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Big Sky 2015 - 2016 - Page 5  

post #121 of 218
Success! Thanks to you guys and my coaxing family I made it from Big Sky to Moonlight and back! I am proud to say I did it without a breakdown, taking off skis and walking the slope or throwing up. I do have a few pointers for anyone else who is a happy green skier, afraid of blues, but wants to try the cross trails over and back. I do think the great snow we had yesterday was super helpful. There is also a terrible lack of clear signs for beginners at Moonlight! The folks at Moonlight need to fix this problem.
1. Big Sky to Moonlight: The catwalk past Lower Morningstar (off ol the Swift Currant lift) is nice at first. It goes through trees, is easy to navigate. There is one pitch of a hill that's a big deep breather, then you drop out onto Blue Moon, above the Iron Horse lift. This was freak out #1 for me because I don't like steep, high slopes with the bottom way down. Thankfully, a bit of it was groomed on one side, so I worked my way down, I wish I had followed my instinct that I could cross Blue Moon and ski a road down. The road access is not marked across the slope that I could see. Marking the cross trail road to help skiers who don't love the pitch of Blue Moon would be helpful to less advanced skiers. So, look into that option if you are a worrywart like me.
2. Skiing at Moonlight: Lazy Jack, which connects to Cinnibar, is confusing. My family tried to get me to ski down a black hill until a guide skied by and said "follow me!" Lazy Jack winds around, crossing harder slopes, cutting back left and right, but there are few signs! Once on Cinnibar it's hard to tell which way to go. Moonlight has to work on this! Once I found my way, I enjoyed Cinnibar all morning. My family even talked me into Meriwearher which was even more enjoyable than Cinnibar as it was groomed. The top of Meriwearher seems a little scary at first because there is a bowl, but follow the catwalk past the bowl and the slope is gentle and easy. My 10 yr old even talked me into a little black tree cutoff called Silver Fox!
3. Moonlight to Big Sky (Fast Lane): What the heck?!! There are 2 steep parts to this trip. From Six Shooter you go over a hill to a gentle little catwalk. Then there is cliff #1. It's not too long, and you can see the bottom, but it felt steep to me. When I reached the bottom I realized (1) I was at a familiar part of Lazy Jack, the lead in to Cinnibar. If I had known this route, I would have taken it! (2) There is a 2nd cliff. Some of my panic in this cliff was mostly that I wasn't sure we were going the right way! My son was insistent, so I followed him and it turned out to be the only steep part of Fast Lane. The cliff turns at the bottom, so it's helpful to know that you need the speed around the corner for the long catwalk cutting across another slope. The rest of Fast Lane is catwalk (not too high or cliff like, really just fine) across this slope, then another (hello Blue Moon again!), then you are suddenly on home base again - Lower Morningstar. I wish I had known to stop panicking after cliff 2, because the rest was easy!

So, my suggestion for anyone of similar ski panic ability is this:
- If you drive to Moonlight, it's easy parking at the Base Area (not Lodge) and you can get used to the lack of signs for Cinnibar and green confusion, see if you like it. This might be a good choice before skiing over. The greens are so fun, but they take some getting to know them time. Try Meriweather if you like Cinnibar a lot! Just go around the bowl. I thought it was easier than Cinnibar today.
- If you know that you like Moonlight and want to try skiing over, maybe schedule a Mountain Host to guide you.
- Look for the road/slope across Blue Moon (it says BRT Road and SA Road on the map and looks like it goes under the Iron Horse quad to the bottom of that lift). I could be wrong, but this seems like it would have been easier for me since I hated Blue Moon.
- Remember that if you want to bypass cliff #1 on Fast Lane - that Lazy Jack meets Fast Lane at the bottom of cliff #1! You will then go down cliff #2 from Lazy Jack, which is steep, but keep your speed at the bottom to cut right and begin the catwalk across (no more downhill from here, really!) That's the only bad part of Fast Lane.
- Eat a cookie and try hot chocolate at Uncle Dans, bottom of 6 Shooter.

Thank you guys for all of your comments. I was not going to go until I saw your encouraging words and advice that was calming. I am glad that I tried it, and will again one day ... With a few minor tweaks! I do hope that Boyne considers making the cross trails a little more beginner friendly and a lot better marked!
Now time for a hot tub and cold beer! smile.gif
post #122 of 218
^ glad you made it! Hope you enjoyed and gained some confidence so you're able to explore even more terrain.
post #123 of 218
Quote:
 - Eat a cookie and try hot chocolate at Uncle Dans, bottom of 6 Shooter.

 

 

Excellent advice! As was a lot of the rest. I think there is a feedback page on the http://bigskyresort.com/ website. If you have the time pass along your experiences.

post #124 of 218

Just returned from Big Sky .... Great trip... It was hot last week so snow conditions were below average ... but still very nice .. 

