or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Moonlight Basin and Big Sky
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Moonlight Basin and Big Sky

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

hey guys,

 

Hope everyone's summer is going great, good news it's almost over !! And as winter rolls in, I'm planning my yearly vacation. I'm heading out to Big Sky for the first time ever, and I'm confused on whether moonlight basin and big sky are now one resort, or if they are just very close to each other.

 

I'm heading out march 6-12th as my final west trip of the season, and I'm going to be there for 7 days 5 of which I plan on skiing. So do I purchase 5 tickets to big sky, and that gives me access to both ? If they are 2 different resorts, I think I'm probably going to ski Moonlight for 2 days and Big Sky for 3. I'm almost under the impression that the two resorts are actually connected.

 

Any insight is welcome,

 

 

X

post #2 of 17

They arent the same resort but you can buy a dual ticket.  I think the dual is about $20 bucks more a day than the single.  Ive never skied Moonlight but Big Sky is awesome.  I spent a summer out there two years ago and I'm heading out for my first winter around Thanksgiving.  I spent about 5 days skiing Big Sky last year and liked it so much im moving there.  I've heard Moonlight has some nice terrain off the peak (Headwaters) but other than that Big Sky is the way to go.  Big Sky also has some great stuff off the peak. PM me with any more question.

post #3 of 17

Each is big enough that the Lone Peak Pass (ski both resorts on same day) is not really worth it unless you're skiing off the backside of the tram (need avy gear, beacon and a buddy). MLB is awesome. Terrain on Headwaters is steep with fantastic north-facing snow. No crowds. Enjoy it!

post #4 of 17

http://www.epicski.com/products/big-sky

 

Here's Epicski reviews of Big Sky, one of which is mine from last year.  I was exactly in the same boat as you, Xtremity.  What to do, where to ski....hmmm.

 

My advice - ski Moonlight one day, then ski Big Sky.  Don't do Big Sky first, do Moonlight.  After 2 days, it should be clear to you what to do with the rest of your week.

 

The ONLY time you should consider a dual pass is if you want to drop off the top of Lone Peak into the North Summit snowfield, which takes you from Big Sky into Moonlight Basin.  To do that you need beacon, shovel, probe, and at least one buddy.

 

Big Sky doesn't give much of a discount if you buy a 4 or 5 day pass either.  I bought a day pass every morning.  If I'd bought a 5 day pass, I figured I'd save a whopping $10 overall.  Not a lot of savings, plus you never know if you're going to be too beat in the morning to answer first chair.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

thanks for the response guys. I'm really into tree skiing more than anything. Which mountain is better ? I love steep trees packed with pow.

post #6 of 17

Neither - go to Jackson Hole.

 

Seriously, ski both, then decide.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

http://www.epicski.com/products/big-sky

 

Here's Epicski reviews of Big Sky, one of which is mine from last year.  I was exactly in the same boat as you, Xtremity.  What to do, where to ski....hmmm.

 

My advice - ski Moonlight one day, then ski Big Sky.  Don't do Big Sky first, do Moonlight.  After 2 days, it should be clear to you what to do with the rest of your week.

 

The ONLY time you should consider a dual pass is if you want to drop off the top of Lone Peak into the North Summit snowfield, which takes you from Big Sky into Moonlight Basin.  To do that you need beacon, shovel, probe, and at least one buddy.

 

Big Sky doesn't give much of a discount if you buy a 4 or 5 day pass either.  I bought a day pass every morning.  If I'd bought a 5 day pass, I figured I'd save a whopping $10 overall.  Not a lot of savings, plus you never know if you're going to be too beat in the morning to answer first chair.

 

Excellent, I would LOVE to do the backcountry thing but I don't think i could get everyone I'm with to do it.

 

I'm going with 8 people..

 

1)me

2)Cousin from tahoe (excellent skier)

3)Cousin's Best friend (also great skier)

4-8) Jersey boys 1 skier and 4 borders who I consider average to good (they simply don't get out west enough, 2 of the borders are good though)

 

Thank you for the input, i love this site..

 

now where the heck is the snow :(

 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

The ONLY time you should consider a dual pass is if you want to drop off the top of Lone Peak into the North Summit snowfield, which takes you from Big Sky into Moonlight Basin.  To do that you need beacon, shovel, probe, and at least one buddy.

 



Shovel, probe, and transceiver were no longer required last year for the North Summit Snowfield, although it still is controlled entry through the Moonlight patrol (check in at the top of the tram to get a spot -- they let a few folk throough every 15 minutes or so).  You still would be well advised to bring bc equipment and know how to use it.

 

Moonlight is, for the most part, a lower intermediate resort.  You can find some quite advanced terrain off of the headwaters chair and by hiking the A-Z chutes with the few lines back into Moonlight.  So, it depends, in part, what level of skier you are and what terrain you want to ski whether it is worth it to buy the combo pass.  Personally, the North Summit Snowfield is now may favorite area on Lone Peak.  I made three trips through there on my visit last year, and it was the best skiing on the mountain at that time -- a time when there had been no new snow for a couple of weeks and parts of the mountain were boilerplate.  There was good winter snow in there, and the wind did a fine job of grooming it (e.g. filling the tracks in).

 

Big Sky is one of my favorite mountains.  It's right there with Jackson.  While Jackson may have a bit more crux terrain, Big Sky has lines that are every bit as steep and technically challenging.  There may be fewer consequences with many of those lines at Big Sky than there are at Jackson, although there's plenty of terrain that will get you in trouble if that's what you want.  What Big Sky doesn't have in relation to Jackson is lift lines.

