With piles of snow falling in January, snow banks built up high around the resort and my truck bed holding five feet of snow, today we were treated with a visit from the sun to shine the light on all fun. I spent the week skiing with my new friends at Boyne's newest acquisition, Summit at Snoqualmie, it was a productive trip, but sure nice to be back to MT.
When walking to work this morning, Lone Peak was sheepishly staying shrouded behind a cloud bank that wasn't ready to let go, but with spots of blue sky surrounding it, it relented by mid-morning and showed herself for all to see. I was working with Micah Black who is one of the producers of Greg Stump's newest movies called "Legend of AHHHHHS". Big Sky is part of the story, having successfully evolved with the sport of skiing of offering some of the most lift served steep terrain in the country with the installation of the Lone Peak Tram. Plus with past and present local legends like Scot Schmidt, Tom Jungst and Warren Miller, we're the perfect spot to be involved in the project.
I caught up with Micah and his friend Jen for turns just to get a sense of the place, Micah grew up in Montana, but hadn't been to Big Sky since high school, so he had a lot of catching up to do with all the improvements Big Sky has seen over the years. For those who don't know, Micah has been a pioneer in big mountain extreme skiing and has been a featured character in many TGR films, skiing all over the planet.
Our first ride was a warm up on Lobo, Micah led the way and I followed Jen, between the perfect temps, soft snow and the sun shining down, the group was ready for the next challenge, so we went back up Swift Current, catching the talented new-schoolers hitting the progressive line of 5 brand new mid-size kickers in Swifty Park. We worked our way to the Bowl and with several new inches recently on top of the giant storms last weekend, that continues to be the most consistent steep to mid-angle turns on the mountain.
Micah had skied the Big Couloir the day before, so I wanted to keep the tour going showing more of the size, so after playing around in Buffalo Jump to the bottom, which Jen gushed was her favorite with all the little sidewalls and hits, we went toward Ramcharger.
At the top, we skied Elk Park Ridge, Micah was impressed with the size of this giant cruiser and couldn't quite understand why such an impressive run was all ours to ourselves, I just shrugged knowing that even full parking lot days can hardly make a mark on the Biggest Skiing in America.
After a few more laps, including really soft snow in Congo, the group broke off and I had a chance for some freeskiing where I connected up with local pros, Mike Mannelin and Dave Stergar. They had slayed Challenger laps all day and just their stories made me know I needed to finish my day up there. My first lift ride up I loaded up with Stan who mentioned he keeps track of conditions on this page while we shared stories you only can when skiing perfect conditions amongst perfect strangers.
We started with Cache trees, which are really filled in, and if you've been in them, they're really steep. It's not often they cake in as well as they are today, so it was a treat to remember how to keep things in check with such vertical faces between trees, something the above tree-line Tram runs don't offer. For round two, I tried my best to keep up with the boys on 17th Green, even though I think Dave might have been at the bottom looking up just as I was getting over the rollover into 17th proper.
There are more turns in my future tomorrow taking a visitor from Maine around the mountain, I hope you can join me.
We'll see you out there,