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What's it like at the top of Lone Peak?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been wondering what it is like up there at the top of Lone Peak, Big Sky? How tough is Big Couloir? What is the other side like? Is it all snow or lots of exposed rocks up there? How far (vertical) can you ski from there at Big Sky? And does Lone Peak alone make Big Sky worth the trip? From the trail map it appears the rest of the mountain is pretty much a bunch of mild easy blues or greens.
What's the scoop?
post #2 of 13
It's cold, windy and icy. However, a little below the peak is where it starts to get good. Runs like Marx, Lenin, Dictator chutes are classics, just don't fall. Don't know how well you ski but the Big Couloir is pretty hairy with some tight funnels and you need avy gear. Besides that the Challenger chair accesses some good stuff and don't sell Andesite Mountain short. It's all in all a great resort for experts. Wouldn't be the greatest place for intermediates.
post #3 of 13
I've never been there, but apparently Big Sky isn't all that's at Big Sky. I was surprised when a poster named axebiker said recently in another thread, "Moonlight is probably my favorite place to ski - BAR NONE"
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiski View Post
It's cold, windy and icy. However, a little below the peak is where it starts to get good. Runs like Marx, Lenin, Dictator chutes are classics, just don't fall. Don't know how well you ski but the Big Couloir is pretty hairy with some tight funnels and you need avy gear. Besides that the Challenger chair accesses some good stuff and don't sell Andesite Mountain short. It's all in all a great resort for experts. Wouldn't be the greatest place for intermediates.
On that last line, I respectfully disagree. Big Sky is huge. There is quite a bit of very good intermediate terrain, both groomed and ungroomed. Elk Park meadows is a perfect place for an intermediate to work on their wild snow skiing.

Add in Moonlight Basin on a Lone Peak pass and you have an amazing amount of terrain and aspects to explore.

I don't want to Hijack this thread so I will start another one on where are the better intermediate ski areas and why.
post #5 of 13
I also disagree with you Jamesj. I've been to Big Sky a couple of times and when they get snow...it's some of the best skiing you can find (they got a good dump of 8 inches when I was there). Lone Peak offers plenty of steep challenging terrain, Marx and Lenin are great bowls and I've rarely seen many crowds there due to it's location (not close to really any big urban areas). When they get a good snow...you can ride the Challenger chair up and down almost all day long and get untracked blacks.
post #6 of 13
BH, No disrespect intended towards Big Sky, particularly since I've never been there. Tram to Lone Peak looks great, like a rocketnship to the moon. I'm just saying that in addition to what's at Big Sky, apparently there is some real fine stuff at nearby Moonlight as well.
post #7 of 13

Trust me

Hi Michigander,

trust me...... Big Sky is worth the trip!

Ursula
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
I've never been there, but apparently Big Sky isn't all that's at Big Sky. I was surprised when a poster named axebiker said recently in another thread, "Moonlight is probably my favorite place to ski - BAR NONE"
Moonlight is connected to Big Sky via the Headwaters (or some lower runs if the Headwaters aren't in good shape). If you buy the Lone Peak pass (about $9 more than the Big Sky life ticket), you have free range on both areas. I'm probably a level 7-8 skier, so Moonlight offers me everything I would want to ski and then some. It's small enough that you don't spend the whole day looking for the good runs - you can find THE run that suits you, and work it all day long.

SO -- the reasoning behind my statement - great terrain, no crowds - ever, and world-class employees there. Their service is second to none! You are treated like royalty there, and the staff is uber-friendly. They actually seem like they really enjoy their jobs, and I can't say that for many places. There's always a "hello" waiting at every lift for every chair.

I like Big Sky, but I LOVE Moonlight! Oh - great burgers too! My only fear is that it becomes "exclusive" in the way the Yellowstone Club is. While I understand the need for development, that area in general is going NUTS. I just hope it can hold on to it's "feel" - I'd hate to see that go away. I go there for the vibe.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
How tough is Big Couloir?
Scary... Don't fall - you might not get back up. I got pretty nervous just looking at it.

Good stuff on the south face though - Marx, Lenin, Tohelluride, and so on. If you go there, the Tram is a MUST DO. The snow was pretty thin while we were there, but we still had a good time up there. The lower part of the mountain is essentially Blue & Green, but there are a few good ones in there too if you like to carve some troughs from time to time - wide, fast, and relatively steep.
post #10 of 13

What's it like right now?

ROCKY!

Both Moonlight and Big Sky are VERY ROCKY right now. Bring rock skis.

FYI in order to ski Big and Little Couloir you have to check in with the Big Sky Ski Patrol, ski with a partner, and have a tranceiver, shovel and probe. These requirements keep most of the Herbs out. It's not that hard.

HB
post #11 of 13
Damn Harkin you sure hold a grudge and want to gind that axe.

No the Big Cooler isn't that hard, but its way more of a ski run than Corbets (which just got a hyped write up in a major newspaper).

The Little cooler has been opened about 5 days in the last 10 years so it really isn't even worth the mention.

As I wrote in another post, the day you skied here it was in poor conditions. Conditions change daily on a large mountain. That is the case right now. We are having a less that average season. So is the rest of the west.

The last 2 days the skiing has been pretty good.

CTFO.
post #12 of 13
I am from Minnesota and I like Big Sky. It doesn't get a lot of snow, but that lack is made up with the fact there are really no crowds. A few years ago I did laps on the Shedhorn lift in 12 to 18 inches of powder and had the run virtually to myself. (This is not at all like Snowbird or Alta where powder brings out a feeding frenzy)

A couple of other high points. BucksT4 has some great spring time deals.
I can ski the steeps (you fall you slide type) from the Tram without hikes or climbs and still be close to the rest of my group that skis blue runs. I like to ski the Gullies. They may be as steep as the BIG C. but are shorter and wider and do not require ave gear.

It is well worth a try.

One downside. It can be cold in the middle of the winter.
post #13 of 13
An update from the Really Big Sky.

4 days ago, it was so freakin cold I had the shop wax my skis with xtra green to be able to slide. Today it is 50 degrees and balmy.

Today the south face will be dreamy skiing. When it re-freezes it will be hell on earth until it either warms or snows.

Tis an interesting winter here in Montana.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › What's it like at the top of Lone Peak?