 

I have now skied probably 20 mountains from Colorado to Whistler ... and a few on East Coast ... 

 

Big Sky is probably right there close to the top.... I am an advanced intermediate and felt right at home on all the blues and single blacks .... Hit a few double blacks are quickly realized how lacking in skill I remain  ... :-) 

 

Only downside IMHO is the apres and dinner options ...  But maybe thats the charm of the place ...

 

Bottom line - must see mountain for anyone .... Looking forward to getting back there soon... 

post #125 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by triplenet View Post
 

 

Only downside IMHO is the apres and dinner options ...  But maybe thats the charm of the place ...

 

 

 

Apres I'll give you (though I haven't explored it, because I'm not interested and there's not much to explore).

 

But IMHO there are enough excellent dining options for a week's stay, so long as you're willing to drive down the mountain.   (Perhaps I should post a Dining in Big Sky thread . . . good project for off-season.).  I've tried a lot of the places on various trips and think that the food is as good as you'll find in many good sized cities.

 

Either way, it does mean the place attracts skiers, not people interested in the other stuff.

post #126 of 218
Thread Starter 

Got a confirmation today that the two new lifts are under contract. Total cost over $10 mil. so I think those who think current owners are stingy must be VERY rich in comparison. Big Sky has a very efficient lift system and the two new lifts will make it even better.

Engineers have completed their lift alignment work.

Removal of the old Challenger equipment will start tomorrow.

The Challenger replacement will be a triple chair with a loading carpet. It will run 500 fpm faster than the old chair. It will be a little better in the wind because of the weight of the chairs and the cable. The dismount area at the top of lift will be reworked considerably to make it easier to get off the lift. The additional capacity is considered to be an improvement for both the Challenger and Headwaters terrain since both areas can be accessed from either lift.

The Bowl Triple will be replaced with a 90 degree loading, bubble covered, heated seat, detachable six pack. The chair will be relocated at both the top and bottom to enhance loading, unloading and traffic into and away from the lift. Enough dirt will be moved on top to allow for grooming and dismounting the lift from both the right and left sides. Improvements will be made to Upper Morningstar and the Bowl. It was noted that this style chair will be considered the standard for future chairs at Big Sky. 

My personal thinking is this is clearly more capacity than is needed for skier traffic in the Bowl, Tram and Upper Morningstar but it's an indication of a future need to get more skiers up the mountain into the area of the lower Tram station.

Make your 20116-17 reservations early. It should be and EPIC season!

Snow conditions are good at Big Sky, with more snow in the forecast.  If you're looking for a place to make a quick spring ski trip you should consider Big Sky.

post #127 of 218
Dinning in Big Sky is lacking. I like The Cabin but its pricy and we hit Yeti Dogs for lunch. If you head down the mountain, Ousel & Spurs is a good pizza joint. Alberto's and Choppers are also ok options.
post #128 of 218
Quote:
 It will run 500 fpm faster than the old chair.

I think you are a bit confused on that figure. The current lift (when it operated) ran at about 400 FPM. There isn't a fixed grip chair made that can run at 900 fpm and be loaded by mere mortals, magic carpet or not.:D

post #129 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by voghan View Post

Dinning in Big Sky is lacking. I like The Cabin but its pricy and we hit Yeti Dogs for lunch. If you head down the mountain, Ousel & Spurs is a good pizza joint. Alberto's and Choppers are also ok options.

 

We at well during the day - 8880 on the mountain was nice ... and the place over at Morningside Lodge had great food  ...   

 

I always like a long lunch with a few beers by a fire ... 

post #130 of 218
Thread Starter 

"There isn't a fixed grip chair made that can run at 900 fpm and be loaded by mere mortals, magic carpet or not.:D"

 

I took notes at a presentation and evidently made a mistake. The speaker probably said, "it will will run faster, at 500 fpm", instead of "it will run 500 fpm faster". Punctuation matters.

I think the speed remark was in response to a question from the audience. The speaker was not suggesting  the lift would be dramatically faster. A 25% increase sounds about right in the context of his remarks.

I'd guess the extra seat and modest speed increase will provide plenty of uphill capacity for this terrain on even the busiest days, now or in the  future.

post #131 of 218

That makes sense. Challenger was rated at 396 FPM so 500 FPM seems reasonable. 20% faster and an additional rider per chair so an increase of 33% in terms of uphill capacity.

 

I do question how the additional skiers will affect the skiing, specifically near the top of the unload where the Patrol has all those snow fences. Time will tell.

post #132 of 218
Thread Starter 

The presenter went to some length to assure us the unloading area would be significantly improved. He noted that management had already committed that to Doppelmyer which meant he had to get heavy equipment up to the peak as soon as weather permitted. He also said the ski patrol would install temporary snow fences around the old unloading area to see how they impact snow accumulation over the next several weeks.

