12/19/2012 10:48:00 AM
WHEN YOUR CO-WORKER asks you out for lunch, it usually entails a meeting over a greasy meal from some sort of semi-fast food restaurant with small talk covering office politics, local happenings, or some other non-exhilarating topic. Here at Big Sky Resort, you better wear your ski boots and bring your snorkel because lunch breaks here usually entail face shots and powder turns…num num num num num.
The other day was an extra special on-hill lunch break since I got to spend it with members from my Marketing and Sales team. The six of us made laps all over the mountain heading up the Triple, Swifty and throwing it down in the terrain park. Our Weddings Specialist, Go-Go, showed off her skills throwing it down in the park and tore it up laying trenches down Mr. K. Mad Chad McDealy got steezy with it while popping over pine trees in Rice Bowl and then slashing turns down Crazy Horse. The Gricer, with her avy pack strapped to her back, ripped the upper mountain after dropping into the Bowl leaving us all behind in her whitewash before patiently waiting at the bottom. Local ripper and reigning Groomer Skier of the Year, Ski-lando, led the pack and showed off her smooth, fluid style. The genius behind BSPN and master of the lens, The K-Man, juggled the task of slashing big face shots on his board while still shooting footage of our epic lunch break. I tagged along but won the award for best fall of the day after I got bounced below Rice Bowl. Needing redemption, I headed for the Buffalo Jump cliff to end the day on a good note.
Just another day at the office…face shots and powder turns. Life is good.
12/14/2012 5:31:00 PM
NOTHING PUTS THE BIG in Big Sky quite as well as the Lone Peak Tram, and now that it’s open, Big Sky’s season just hit full stride. After the ludicrous storm cycle we’ve been happily stuck in (nearly 60 inches of snow in the last week), our upper mountain base depth has grown to over 55 inches and the skiing/coverage reflects it.
As someone who now calls Big Sky home, nothing truly marks the start of ski season quite as well as stepping foot into the tram for your first run off the top of the Peak. And nothing gets the early season leg burn going quite as well as a top to bottom lap down Liberty Bowl. Upon exiting the Tram, my buddy Chris and I clicked/strapped in and headed for the top of the south face. With another storm socking in the peak, we dropped in to Liberty nearly blind. While it wasn’t the hip deep powder we’ve been skiing the last few days, it still made for an awesome run with the snow reminding me of what you’d usually find in the Pacific Northwest (dense, soft, and springy). With a blanket of springy, rippable snow below us, Chris and I navigated our way through the storm towards the bottom of Liberty where it began to clear and we were able to begin to really open it up. Once we both reached the bottom, patrol dropped the rope to the Dakota Territory and we headed for Gate 4 which accessed some of the newly gladed terrain. We were both stoked on how well it skied too; great spacing and open meadows were abundant and have made for a welcome addition to the area. With a bit more snow, even the large burn piles scattered throughout the area will add to the fun by providing little ledges and logs to pop off of while bopping around in the trees. After a quick discussion on where to go, we decided the only logical decision would be to burn another hot lap so we headed to the Dakota lift for round 2.
12/12/2012 4:44:00 PM
POWDER, POWDER, POWDER, AND MORE POWDER; holy cow! Today was a powder day for the Big Sky history books. When we first opened at 9am this morning we had already received 6+ inches of snow and this unexpected sneaky storm truly delivered. At a rate of nearly 3 inches an hour, we received 20+ inches of snow from 9am to 4pm covering the whole mountain in a fluffy blanket of pure MT cold smoke.
After finishing my morning meetings, I split and headed for the lift. Making no stops, I set my sights on Challenger and got my first face shots just off the J-Walk. The blower, over-the-head powder continued the whole way to the lift where I reconvened with my buddy Turner. While riding up, we watched the few other skiers on Challenger slash turns and bounce around as they skied under the lift. Once we slid down the unloading ramp, we skied away towards the top of 17th Green. I began to salivate when I looked down the run and saw countless un-skied lines to be had (at 1:00pm). Once I dropped in, every turn seemed to bury me under a cloud of powder. The next turn would reveal itself for only a moment before I went under again. Laps like this continued for the duration of my break and it only got better.
Lunch break face shots as epic as today are hard to top and 12/12/12 will always be a day remembered.
12/10/2012 10:27:00 AM
OVER THE HEAD face-shots are always welcome on a powder day and the last few have been those kinds of days. Starting last Thursday night, Big Sky has seen a consistent storm pattern that deposited 12 inches Thursday, 7 inches Friday, 2 inches Saturday, and 6+ inches Sunday night much to the delight of eager snow sport enthusiasts. Ski Patrol has been hard at work matching what Mother Nature throws at them by continually opening more and more terrain and staying busy in the early mornings getting the mountain open. The low water content in these storms has delivered the extra fluffy snow we’ve grown accustomed to here in Big Sky and the forecast looks promising with a chance of snow every day through the end of the week.
Friday was the start to a great weekend with amazing skiing to be had across the whole mountain. Challenger and the Bowl were skiing particularly well with pockets of snow that were well over knee deep that buried you under every turn. My favorite turns of the day (and the first) were under 17th Green where every turn delivered a poof of over the head cold smoke. Reports like this continued through the weekend with new terrain opening on Andesite and the Tram/Big Couloir reopening on Sunday.
Consistent snow and amazing skiing has provided a start to be remembered this season. If Mother Nature stays on our side, we’re sure to be in hog heaven this season.
12/4/2012 9:30:00 AM
AFTER CHALKING UP my 9th day at the resort, Ski Patrol continues to surprise me with the amount of terrain they’ve been able to open. I can’t remember in recent years when our early season conditions have looked so good. The first snow storms of the year have dispensed a heavy white blanket across the entire mountain providing an amazing base to build on.
This past Saturday while poking around the Bowl, Challenger, Swift Current and Ram Charger; it became clear to me how good the skiing was when I was able to drop into BRT’s Main. This small sliver of snow is a highly visible line when riding the Challenger lift and is one of the first “Hollywood” lines to open this season. While it’s not the craziest run on the mountain, skiing it early in the season makes for a welcomed challenge when you’re itching to get on steeper, more technical terrain. After navigating my way through some jagged rocks to the entrance, access to the steep chute was mine. The first few quick turns brought back memories of seasons past and elicited the feeling of dropping into the top of the Big Couloir. Once in the gut, the snow softened to a semi-dense powder that was playful and made for an excellent reward after the technical entrance. Skiing out the bottom I couldn’t help but smile and look forward to similarly rewarding runs in the near future.