I have been a ski instructor at Big Sky Resort for eight seasons and guests always ask me "but what do you do in Big Sky during the summer?" My answer: "winter in Montana is wonderful but summers are something really special." Unlike summers in the east, summer sun in the west is warm on your skin and humidity is low. The average temperature in July is a comfortable 83 degrees making weather in Montana perfect for enjoying all kinds of outdoor activities. I certainly don't miss those hot, muggy summer days of the Midwest.
In the summer I love to hike nearby peaks that yield 360 degree vistas. Imagine snow-capped mountain peaks against a sapphire blue sky or high mountain lakes surrounded by a wide jagged cirque. Hiking is not for everyone. Many of my friends prefer exploring the area on horseback, and my husband enjoys mountain biking in the Porcupine Wilderness area or along the Gallatin River. The Gallatin River sits near Lone Mountain and is one of our favorite rivers in the country to fish. The movie "A River Runs Through It" was filmed on the Gallatin River near Castle Rock introducing Americans to fly-fishing and immediately increasing the popularity of our river. Skilled kayakers love the Gallatin's raging white water during spring run-off. It is fun to watch but I prefer a gentle raft trip down the Gallatin during the summer season when the water is much calmer.
A couple of times a week, I can be found golfing at Big Sky Resort. My favorite hole is nine because of the unique perspective of Lone Peak looming majestically in the distance. The view never ceases to impress me, and even though the views from every hole are spectacular this one in particular stops me in my golf-spiked tracks.
I also love summers in Big Sky as hibernation ends for human and animal alike. Maybe it is because the sun doesn't set until 10:30 at the peak of summer nights or because the sun provides us with our much missed Vitamin D.
Almost each Wednesday and Thursday of the summer I check out the Town Center Farmer's Market and Music in the Mountains, respectively. We take a bottle of wine to Music in the Mountains and enjoy the company of friends and free music as the sun sets over Lone Peak. I love coming to a place where I will see everyone I know.
It is a far better thing to spend summers in Montana than anywhere else. Where the biggest problem of Big Sky summers is there are too many things to do and not enough time to do them all. What a place to call home.
I'm spoiled, best to embrace it than deny it. I moved to Big Sky May 2013 and immediately secured a condo off the 18th tee box of Big Sky Resort's Golf Course. Not only do I have the Biggest Skiing in America in my backyard, 7 miles to be exact, but an amazing public golf course right off my deck. Oh, I've played my share of business trip golf scrambles and about 2 years ago, I decided it was time to play my own ball for 18 holes.
The Big Sky Resort Golf Course is an Arnold Palmer designed, 18 hole, 72 par, course winding along the banks of the West Fork of the scenic Gallatin River. Yes, the same Gallatin River the movie, A River Runs Through It was filmed starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford (swoon). The spectacular views of Lone Peak and the rest of the Madison Range surround this golf course. It's hard to imagine back in the early 1900s cattle grazed where I'm about to tee off at 6,300 feet above sea level. Honestly, I can't help but think my driving game has improved; the ball just flies farther at elevation.
The first tee is right outside the Pro Shop and Bunker Bar and Grill and by the time you've sunk your putt on the first green, the Mountain-Meadow style course becomes a wildlife refuge. Golf is a game of patience and here it is also patience with the animals. By the second hole we kindly wait for a flock of Canadian Geese to move along the river's edge. Fowl and water hazards have to be taken into consideration on this hole.
As we play on, I have to remind my companions to watch my drive, as I'm trying to keep my head down and they are gazing at Lone Peak in their own daydreams. The PGA Head Professional for the golf course, Mark Wehrman, told me I needed keep my head down during my previous week's Ladies Tuesday Night golf clinic (which are an affordable, fun way to improve your game and meet other women who enjoy the sport, after all, it is Man-tana).
The long Montana days allow me to golf into the 9 o'clock hour coming back around to the Bunker to sit on the deck, surrounded by mountains, the sun just starting to go down, and finish off a perfect day with the best burger in town and an ice cold beer (it's worth passing by my condo). Did I mention I'm spoiled?
For the full story on Big Sky Resort's Golf Course make sure to check out volume 7 of Live Big Magazine this summer.
Big Sky Resort's Arnold Palmer designed Golf Course opens May 23. Also, check the Events Calendar for information on Women's, Men's, and Saturday Golf Clinics as well as tournaments all summer long.
Springtime at Big Sky Resort's Golf Course.
Ladies Golf Clinic on Tuesdays at 10am and 5:30pm.