A small issue for most,t but important to the avid skier, is the improved access to Moonlight. The new lift will give an expert access to the Moonlight area using the Comet road to the top of the six shooter.

Anything that helps separate faster skiers from slower skiers is a good thing.

post #133 of 218

Thanks for updates SteveTurner - pretty wild to have 6 person chair up the bowl.  Where will all those skiers go?  Seems wildly overbuilt to me - that kind of capacity would be better for swift current.  Cant quarrel with the bubble though.

post #134 of 218
Thanks Steve. Good information. Could of used the bubble and heated seats this year when the triple took me 45 minutes due to wind.
post #135 of 218
@steveturner where are you getting this information?
post #136 of 218

I believe that Steve is a Mountain Host at Big Sky so it probably came from an internal meeting of the Operations Dept.

 

Is this Steve Kircher asking?

post #137 of 218
popcorn.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studebaker Hawk View Post

I believe that Steve is a Mountain Host at Big Sky so it probably came from an internal meeting of the Operations Dept.

Is this Steve Kircher asking?
post #138 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

popcorn.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

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I don't think so Sibhusky. I heard the same thing multiple times on the lift.
post #139 of 218
What? That was not in regard to the substance of the information. It was in regard to what I quoted.
post #140 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studebaker Hawk View Post

I believe that Steve is a Mountain Host at Big Sky so it probably came from an internal meeting of the Operations Dept.

Is this Steve Kircher asking?
no it is not Stephen Kircher asking. But I am curious as to the legitimacy of the claims. I hear many rumors but he is claiming it was presented to him In some form. Even though the information is not public
post #141 of 218

Ski towns and ski areas run on rumor nearly as much as on Snow.;)

post #142 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studebaker Hawk View Post

Ski towns and ski areas run on rumor nearly as much as on Snow.wink.gif
Almost positive that what he said is not true. On the flip side, if it is true I doubt that this info was supposed to get out so soon.
post #143 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by skircher6 View Post


Almost positive that what he said is not true. On the flip side, if it is true I doubt that this info was supposed to get out so soon.


Nope, I can assure you, Steve Turner did not let the cat out of the bad too soon! He is correct: 6 pack, high speed, heated seats and bubble for the Bowl and a fixed grip 3-seater, with loading carpet for Challenger.

It got announced last week in all departments.

post #144 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Bear View Post


Nope, I can assure you, Steve Turner did not let the cat out of the bad too soon! He is correct: 6 pack, high speed, heated seats and bubble for the Bowl and a fixed grip 3-seater, with loading carpet for Challenger.
It got announced last week in all departments.
Oh ok.
post #145 of 218

I think that Swift Current should be replaced as well so that I don't have to get stuck on it when it breaks.

post #146 of 218
Thread Starter 
Thank you Little Bear. I don't know why the improvements have not shouted to the rooftops. I'd think this would be major news in Southern MT but evidently nobody alerted the press.
Without dealing in speculation or gossip I'd say drewguy has a good point. In my humble opinion, the only reason to provide so much capacity into the bowl is there must be a plan (or hope) for a need of additional capacity in the fairly near future.
On the other hand, it may simply be a decision to standardize on a set of common components for lift upgrades in the future.
Let the speculation begin!
post #147 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post

Thank you Little Bear. I don't know why the improvements have not shouted to the rooftops. I'd think this would be major news in Southern MT but evidently nobody alerted the press.
Without dealing in speculation or gossip I'd say drewguy has a good point. In my humble opinion, the only reason to provide so much capacity into the bowl is there must be a plan (or hope) for a need of additional capacity in the fairly near future.
On the other hand, it may simply be a decision to standardize on a set of common components for lift upgrades in the future.
Let the speculation begin!


 

It is odd that this is being kept under wraps, especially with next years seasons passes on sale but again x10, time will tell.


Edited by Studebaker Hawk - 3/21/16 at 4:48am
post #148 of 218
With current uphill capacity from base there's no way to fill a 6 person chair to bowl. But even if Swifty and another lift (say extend explorer up to base of bowl) I just don't see how you can get those skiers down from bowl. Not through Tram, which has long lines, and not on bowl trails which fill up on good days even without triple at capacity. Just seems like wrong place to put 6 pack.
post #149 of 218

it is most likely they are waiting for the whole 

YC sewer leak thing to completely blow over as to not be sucked in. they are waiting a long time though. maybe making a website or something.

post #150 of 218
I'm sorry if this was already stated or should be obvious but I was assuming if a 6 pack was replacing the LPT that it would begin at the base area to act as a replacement for gondola one and also perhaps to allow better access for summer guests to ride the tram. At the very least I was assuming that the base of the new lift would be lowered to get some more rise and value out of the lift because the current LPT is a pretty short lift.

Does anyone have any definitive info about where the new lone peak 6 pack's base will be?
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