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Lone Peak vs. Palmyra Peak? More gratifying? More exhillerating?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Please forgive my spelling....but I thought those words might descirbe it.


I am debating between the la Nina trip to Big Sky/ Moonlight Basin this year, vs. a trip to Telluride.  I have never been to either.  I am an advanced skier but I don't get more than 5-10 ski days per year due to my midwestern location.  


I enjoy steeps and mountain top skiing more than anything else.  Loved skiing Jupiter Peak at PCMR.


Big Sky is one of my four pillars of must ski areas in North America.  I have considered adding Telluride as well as a potential 5th.  Anyway, thanks to blogs, forums, and youtube, I can profile these areas in great detail and have been in awe of both epic peaks described.  Can anyone attest to the quality of skiing off those two peaks- Lone Peak and Palmyra?  Would you care to comment on how many runs a 36yr old guy carrying a few extra pounds can do in a day from the top?  Are they most often open or closed?  Is it worth it to choose either Big Sky or Telluride based solely on my need to ski these peaks?


I suspect the front of Telluride might be something like California Heavenly.  I don't love bumps for miles, so that really doesn't sway my opinion.  But I love the high peaks and the above treeline steeps.


Many thanks all.  

post #2 of 4

I would go with Big Sky/MLB over Telluride. Easy to get to (fly into Bozeman, rent a car, stop at Publix, and drive for ~1 hour). Very few crowds (which is the main reason I would pick BS/MLB over any CO resort), although the tram line can get long depending on timing. Great skiing with plenty of steeps. Don't overlook MLB and the Headwaters area. Runs are even less crowded and the north-facing powder will still be there several days after a storm. La Nina should help BS and punish Telluride.


If, on the other hand, skiing isn't your priority (e.g. the Mrs. wants to shop and go to Starbucks), go to Telluride.

post #3 of 4

Lone Peak is 11,160 feet, and Palmyra is 13,317 feet.  Have you ever hiked that high before in ski boots with skis on your back?  Palmyra is a an 1.5-2 hour hike from the top of the lift for locals. If you are from Michigan it might be a bit longer. Once you have started hiking to the peak, there are no bail out options.  IMO you get a much better sking bang for your hiking buck (about 30 min.) doing the Gold Hill Chutes from the other side.


Considering lift tickets at T-ride are $98, and a run on Palmyra would be a half day endeavor, it is a serious commitment, but it is a truly awe inspiring view, and the skiing can be pretty good too.  Opening is dependent on avalanche conditions and weather, so it is possible that you could go there for a week and it would not be open.  It is a lofty goal, but I would not plan my trip around bagging Palmyra Peak if I were you.  I would suggest looking at the overall pros and cons of the two areas, and consider skiing a peak as possible frosting on one of two beautiful cakes.


One other thought, Big Sky is consistently colder than Telluride, despite the lower elevation.  Much better chance for sunshine and mellower temps at T-ride.  There is a reason they market BS heavily in Michigan, you guys are used to that harsher weather.  FWIW, the view from Palmyra beats Lone Peak, hands down.

post #4 of 4

What everybody above wrote is pretty accurate.  Lone  Peak is way easier to get to, and it's steep enough for me.  Palmyra is about my limit (or maybe over my limit) for hiking, but it has never been open when I was in Telluride. Telluride is a way better town, and Big Sky is somewhere between boring and depressing after dark.  I'd go back to either one with the right group.



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