After my first Subaru Freeride Series experience this past week I had to step back and take a deep breath. Not only is it a lot of work to pull off the event, but after watching juniors and adults tackle the Headwaters for a week, taking a deep breath helped my nerves settle and my mind entertain my own ski ability; am I able to take on some of the toughest terrain on the mountain? The 13/14 winter season was not the time for me to try anything too outlandish. I worked on getting my ski legs back under me after a nearly 7-year deferment from skiing. Now I'm ready to start pushing the envelope of my ability, especially after watching hundreds of inspiring runs taken by 2-star adults, 4-star adults, and the best big mountain juniors in the world in the Subaru Freeride Series at Big Sky Resort. Ivan Malakhov's insanely fast cliff-ridden run choice, George Rodney's killer instinct for the mountain, and Galen Bridgewater's epic first-day line stick out as memorable moments this year. These are what ski dreams are made of. There's still a chance to catch the webcast action at subarufreeride.com, check out the recap videos below or read Powder Magazine's recap here. Congrats to all the competitors and thanks to a great season that pushed my own definition of what it means to "shred."
SFS14 Big Sky Resort Highlights:
JFT14 Big Sky Resort World Championship Highlights:
"Where are all the female skiers?" This is not a slam on the Big Sky Shootout (or on any female skiers, including myself), but a reminder that I am not just an observer in this community, I'm also a participant. With only one female skier on screen (Hannah Holst, who absolutely killed it with those ‘80s eyes and ripping turns), why didn't more of us ladies make movies for the first annual Big Sky Shootout? For me I think it was the time constraints, or my fear of the editing room, but mostly I didn't make a film because it did not even occur to me to make one. This stalwart mentality to age-old customs of female creative insecurity is inexcusable. Female or not, perhaps you're also kicking yourself over not making a film. Needless to say, I have nothing but respect for the four films, filmmakers, and riders as they put everything out there for us to mock, cheer, and vote for, and that takes guts. Lone Peak Cinema's first annual Big Sky Shootout sponsored by Big Sky Resort was so much fun to attend. The sense of camaraderie in the sold out theater enhanced each films' storytelling ability as they were our stories shown to us from our peers (except perhaps winning film "Higher Love," which I hope is no one's story). For those who didn't get a ticket in time or just want to watch great ski films again, here they are in order from fourth place to first. Revel in the guts, glory, and gooberish stories shot in seven days and edited in two.
4th Place: "Natural Born Doobies"
**This video contains explicit content (profanity)
3rd Place: "No Name Movie"
**The music in this video contains explicit content (profanity)
2nd Place: "Fra-Breeze"
1st Place: "Higher Love"
Big Sky Resort's 11th Annual Dummy Jump was my first Dummy Jump experience. When first place finisher, Mutt Cutts hit the lip of the jump my heart skipped a beat. Not only was Mutt Cutts a piece of artistic-wonder, it was huge. Made mostly from newspaper and cardboard, Mutt Cutts didn't look like it would make it down the jump, let alone fly as far as it did. However, its fate was sealed: Mutt Cutts would destruct into thousands of pieces of newspaper. Although many Dummies destroyed on impact, such as Belarus Ballerina Tatiana Miller, face planting way before being hauled up the hill, and others, such as Side Jumpin' Joey, who face planted on the lip of the jump, Mutt Cutts was just plain exciting to watch. Other notable Dummies included: Big Red (I helped build this one!), Sweet Home Alabama, Hiley Vyrus, Tipsy Tipy, Turbo the Snail, Wile E Coyote, Flying Photo Goose, Checking Out, Weiner Thing a.k.a. Sweet Weiner, and many others including Dummy Jump's own sponsor, popchips' Barbie Q. (I also had a ton of delicious popchips that day and cannot wait to try the nacho cheese tortilla chips). Check out the results and then take a look at photos from the event:
6- Bubbly Betty by Alpha Hot Tub Maintenance, The Cain Family
5- Tipsy Tippy by Big Sky Resort Mountain Hosts
4- Wile E Coyote by Karst Kids
3- Tobi McFly by Team Shocker
2- Weiner Thing by Grizzly Outfitters and Ace Hardware
1- Mutt Cutts by Big Sky Resort Mountain Services
Heart and Soul Award- Sweet Home Alabama by Team Allen
Team Spirit Award- Better Together by Team Retail
Repeat Offender Award- Flying Photo Goose by Crystal Images
Second-place finisher Weiner Thing a.k.a. Sweet Weiner
Wile E Coyote
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