Hey all, planning a trip in February coming from Melbourne, Australia.
Big Sky is a consideration. We would either begin there in early Feb, arrive on the 6th or so, for 5-7 days, or finish up in Big Sky, around Feb 16-22nd. However, we've been deterred somewhat by an impression that the Lone Tram suffers from closures quite often, and that there isn't a huge range of advanced terrain apart from the Tram.
Is this totally wrong? How often does the tram close, particularly on storm days?
We've skied Jackson Hole twice, and are heavily considering returning... However, Big Sky sounds like it's less crowded than JH is becoming (all relative of course).
I should add that our group are strong black skiers, with a couple of adventurous types, but for the most part exposed double blacks/terrain requiring avy gear etc is slightly beyond us.
Is there much in the way of challenging black terrain apart from the Tram? And off the Tram, besides Liberty bowl? Liberty Bowl seems comparable to Rendezvous Bowl at JH?
Big Sky snowfall versus Jackson Hole, versus Telluride CO? (From the stats I've seen, and some of the comments in this discussion, JH>> Telluride, which is probably on par with Big Sky?)
We've been to AltaBird, amazing skiing but we won't be returning to Utah.
Thanks in advance for any insight.
Gday mate (sorry, had to do it).
When the Tram was 1st proposed the best guess was it would be fortunate to operate 50% of the time. It quickly became apparent that wasn't the case and the terrain and weather could be managed. Ballpark guess is the tram is available for skiing more than 90% of the days from about Christmas week until closing. If it is snowing hard or really windy then it can close but the patrol will put a lot of effort into keeping it going as long as safely possible.
The Challenger Chair has excellent black and 2x black diamond skiing, the south wall in the bowl is good single black terrain and the Headwaters is a challenging as your group could ever want, so yes, there are alternatives.
Snowfall amounts vary by the year. The time you are planning is usually very reliable for good snow and conditions. Keep in mind Feb. 16-22 is right around Presidents day, in the States that is a very popular ski week and anywhere you go is going to have crowds.