 

Mike

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post

hey guys,

 

Hope everyone's summer is going great, good news it's almost over !! 

 

 

 

As a local I'm not seeing the end of summer as good news.  Summer came late this year and was rudely interrupted multiple times by cold rains and often snow in the mountains.  Skiable snow conditions are still 3 months away so let us enjoy a few more weeks of summer while we can.

 

As for advise, doing Moonlight one day then Big Sky the next & playing it by ear is a good one.  Personally, I like the variety and terrain at Big Sky better but many people find Moonlight challenging enough & prefer the empty slopes there during the week.
 

post #10 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post


 

 

Excellent, I would LOVE to do the backcountry thing but I don't think i could get everyone I'm with to do it.

 

I'm going with 8 people..

 

 

 


I was there with 9 others.  We had a gorgeous house rented (Charis Lodge) that was ski out, ski i......well, skate and pole in.  Nobody else in the group had any BC gear except me, so I sorta gave up on any really radical terrain.  I was hoping to do Big Couloir, but after the first gondola ride with it in full view I had no takers.
 

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

thanks guys.

 

sorry to hear your summer was so short Rio, I hope you get a few more weeks to enjoy bud. Spike dog, when I went to Jackson hole I wasn't THAT impressed with the tree runs, don't get me wrong they were very fun but I've skied better trees in Vermont...then again I think Vermont has better trees than the west coast bare none..but we can have that debate later on if we wish .. ;)

 

Jackson hole was great and I loved it, but I was there 2 days after a 3ft dump and most of it was already skied out..although when we ventured out a little we did find some nice stashes..I didn't get to experience JH at it's best because right after that dump the temperatures shot up to 45-50 and it killed it :( ... I'm looking to go back though soon enough.. ;)

 

Spike, speaking of Big Couloir how does it compare to say Corbets ?  when I was in Jackson Corbet's had a 20+ foot drop in, we my group and I passed. Does Big Colouir have a substantial drop in as well ? or is it merely the 40 plus degree pitch that freaks people out ? 

 

thanks again.

post #12 of 17
I skied a few trees at big sky. It seems to me that most of the steep terrain is above tree line on lone peak. There's a few places I know of with pitch and trees, but not that many. The tress start where the pitch flattens out. If what you really want is lots of steep trees, I'm not convinced big sky is the place, particularly compared to Jackson, snowbird, Aspen, etc.



That being said, if you want to ski powder and not have it skied out in a few hours, big sky is the place to ski. For the past 3 years, I've skied days old powder there. There isn't enough traffic for the amount of terrain to ski it out in a day.

I intended to ski the big this past year. We skied the north summit snowfield instead as the snow was much better. In the ns snowfield, we had a coulee of 45+ degree shots of a couple hundred feet of vertical with thigh deep powder, and the wind refilled it every run! So the Big is still on my bucket list. Because of the low snow, the entry into the big couloir was a bit tricky, but nothing like corbets. I've looked into corbets several times but never skied it because of the entrance. My understanding is corbets is all about the entrance. The big is at least triple the vert and about as steep as the top of corbets.
post #13 of 17

If you wanna see how good the powder can be, check out Mike's avatar above and then ask how he got the nickname "Snowblower."

 

You'll love Big Sky.  There's plenty to keep you busy, a lot of great terrain, although with the rocky nature of the mountain it's not nearly as tree-filled as the east is. The treeline is fairly low on the mountain, and most of the good tree skiing is fairly short. While at first glance Andesite mountain seems like kind of the beginner hill, when you poke into the trees you can find some steep areas and you can certainly have a lot of fun there. You can also come off the tram, go through Liberty Bowl and find some fun treed terrain on a really long run all the way down Dakota.

 

Really, the draw of BS isn't the trees though - it's the more exposed steeper terrain off the Tram and Challenger.

 

While I agree that Moonlight's kind of a one-day-per-trip place, I'd do it on a second or third day if you need to get your legs under you. the stuff off of Headwaters is steep and the stuff at the bottom is pretty boring. There's not much in between. Its worth going to in order to lap the headwaters chutes, but if you're trying to warm up and get yourself moving, the easier stuff isn't going to interest you.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Awesome feed back guys, I just hope there's enough coverage to enjoy the steeps. it seems like everytime I go west I get crappy conditions, or I should say not good enough to do the knarly issh.

 

Last year in Lake Tahoe is the exception, I was there at the end of Feb for 4 days of powder it was the best skiing bar none.

 

 

I'm bring out my 184 mantra's but I'm thinking I might rent something Wider.. hehehe

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtremity View Post

 

 

Spike, speaking of Big Couloir how does it compare to say Corbets ?  when I was in Jackson Corbet's had a 20+ foot drop in, we my group and I passed. Does Big Colouir have a substantial drop in as well ? or is it merely the 40 plus degree pitch that freaks people out ? 

 

thanks again.


I've never stood at the top of Big Couloir, so I can't say.  I've seen some good pictures on EpicSki of skiers in it (Martin Bell comes to mind), but I didn't see any mandatory air while I was scoping it from the gondola.  Corbets is a shorter ride, but as you saw, very intimidating.
 

post #16 of 17

do i need avalanche gear for the headwaters?

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenrex View Post
 

do i need avalanche gear for the headwaters?

Nope

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Moonlight Basin and Big Sky