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.
2/15/2013 8:45:00 PM
LONE PEAK WAS at it again today after a difficult to explain combination of fresh snow and wind deposited well over a foot of fresh cold smoke on the south face. If the roughly 18 inches of fresh wasn’t enough, we were also graced with a beautiful bluebird day.
My friend and I headed straight for the tram with the expectation to ski some of Lone Peak’s free refills under the bluebird sky. After shooting a few photos from atop the peak, we headed towards the snow fences above Liberty Bowl and this is when we first came upon the unexpected deep that lay before us.
I was shocked, dumb founded, blown away and surprised. Face-shots were plentiful and seemed to never end turn after turn during our top to bottom run. High fives and pole taps were a given at the bottom as we stared back up at the unexpectedly epic run that fell/hit us in our laps.
Lone Peak: expect the unexpected.
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