Hi Prosper, and jpfeiffer, ridgehiker, & JW
The mountain was great. The snow was only adequate. From the second day on it was quite warm 50F+ in the afternoon, followed by 20F at night, so we had anywhere from crusty to "bulletproof" snow in the AM the remaining days. I started off with the groomed stuff in the mornings.
I skied Liberty Bowl a number of times. It was my favorite, a nice steep open face with "bumps" but not really moguls. Really an exhilarating feeling, with the big unweighting followed by the substantial compression and the desire to keep turning, turning... don’t let it stop! Only problem was that you had to ski the multi-mile run to the bottom, followed by two lifts and a tram to get back to the top. I limited myself to one such run a day.
Didn’t get to Marks or Lenin. The route angling left to them had more rocks peeking thru the snow than heading straight out to Liberty Bowl. By the last day I figured out that skiing them would allow me to traverse around to the front and avoid the trip to the bottom, and I decided to pay a little visit to our comrades. I was waiting in line at the tram, ready to take either of these runs, when I noticed a hand written sign, "Do NOT ski Marx or Lenin unless you are an EXPERT!!!" As I stood and wondered, another patroller skied up and added about six more exclamation points!!!!! What gives? Well I chickened out and did Liberty Bowl once more. The snow was heavy, but soft and fun, I don’t see why M or L should have received such an emphatic warning, as I saw a lot of small skiing flecks on it as I took the long slow runout to the bottom once more. Are they really a lot steeper than Liberty Bowl?
I only got one run off the very slow Challenger lift. It was mid-steep and bumped up, but I didn’t ski it very smoothly and was intending to go back. Concerns about the lift (I had seen it stopped a number of times and was told it was shut down for a least a half hour once), and reports that the snow was not softening up in the PM kept me away. Actually, the good skiing elsewhere, particularly under the Lone Peak Triple chair, and the fast approaching end of the week kept me on other runs.
It was also in the tram line, having decided to do the more dicey looking First Gully, that I noticed light under the heel piece of one of my bindings. The screws were being pulled out--which explained the "causeless" binding release in the Liberty Bowl on the prior run. I bailed on that and got rentals, took one run and turned them in for another pair with still dull, but at least not rounded, edges (both were "performance packages", bullshit). Anyway, excuses, excuses, I never did one of the Gullies. I did take the Turkey Traverse around the top of the bowl. The steep, but short, reward was fun, but really not worth the traverse, IMO.
I believe five of our group did the Big Couloir at some time during the week, with two of them (ski patrollers here in Cleveland) getting to "open" it with the Patroller one morning after striking up a conversation on the first tram ride up.
Bucks T-4 was excellent, I would guess almost all of our group managed to eat there at some time during the week. I also took one day off and visited Yellowstone. Highlights: buffalo, with two adolescent males, I presume, roughhousing it, and a coyote doing the predator thing, stalking, leaping, and actually catching some sort of small critter.
Thanks for all your suggestions, I enjoyed them and found them useful. Jpfeiffer, I believe it was your comments that got some of us laughing.
Anyway, thanks again, and you can bet I’ll get back to Big Sky at some time.
[This message has been edited by JimmyD (edited March 31, 2001).]</FONT>