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Planning a March ski/snowboard trip and need advice please

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
We are trying to plan a trip out west in late march to Big Sky most likely. We have about 5 of us in which a few people have never been out of michigan with only 5 years experience. We have never been to Big Sky but trying to use our Boyne Mountain passes to save a little cash.Would love to hear some ideas.
post #2 of 19
For?
post #3 of 19

Big Sky has lots of big wide runs, great for beginners and intermediates.

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

Big Sky has lots of big wide runs, great for beginners and intermediates.


I was noodling around their website and noticed that they have big vertical..but it seems a big chunk is inaccessible unless you're fair skilled.  The lower half seems exactly as you say, beginner and intermediates..but that Lone Peak tram seems not for the faint of heart.  Just a casual observation..from a trail map no less..  :)

post #5 of 19
Yeah, novices can ride the tram for the view. But getting down is another thing. Also, the Challenger lift has a scary warning on it. But there are acres and acres of cruisers because the place is HUGE.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that info. It will only be a 5 day trip in which we do not want to spend that on the road or in the air. As long as there is beginner and intermediate runs my wife won't shoot me for taking her there. Is it best to stay at big sky resort? I see there is a couple places off site recommended.
post #7 of 19

I'd stay right there.  People are always recommending Buck's T-4, but the time I stayed there I was really NOT impressed.  Don't stay in Bozeman to ski at Big Sky, the road between the two is longer than you think and can be hazardous, although probably better in March.  

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I'd stay right there.  Peopl
are always recommending Buck's T-4, but the time I stayed there I was really NOT impressed.  Don't stay in Bozeman to ski at Big Sky, the road between the two is longer than you think and can be hazardous, although probably better in March.  
Thanks sibhusky....that info really helps. The only other resort we were considering is Durango Mountain. Was there years ago and it was nice from what I remember.
post #9 of 19

The Lodge at Moonlight Basin is worth checking out, if not to stay there because it might be pricy, but just for a nice deli lunch at a not too big a price (for a ski area) and a gorgeous lodge to hang out at with a nice deck. You can ski there or drive there.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd0912 View Post

Thanks for that info. It will only be a 5 day trip in which we do not want to spend that on the road or in the air. As long as there is beginner and intermediate runs my wife won't shoot me for taking her there. Is it best to stay at big sky resort? I see there is a couple places off site recommended.


There are plenty of nice long, easy greens as well as long blues at Big Sky.  Especially on Andesite Mtn.  Moonlight Basin also has good beginner/intermediate trails.  It's possible to ski between the two.  The free mountain host tour is well worth doing the first morning.  All on groomers.  Can be all greens or green/blue.

 

A few years ago I convinced friend from SC to go to Big Sky for her first trip out west.  She enjoyed it.  We also spent a couple days at Bridger. There are advantages to renting a car after landing at the Bozeman airport.  In that case, spending the first night in Bozeman and warming up at Bridger before heading to Big Sky is worth considering.  Bridger is non-profit so lift tickets and lessons are very reasonable.  It's where locals ski all the time.  Has terrain for all levels from beginner to expert.

 

For a group of five, worth staying at Big Sky.  Lots of VRBO condo options in addition to what's available from Big Sky Resort. The advantage of booking with Big Sky is that you can get discounted lift tickets that way.

 

Keep in mind that late March is relatively late for Big Sky.  There are reasons why people who plan trips in late March or April tend to go to SLC or the ski resorts at higher elevations in Colorado.  What was the reason for picking Big Sky?

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post


There are plenty of nice long, easy greens as well as long blues at Big Sky.  Especially on Andesite Mtn.  Moonlight Basin also has good beginner/intermediate trails.  It's possible to ski between the two.  The free mountain host tour is well worth doing the first morning.  All on groomers.  Can be all greens or green/blue.

