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whitefish (big mt)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
What is the skiing like at big mt? How is the local scene? Is there any backcountry?
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustey
What is the skiing like at big mt? How is the local scene? Is there any backcountry?
It's pretty good for something different...not a real white-knuckle mountain but plenty of good tree skiing, reasonable chance of skiing pow, and the place is empty!!! If you get some freshies it will take quite some time to get tracked out. People complain about the fog which result in "snow ghosts", however just ski the trees, there's plenty of 'em. Regarding OB, we were able to figure out how to access the mountain's "cat" terrain and ski that w/o ponying up for the ride. I'm sure there's other stuff. Whitefish is nice...a laid-back friendly place, no attitudes.

Also, it's a ~2 hr drive from Big Mt. to Fernie BC (worth a side trip).

powsniffr
post #3 of 21
Big Mountain is just that...BIG. More acreage than Vail. It was a fun mountain when we visited in 2000. Not crowded at all. Lots of good intermediate/advanced terrain and some great long runs. I was there for a week and there was plenty to explore and do. Didn't get bored.
Also, took a day to go to Fernie (which I thought was round 1hr and 45 min from Big Mtn thru Glacier National Park). You can arrange a trip from Big Mtn via van shuttle and it was worth it for the powder Fernie gets.
The town of Whitefish is around 4 mi (I think) from Big Mtn. There is alot of affordable slopeside lodging in Big Mtn or you can stay in town and take the shuttle from Whitefish to the ski area. At the mountain there are a few restaurants/bars. And in Whitefish, alot more.
Hope you have fun!

PS. The only down side to the whole trip is the fact that Big Mtn does tend to get some righteous fog. We had a couple of days where the vis was poor. Could barely see the chair in front of you on the lifts. Big Mtn is lower in elevation than alot of other ski areas. Similar to Whistler.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2
Big Mountain is just that...BIG. More acreage than Vail.
Big mountain is big but not that big!

Big Mt. is just over 3,000 acres...Vail is 5,289 acres.

powsniffr
post #5 of 21
I had always heard that it had more skiable acres than Vail, but maybe that was in 2000. Big Mountain is 4500 acres, btw....
Anyhow, you definitely don't have to deal with the crowds at Big Mountain. And it IS one of the largest ski areas in the US and Canada!
post #6 of 21
I really enjoyed Big Mtn. when we were out there last winter. It has a good variety of terrain spread out over quite a large area. I found it a great area for skiing with a group of people of mixed abilities. My abilities don't lead me to the backcountry, so I can't comment on that issue. The Hellroaring area has probably the steepest terrain, although it doesn't usually get the best snow and the lift system makes it a pain to get out of and back to the summit. Depending on when you are planning on going, you may want to be aware that that area of the mountain closes earlier in the season than the rest of the mountain, due to issues with bears coming out of hibernation. When told this, I heard one person suggest they just add another black diamond to those trails.

We also experienced some fog while we were there, but we were usually able to find at least 1 area of the mountain that was unaffected. The town of Whitefish was fun, it was definitely worth the free shuttle ride to check out the restaurants down there.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2
I had always heard that it had more skiable acres than Vail, but maybe that was in 2000. Big Mountain is 4500 acres, btw....
You're getting closer, but still off by 1500 acres...btw :
The following is pulled directly from their website:

Today, an efficient lift system with high-speed quads makes the climb, and you reap the rewards. 3,000 acres of fluffy goodness. 91 marked runs. 2,500 feet of vertical. Plus a terrain park. Everywhere you look, you see powder stashes, tree shots, velvety groomers, and surprisingly few people.

http://www.bigmtn.com/index.cfm?action=Winter

powsniffr
__________________________________________________ __
"believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see"
post #8 of 21
Oops, I did it again! Sorry, about that. I surrender with a shred of dignity, please.
Regardless, it is a fun mountain and IMHO, better than Vail for the variety and the lack of crowds.
Here is what I pulled from there website:

Ski Season: November 27, 2003 - April 11, 2004
Average Snowfall - 300 inches annually
Average Temperature: 24 degrees Fahrenheit
Skiable Terrain - 3,000 acres
Summit Elevation - 7,000 feet
Vertical Drop - 2,500 feet
Total Trails - 91 marked runs
Longest Run - 3.3 miles (Hellfire)
Type of Terrain - Open bowls, trees, glades and groomed runs for all levels
Terrain Difficulty - 20% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 30% Advanced/Expert
FREE Skiing: Chair 6
Lift Number: 11 (includes 2 high-speed quads)
Lift Capacity: 13,800 lift capacity per hour
7,700 comfortable skiing capacity per day
Night Skiing: Friday - Saturday, 4:00pm to 9:00pm, Mid-December through Mid-March
Nordic Ski & Snowshoe: 16km groomed trails
Mountain Shuttle: FREE SNOW bus transportation between Whitefish and Glacier Village at Big Mountain
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdskis2
Regardless, it is a fun mountain and IMHO, better than Vail for the variety and the lack of crowds.
Now that, I totally agree with!

powsniffr
_______________________
"face shots for everyone"
post #10 of 21
Big Mountain is fun. No..No..NO crowds. My only knock is for us to get there, we have to go through Salt Lake, in doing that we are passing up the best snow on earth.

As a mountian Big is fun. Hellroaring Basin is a great section and they do (did) offer cat skiing. There is some good ski in/ski out too.
post #11 of 21
post #12 of 21
Big Mnt. is a great area , in fact it would be a good spot for a gathering . Lots of accom. to choose from plus terrain for all levels.
post #13 of 21

Big Mountain

Skiied Big Mtn last February, had a great time time.
pics at http://www.pbase.com/floydgm

and go to Big Mountain Gallery.

-Greg
post #14 of 21
Great pix.
post #15 of 21
Super, super pics! You had much better conditions than we did! I remember Momentum and the Chutes.
Are you from Lawrenceville/Suwanee area? My sister lives there. Small world, if so.
post #16 of 21
Excellent pictures Greg! - Thanks!
post #17 of 21
I've really enjoyed Big Mountain when I've been there. Maybe not the real tough terrain there but lots of fun stuff and lots of snow. I would think back country access there is huge and some at TGR have posted such. My guess is this will be a much busier winter for them as a better exchange rate means more Canadians going back there again. They've been scared off the last few years.
post #18 of 21
kdskis2,
Yes we live near Suwanee/Lawrenceville in Buford. Your right, small world. Great place to live , just too far from the Rockies.
Momentum was a good aggressive Blue, We spent most of the time skiing Glory Hole, Slingshot, Back Nine, and Connies Coulee in Hellroaring Basin. The first 2 days were beautiful bluebird days with no fog. A rarity for Big Mountain I hear. The last 2 days it snowed non-stop, so it was a good mix. The views at Big Mountain are hard to beat on a clear day or with temperature inversion. Absolutely no crowds at all. My youngest son and I will probably be heading back there in again in February, just waiting on a deal for good airfare.

We also went on a half day snowmobile trip that left from the top with a
guide named Pat Clanton. We covered about 30 miles in a little over 3 hours.

Thanks for the comments on the pics. I will never go out west again without a wide angle lens for my camera ever again. Just does not do the view justice without one.

-Greg
post #19 of 21
They have some good skiing there, but it gets foggy quite often because of its proximity to Flathead and Whitefish Lakes. I have been there when you could not see the chair in front of you, which makes for some interesting skiing. If the weather is nice it is a pretty good mountain, but not real steep.

If you want to party look for some Canadians. They are like Americans when we go to Mexico. Once they're south of the border they tend to cut loose.
post #20 of 21
Whitefish is a great family hill. There is terrain to suit everyones style. The grooming is second to none. The off piste stuff is so so, There are some nice steeps, but they are short. ...and it is a great place to party!
post #21 of 21
[quote=greg_f]kdskis2,
Yes we live near Suwanee/Lawrenceville in Buford. Your right, small world. Great place to live , just too far from the Rockies.
Momentum was a good aggressive Blue, We spent most of the time skiing Glory Hole, Slingshot, Back Nine, and Connies Coulee in Hellroaring Basin.

That is too funny. My sister loves Suwanee..her husband works in midtown and would rather be closer, however.
We are in BHM, Hotlanta's sister city. And you got it......We are too darn far from the Rockies.
We got a great deal to Big Sky for about $250 from BHM. I wouldn't mind going back. We liked Hellroaring too. Big Sky trip planned this year in Jan., our first. Will make a post when we return!
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