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Big Sky/Moonlight Basin - worth getting a combined ticket?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We have a crew of 9 guys headed to Big Sky for the Boys Annual Super Bowl Ski Trip. We're headed out next Thurs (2/4) and will be getting 4 ski days in. I'm pretty psyched, never been to MT.

What up with Moonlight Basin? How are the mountains linked? I've looked around on the Big Sky website and don't see a whole lot of detail.

I saw a post here on the forums saying that to go across to Moonlight via Lone Peak, you need avie gear, which we won't have. Are there other gates that will let us ski both mountains?

Is Moonlight worth it? We're thinking of getting a combined ticket, and I think the difference is only $10/day.

OK, enough questions....

Pray for snow,
Murph
post #2 of 13
We've been there over the last 5 years and it's our favorite resort, especially for a large group over a number of days as it offers such variety. There is something to challenge any and all, and the laid back, no lines atmosphere is addictive.
We prefer to stay at Moonlight. Several folks who own there never go to BS because they like the tree skiing at ML. It's worth a day at ML for sure, especially if you like trees.
Hopefully Little Bear and Nolo will chime in here as they know/live/teach there.
We've always had a Super Bowl boys trip also, but this year the economy got to a few members. Enjoy!
post #3 of 13
MLB is fantastic and definitely worth it. Not worth doing a combined ticket unless you want to ski off the backside of the tram, which you already said you're not doing. Great mountain, decent lift system, absolutely no crowds. My kids prefer MLB over BS. Give it a try!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, folks, looks like a go. I love tree skiing, and of course, it's a necessity with low viz.

I'm still curious about connectivity options. Anyone

Murph
post #5 of 13
Moonlight is just a smaller side of the same mountain peak. Moonlight faces north. Snow conditions, wind and even snow accumulation can be different at Moonlight so some days one is better than the other. Big Sky is much bigger with IMHO more variety.
The two areas are interconnected by the Iron horse lift.
The Big Sky base area is relatively small with several restaurants, bars, hotels, condos and shopping within walking distance of the lift. There is only the Moonlight lodge at Moonlight.
My favorite part of Moonlight is the deli in the lodge. Best lunch for skiers on the mountain.
We ski Big Sky about 15 days a year and usually go to Moonlight for one day just to see what may have changed since our last visit.
Lift lines will not be an issue at either resort.
post #6 of 13
Connectivity is simple.  There's just some shared trails and lifts.  It's as simple as skiing down a cat track or as complicated as jumping into the North Summit Snowfield with your beacon/probe/shovel. 
post #7 of 13
Moonlight is worth a day, but if you get even close to being bored with Big Sky in a 4 day trip, you're a better man than me.
Best part of moonlight is the headwaters if you're into steeps -- they're worth the price of admission.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleph Null View Post

Moonlight is worth a day, but if you get even close to being bored with Big Sky in a 4 day trip, you're a better man than me.
Best part of moonlight is the headwaters if you're into steeps -- they're worth the price of admission.
 
Headwaters offers some of the best lift-served steeps around.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleph Null View Post

Moonlight is worth a day, but if you get even close to being bored with Big Sky in a 4 day trip, you're a better man than me.
Best part of moonlight is the headwaters if you're into steeps -- they're worth the price of admission.

I know what you mean, there's no way I expect to get bored at BS. We've got 9 guys, so there's a bit of "gotta do everything" that happens when you're trying to please everybody on a short trip like this

Thanks for the heads up on Headwaters.

Murph
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nogophers View Post

Headwaters offers some of the best lift-served steeps around.

 

+1 for the Headwaters (Rueben s/w), and if you guys want a real treat in the evening, The Timbers restaurant in the same lodge is/was excellent. You can see what my priorities are
Edited by Simplemind - 1/31/10 at 9:35am
post #11 of 13
Moonlight is kinda like two ski areas personality wise. You have the chutes which offer steeps and exposure, and you have the rest of the mountain which has no real sustained steeps, but is gentle rolling terrain, which can be fun for those that don't like steeps. The deal with the chutes is that only the first three are skiable without hiking. Something to keep in mind is that the first three headwater chutes are also skiable from the challenger lift by traversing out past the headwaters lift. You will need to traverse out to the right on the road above the sixpack lift to get back to big sky though. If I was making a ski trip to Big Sky I would probably get a combo pass for one day if there was good snow in the north snowfields and ski down to moonlight that way, explore around, maybe have lunch at the big yurt and play a little on the terrain accessed from that back 800' vertical lift, before going back to big sky. There are quite often long waits at the top gate to get into the north snowfields, and you will need a beacon, pack, shovel, and probe.

Whatever you do, I think everyone would keep themselves entertained skiing moonlight terrain for a day. I'll second the moonlight lodge for lunch even if you're only skiing big sky, especially if it is a sunny day and you can sit out on the deck.

It is probably snowing there right now.
post #12 of 13
When you travel to Big Sky, and you have the time, a day at Moonlight and a day touring in Yellowstone will give you the full experience. I give another strong vote to head over to the MB Lodge deli for lunch. 
post #13 of 13
If you have the opportunity to ski Moonlight you should.  Just don't bother with the combined ticket.  Find a way to get to Moonlight via bus, car or whatever and get a Moonlight all-day pass to save money.  You can get back to Big Sky resort area from Moonlight without riding any Big Sky lifts.

The main advantage of getting the combo is you can ski the north-facing terrain off the top of Lone Mountain into the Moonlight ski area.  This terrain is sparsely skied and has better day-after powder due to its not being in the sunlight and being shielded from the prevailing western winds.  You need a peep, shovel and probe to ski it and really should ski it with someone who knows the terrain.
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