A few years ago I convinced friend from SC to go to Big Sky for her first trip out west.  She enjoyed it.  We also spent a couple days at Bridger. There are advantages to renting a car after landing at the Bozeman airport.  In that case, spending the first night in Bozeman and warming up at Bridger before heading to Big Sky is worth considering.  Bridger is non-profit so lift tickets and lessons are very reasonable.  It's where locals ski all the time.  Has terrain for all levels from beginner to expert.

For a group of five, worth staying at Big Sky.  Lots of VRBO condo options in addition to what's available from Big Sky Resort. The advantage of booking with Big Sky is that you can get discounted lift tickets that way.

Keep in mind that late March is relatively late for Big Sky.  There are reasons why people who plan trips in late March or April tend to go to SLC or the ski resorts at higher elevations in Colorado.  What was the reason for picking Big Sky?

Well honestly we bought Boyne Mountain season passes and we get discounts to the properties they own
There are plenty of nice long, easy greens as well as long blues at Big Sky.  Especially on Andesite Mtn.  Moonlight Basin also has good beginner/intermediate trails.  It's possible to ski between the two.  The free mountain host tour is well worth doing the first morning.  All on groomers.  Can be all greens or green/blue.

A few years ago I convinced friend from SC to go to Big Sky for her first trip out west.  She enjoyed it.  We also spent a couple days at Bridger. There are advantages to renting a car after landing at the Bozeman airport.  In that case, spending the first night in Bozeman and warming up at Bridger before heading to Big Sky is worth considering.  Bridger is non-profit so lift tickets and lessons are very reasonable.  It's where locals ski all the time.  Has terrain for all levels from beginner to expert.

For a group of five, worth staying at Big Sky.  Lots of VRBO condo options in addition to what's available from Big Sky Resort. The advantage of booking with Big Sky is that you can get discounted lift tickets that way.

Keep in mind that late March is relatively late for Big Sky.  There are reasons why people who plan trips in late March or April tend to go to SLC or the ski resorts at higher elevations in Colorado.  What was the reason for picking Big Sky?

marznc....our season passes to Boyne Mountain gets us a discount at a few out east resorts and a few out west. I have never been to Montana but it seemed like the place to go. Unfortunately due to my wifes work we only have near the middle to end of March to get out skiing. She has only 5 years experience in michigan intermediate runs but I want her to appreciate the larger scale size places to ski. Through our own experiences( such as travels to Puerto Rico 5 times)....it takes a few times traveling to a new place to really understand the best ways to get the most out of your vacation. I thought this time I would ask some more experienced skiers/ snowboards to get a little better handle on it. Big Sky might not be the best place to go at that time so we are open for suggestions. I so appreciate the help and this is my first time in this forum so i do so apologize if I totally mess it up LOL.
post #12 of 19

Mid-March at Big Sky is probably fine.  In fact, I know a group who will be at Big Sky the week of March 7.  The advantage of late season skiing is there is more daylight and it's not as cold.  I do an annual trip to Alta in April.  Sometimes it gets warm for a few days, but since I meet up with friends we always have a good time any way.

 

What type of terrain do you like in MI?  Do you ski full days?

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd0912 View Post

We are trying to plan a trip out west in late march to Big Sky most likely. We have about 5 of us in which a few people have never been out of michigan with only 5 years experience. We have never been to Big Sky but trying to use our Boyne Mountain passes to save a little cash.Would love to hear some ideas.

 

I haven't been to Big Sky so can't really comment... but your Boyne pass would help you out at Brighton in Utah, too. You mentioned not wanting to spend a lot of time flying or driving--flying into Salt Lake is probably quicker than however you'd get to Big Sky. My experience at Brighton is that it's fun, reasonably uncrowded, and the blues and greens are pretty tame--lots of gentle, rolling terrain served by high-speed quads. If you stay up there, there's not much to do other than ski and sleep, but the drive/bus ride to Salt Lake is pretty short, and there's plenty of distractions available in town if you want them.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd0912 View Post


