed all day every day. About 4 to 6 inches a day They have a name for there snow "cold smoke" It was some of the best conditions I've ever skied. Top to bottom was all the same condition. There slogan is "The biggest skiing in America".

 

Vertical 4350

Lone Peak 11,166

Mountain Village base 7,500 3 other bases

5750 acresn250 named runs 4 mountains they say. This year they own another area that was another mountain

 

The main mountain is skied on all sides. To get to the top you take a small tram at about 2/3 of the way up to the top. Unfortunately it only ran a few short times when we were there. One day 65 MPH at the top. Thinking about this now I'm glad we didn't get to the top. Looks like the only way down is chuts in white out condition. I don't do to well when I can't see what I'm on. The highest we got was the challenger chair. Only ungromed, steep snow fields, trees and chutes to get down. I was excellent. Shame it was shutdown after 5 or 6 runs one day. We couldn't get to the other faces, But the main face for three days and we just figured it out. So most any place can be good when the snow conditions were like this. But this place is big, off the skiers radar, no crowds. We will be back!!!

 

Was there anything bad, $99 ticket, but they all go up ever year.  Not any other issue that come to mind.

 

If I missed something let me know.

 

Tom         

post #2 of 5
Xman, I was there the same time. Wind was a real issue but it was a real issue all over the west, not just at Big Sky. Big Sky is one of my favorite mountains (along with Jackson and Snowbird) because of its incredible steep terrain. Unfortunately the wind the the kibosh on most of it. I did find lots of other stuff including an afternoon running laps off of the Lone Tree lift along with about 8 ski patrollers -- that told me I was in the right place. Really good skiing, but disappointing without Challenger, the tram, and Headwaters.

I highly recommend another trip. You'll see a different experience. I still had a good few days there, but it is different and more intense with the upper mountain open.

Mike
post #3 of 5

The EpicSki gathering was there last spring. Place is huge. We benefited from some great local guiding. Very valuable to a newcomer in a place that big. Too bad you didn't get to the top, if only for the amazing experience of the ride up and the look around (not to discount the skiing). For complicated reasons, including sun exposure and general group dynamics, I only got a tiny taste of the Shedhorn / Dakota area when I was there, but I really liked that taste. I want to spend more time over there if I ever get back. True, for sure, that there is a ton of steep terrain, as habacomike says. I sure got dragged onto a lot of it! But just because it's there doesn't mean you have to spend all your time there, or that there isn't a lot of other really fun stuff to ski. 

post #4 of 5
Quote:
disappointing without Challenger, the tram, and Headwaters. 

I would think so, for the OP's self-description as an expert skier.  Access to that tram is relatively limited due to low capacity as much as weather.  But it's bad luck to miss out on Challenger and Headwaters.

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

Xman, I was there the same time. Wind was a real issue but it was a real issue all over the west, not just at Big Sky. Big Sky is one of my favorite mountains (along with Jackson and Snowbird) because of its incredible steep terrain. Unfortunately the wind the the kibosh on most of it. I did find lots of other stuff including an afternoon running laps off of the Lone Tree lift along with about 8 ski patrollers -- that told me I was in the right place. Really good skiing, but disappointing without Challenger, the tram, and Headwaters.

I highly recommend another trip. You'll see a different experience. I still had a good few days there, but it is different and more intense with the upper mountain open.

Mike

Mike, your right. I could only look up to the top and map and guess what I was missing. We got as far as 10 people to the tram when it shutdown.  I'm the voice of reason in the group. I reminded the guys it was total white out up there, and it looks a bit steep, to put it mildly.  It would have been disappointing trip if I knew what I was missing. Just the reason to get back there.

 

One thing I didn't mention, IMO, the bottom half of the mountain we were limited to has decent intermediate runs,  trees, rice bowl. Not a lot of green, so it may not be the best place for new skiers.

 

Also check at the burrito shack 9160 ft., at the top of swift lift. Custom made burritos. We were the only 4 guys in here the whole time we ate. Good thing because the can't hold much more.

 

Tom

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