3/10/2008 11:01:00 AM
“This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, Lois, when you invited me over to tear up your carpet!”
-Herb, on “The Family Guy”
Ah, but these powder days were so much fun – it was almost as good as what Herb had in mind! Lone Mountain hasn’t skied better all year … especially if you like the steeps and the deep-pile carpeting that come with them!
Big Sky is an excellent place. The peak has it’s own eco-system that has offered up unrelenting snowfall for the past 48 hours and counting! This carpet is self-rejuvenating. The past two mornings have offered up some incredible fresh-powdered slopes and that calls for a full-mountain tour to find the best stuff.
After stretching, my warm-up progressed to Andesite laps – the snow covering the groomed and un-groomed parts of Elk Park Ridge and Meadows was nearly a foot deep, with just the right density. Not too light and fluffy, but not too wet either. It was time to play in the trees, cutting freshies into Bear’s Lair and the midway glades to skiers right… wow! I hooked up with Tom, a visitor from Boston who was game for all the powder I could show him… so it was down to the Lone Moose lift. No one had taken my favorite line under the lift yet … so it was ours to pillage. Surprisingly, years of experience gave Tom surprising confidence in keeping up with a weekend warrior who lives here. But, as long as the getting was this good, there was no time to repeat ourselves. So it was off to the South Glades which were as soft and comfortable as a baby’s fresh blanket. We balanced that with a Wounded Knee run to Swifty … finding it only a bit tracked at the top entrance with some great moguls with lots of soft fluff getting better and better all the way down.
Then, a two-car Tram line to the top with a singular destination: Dakota Territory, on our minds. Liberty Bowl yielded up plenty of great visibility and calm, considering the storm at the peak… so we pointed the sticks down hill for face-shots and user-friendly power, that was nearly knee-deep. The Dakota trees were calling our names … how do you describe it when it’s perfect and untracked? It was beautiful, perfect and untracked. (How’s that?) Cutting over through the Bavarian Forest and over Erica’s Glade was an incredible experience … so we had to hit the Cedar Trees to Dude Park … Jeeze, each run keeps topping the last! Tom was hooked and stayed over on the south side to explore the no-longer-secret glory of working Dakota and Shedhorn. That area has become addictive to many Big Sky riders … if you’re a pow-hound.
The snowfall hadn’t let up all night, and I’d had dreams of having the Big Couloir for breakfast. When Sarah and I signed in, no-one had visited for over an hour! Ski Patroller Creston was kind enough to give a snowboarder that had never been in there and a gal from New York City some pointers about the journey. “ It’s the best snow that’s been in the Couloir this year … have fun!” Later on he would coax us on the smooth entry into the ultra-forgiving two feet of powder-pleasure. Turn after super-soft turn, the hero-snow dispelled any apprehensions or caution that might have been prudent for novices to the Big! This was so fantastic we raced liked kids to do it again, but found it closed due to the limited visibility. This “forced” us to choose the First Dictator into Castro’s which was nearly more incredible than the Big Couloir with unending blurring face-shots and sweet turns all the way down. The screams of glee and joy could be heard for miles, I’m sure; and no matter how much it sucks, the folks from the East are discovering the best skiing in the US is in Big Sky, Montana.
If you haven’t been having your own daily spiritual experiences on the slopes… you might not be in the right place!
Let’s Ride The Sky!