marznc....our season passes to Boyne Mountain gets us a discount at a few out east resorts and a few out west. I have never been to Montana but it seemed like the place to go. Unfortunately due to my wifes work we only have near the middle to end of March to get out skiing. She has only 5 years experience in michigan intermediate runs but I want her to appreciate the larger scale size places to ski. Through our own experiences( such as travels to Puerto Rico 5 times)....it takes a few times traveling to a new place to really understand the best ways to get the most out of your vacation. I thought this time I would ask some more experienced skiers/ snowboards to get a little better handle on it. Big Sky might not be the best place to go at that time so we are open for suggestions. I so appreciate the help and this is my first time in this forum so i do so apologize if I totally mess it up LOL.

 

Re: the "larger scale," Brighton is small by western standards, but I thought it actually felt bigger than it was--the longish high-speed lifts help make each run feel like it counts, and the scenery all around is very legit Rocky Mountain bigness :) And depending on how everyone's doing, it'd be easy to do a day or two at one of the other resorts if you want a genuine large scale experience--and midweek in late March you should be able to get decent discounts even without using your Boyne passes.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Utah View Post
 

 

Re: the "larger scale," Brighton is small by western standards, but I thought it actually felt bigger than it was--the longish high-speed lifts help make each run feel like it counts, and the scenery all around is very legit Rocky Mountain bigness :) And depending on how everyone's doing, it'd be easy to do a day or two at one of the other resorts if you want a genuine large scale experience--and midweek in late March you should be able to get decent discounts even without using your Boyne passes.

Thanks New2Utah, I will check it out. I have not been out west in a real long time and only having a long weekend to spend is not the best way to get back out west....but that is how is goes sometimes i guess.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd0912 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Utah View Post
 

 

Re: the "larger scale," Brighton is small by western standards, but I thought it actually felt bigger than it was--the longish high-speed lifts help make each run feel like it counts, and the scenery all around is very legit Rocky Mountain bigness :) And depending on how everyone's doing, it'd be easy to do a day or two at one of the other resorts if you want a genuine large scale experience--and midweek in late March you should be able to get decent discounts even without using your Boyne passes.

Thanks New2Utah, I will check it out. I have not been out west in a real long time and only having a long weekend to spend is not the best way to get back out west....but that is how is goes sometimes i guess.


A long weekend staying at Solitude could be a lot of fun and pretty reasonable.  Probably better with a car so that going somewhere else for a day is an option.  But skiing at Solitude and Brighton for a few days would be more than enough terrain for a first trip out west.

 

If conditions happen to be good, driving out to Snowbasin would be a fun day trip.  The views are spectacular.  Can have lunch at the John Paul lodge and ride up the tram for the view.  Do not need to ski down from the top of the tram.  Can't remember what the easiest way down is from the lodge.  The Strawberry side is great for intermediates.  If it's been warm, might need to wait for things to soften but great fun once that happens.  No worry about lift lines.

post #17 of 19
Former Michigander here - but living in Pacific NW for last 20 years. Skied at Boyne and most N. Michigan resorts back in the day. Also, coincidentally, love Puerto Rico and have been there several times as well. Anyway, I second the recommendation of staying at Solitude and skiing both there and Brighton. Took my family last year and head a great trip. On-mountain accommodations are great with a family where some may want to be on the mountain longer than others. Their village isn't huge but it is nice and quaint and has everything you need. Both Solitude and Brighton are huge resorts by Michigan standards. Solitude faces North so snow might hold up better into march than some other resorts. Very easy to get to from the airport and once there you can take the shuttle to Brighton, or even ski if you have a Sol-Bright pass. Disclaimer - I have never been to Big Sky.

Matt

PS - Mt Bachelor in Oregon can be great late season. But it is a ways from the Portland airport and there is no on-mountain lodging. And not a Boyne resort.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Matt...What is the closest town to Mt. Bachelor?

post #19 of 19
Bend, Or.
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