AS A SOPHOMORE at MSU in Bozeman, last Wednesday started out like many other days this semester. I caught my 10:00 class - my only one on Wednesdays - and then hopped in my car for the short drive up to Big Sky Resort.
Making the turn towards Lone Mountain, I looked at that tiny black box perched on the summit, and hoped the tram line would be short enough that I would have a chance to take a lap. But it was a bluebird day with no wind - the wait would be really long. In my mind I ruled out a Tram lap, thinking there was plenty of other terrain to hit at Big Sky.
When I arrived at the resort, I decided I would take a lap in the bowl. Swifty and the Triple were carrying the usual amount of people for a weekday, so you can imagine my surprise when I crested the last ridge on the triple and looked down on a completely deserted tram station.
For a second, I wondered if the tram was even open. I skied down, wound my way through the huge amount of metal line control gates that I expected to be jammed full, and immediately walked to the very top of the station steps. Two more guests and a patroller joined me on the platform as I waited for the car.
It was a Tram miracle, and the beginning of one of the best days I have had this entire season. The four of us boarded the Tram car and were sped to the 11,166-foot summit of Lone Mountain. I took a moment to enjoy the epic view and then snapped in.
For my first lap, I ripped Marx, which was surprisingly smooth and soft. When I got back around to the top of the triple for the second time, I was even more surprised to find there was still no line. My third, fourth, and fifth laps? Walk-ons.
It was lap six that my luck began to dwindle: there was a wait. But my luck hadn’t run out just yet - it only took one car before I was heading up Lone Peak again, tying my personal record for most laps in a day. And it was only 2:30.
At 2:45 I boarded the tram for the seventh time that afternoon. I was hoping I could squeeze one more in before the tram closed at 3:00pm. I skied the Gullies to Cron’s as fast as I dared without losing control, and sped into the tram station at 2:56. For my last lap, I skied Liberty Bowl to Middle Road, taking my time on the six-mile run, the longest at Big Sky.
Stopping into Shedhorn Grill on the way down, I thought over what had just happened. It wasn’t a big pow day and I didn’t come near the tram-lapping record, or even the 26 laps skier Dave Stergar clocked a couple of weeks ago. But there’s nothing like a tram walk-on, let alone eight. On a windless, bluebird day.
- William Bryan, TWISI guest writer
This is the second known Tram Miracle of the 2012/13 season. The first was when Dave Stergar clocked 26 laps on account of the Triple chair being on wind hold.
A walk-on Tram on a busy bluebird day? Must be a Tram miracle.