3/26/2013 7:32:00 PM
THERE'S NOTHING BETTER than spending spring break in Big Sky Montana. I drove an easy 12 hours from Minnesota across the flat lands of North Dakota and ended in my favorite place, Big Sky. As I drove up the mountain toward towering Lone Peak, my heart began to race with excitement. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish this spring break and skiing was at the top of my list.
I got to spend my first day on the mountain getting my legs back under me on some long groomers. Big Horn, being one of my favorites, was a nice long blue to start things off. Throughout the week my skiing returned to what I was used to and before I knew it, I was back to taking on the steeps of Lone Peak.
Every time I ski at Big Sky I am brought down a new route, and it always amazes me the amount of great skiing that is out there. Throughout the week I was lucky to be able to ski with my boyfriend Kipp and good friends. I got some beautiful sunny spring skiing in, and a couple days of fresh snow as well; something a girl would write home about.
One of my favorite Nordic venues in the nation is Lone Mountain Ranch (LMR) and just a 5 minute drive from the resort. LMR has 2,200 vertical feet of manicured groomed trails winding through the woods with open meadows that offer breathtaking views of Lone Peak.
Taking a day off from Alpine skiing to get my cardio on, my good friend Amber drove down from Bozeman to join me for a day out on the trails. We started in the meadow where the skiing is easier and progressed up towards the tree trails. After a few hours of kicking and gliding we set out for the upper mountain to enjoy a drink and a snack at Carabiner by the warm fire.
Friends, fresh air, and fresh snow are what spring breaks in Big Sky mean to me.
3/6/2013 10:07:00 PM
WHEN IT COMES to conquering mountains, Lone Peak is one hell of a monster to take on. Whether you’re tackling on the steeps of Challenger or the high alpine exposed terrain from atop Lone Mountain’s 11,166 ft. summit, Big Sky is sure to challenge. So when my friend Johnny who was visiting said he was up to task, I gladly agreed to show him the ins and outs of what makes Big Sky BIG.
Day 1: Having never skied off the summit we first tackled Liberty Bowl. While the peak was socked in, we navigated our way through the snow fences and straight to the gut. I informed him to follow the green dots down and to use them as a point of reference. The powder was deep and after reconvening at the bottom, I knew Johnny was thrilled by his trademark large grin. We ventured on to the base and finished our day poking around the lower mountain in the trees chasing powder.
Day 2: Having had a taste of what Lone Peak offered, Johnny wanted more. Since he had already checked off Marx with another friend of ours the day before, we decided the best next step would be to take on Lenin. While offering the same southern aspect as Marx, Lenin is steeper with a bit more of a pinch than what most vacationing skiers are used to, but that didn’t stop Johnny. He confidently took it on as if we were skiing Mr. K and once again show up at the bottom (maybe a bit more out of breath than other Mr. K) with another huge grin.
Final Day: Still wanting more, Johnny requested that we seek the peak once again in hopes of checking off one more steep, technical run. After having seen the Dictators while skiing Lenin a few days prior, we set our sights on D1. With a storm quickly moving in, we headed straight for the tram. Traversing from the top of Lenin we made our way to the top D1. Looking down the rock walled run we pointed our tips downhill and went for it. Johnny precisely navigated his way down and we met up just above the traverse to Lenin. Pole taps/high fives were a given and of course Johnny’s smile accompanied them.
We next ventured to Challenger to check off the final steeps that Johnny hadn’t skied yet. Once again Johnny killed and we headed for the base. Sending Johnny on his way wishing him safe travels back to LA, we exchanged hugs, a few fist bumps, and of course the plan to take on the rest of the peak next year.
Interested in checking out some of these great spots? Look into the mountain guide program offered through Mountain Sports School.
1/21/2013 6:00:00 PM
DEEP BLUE SKIES, breathtaking sunsets, incredible skiing and uncrowded runs were the standard this past weekend at Big Sky Resort. No matter where your skis took you, it always seemed like they were finding great snow underneath the sunny skies above.
It didn’t seem to matter who you spoke to; friends, co-workers, guests, patrollers and locals all seemed to all agree that the skiing was great! Reports from Liberty Bowl, Challenger, Southern Comfort, the bowl…you name it, were off the charts and I couldn’t agree more.
Running from shadows and chasing after fast-carvable-sunny-cruisers kept me occupied. Two spots that my friend Dylan and I found to be skiing particularly well were El Dorado and Upper Morning Star where you were able to lay-out high speed turns with plenty of grip underfoot. Then as if the skiing wasn’t good enough, we were graced with stunning sunsets each evening that set the sky on fire with reds, oranges, purples and blues.
Awestruck and thoroughly worked, it was another weekend to add to my continuously growing Big Sky highlight reel.
Ski Photo Credit: Anna Middleton
Skier: Dan Bartzick skiing Liberty Bowl