I grew up in Great Falls, Montana. Great Falls sits on the banks of the Missouri River in the high plains of Central Montana, nestled near the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. Between the plains, the edge of the mountains and the Chinook winds (Chinook means "eater" or "snow eater") I often did not have white Christmases. A lack of snow is hard to believe considering Great Falls averages 50 inches a year of snowfall. Nevertheless, Great Falls could be as barren as a brick on Christmas Day.
Christmas 2013 will be different.
Not only has Big Sky had snow for about a month now, but it has had a lot of snow. Christmas in Big Sky is not going to be like Irving Berlin's White Christmas, where it doesn't snow in Vermont until Christmas Eve. Christmas in Big Sky is not going to be like a Caribbean Cruise, where it may be warm, but the only skiing that could possibly happen is behind a boat. Christmas in Big Sky is going to be epic-with white flakes floating softly to the ground, evergreens covered in snow, with the historical Huntley Lodge surrounded by Christmas lights like the night sky, and with a fresh turn or two to break in those new skis. Big Sky Resort offers a white Christmas for everyone, and I couldn't be happier.
Photo by Jen Rook.
Here lies my top ski-related costumes to tickle the trick-or-treater's fancy:
1) The Holy Ski Fool: This is a take on The Holy Fool, a character who possesses wisdom through simple-mindedness. A take on the gaper, The Holy Ski Fool may look less than stellar, but will progress the spirit of the sport far beyond my measly understanding of it. Due to the nature of the wisdom of this character, the costume is completely up to the fool.
2) Saucer Boy: In light of McConkey hitting theaters this month, dust off that round sled and honor the spirit of Shane McConkey the best way one can: through Saucer Boy.
Saucer Boy in all his glory.
3) Dumb and Dumber, I mean, Harry and Lloyd: Although I don't condone trips to Aspen over Big Sky, I do love Harry and Lloyd's ski attire; always classic, never classy.
Harry and Lloyd looking sharp. Although Harry's ski suit is nice as well.
4) 80s Skier: Think Hot Tub Time Machine, but remember how we did it before that movie was even written? Bust out those leg warmers (I never put them away), scrunchie, fanny pack, and grab a hot pink headband, this look will kill.
The 80s want their poles back.
5) Glen Plake: This one may actually end up being more suitable for the ladies out there. Beware, getting the gel into and out of long hair may be more trouble than it's worth. On the other hand, going as Glen Plake makes one unmistakable.
Glen Plake is the man (but we ladies can still go as Plake).
Getting ready for the next day's adventures starts today ... at the Solace Spa and Salon. Upon my second visit to Big Sky Resort's Spa, this time to get those unruly bangs out of my eyes, I noticed two great things: 1) Going to the spa is relaxing and refreshing no matter where you schedule it in your day and 2) I've never had a hair stylist who I can ask about split ends, and about shredding the Big Couloir.
Having just come from work, a scalp rub, shampoo and trim was as relaxing as a massage might have been. Don't underestimate the power of just letting someone else do your hair. I also find a good facial just before a haircut relaxing. Opening up the pores after a long day exposed to the sun or sitting in an office makes me feel cleaner. The atmosphere at the Solace Salon is vastly different from what you'll find at a salon in New York or LA. Not to say that blasting Madonna, celebrity gossip and waiting hours for your appointment aren't what we've grown to love and expect from salons, but at Solace Salon the quieter, folksy guitar tunes, powder stash gossip, and on-time appointments make for a pleasant trip to the hair stylist and ensure that I'll be going back.
After the stunning hair cut from Sarah, I ventured into the chilly fall temperatures for an evening outside. Normally I would make sure to schedule a haircut before a night out or schedule spa day after a day of activities, it turns out a trip to the spa does wonders no matter where you put it in your day.
Get ready to look amazing this winter season at Big Sky Resort.
"Powder skiing is not fun. It's life fully lived; life lived in a blaze of reality." -Dolores LaChapelle
Dolores LaChapelle was a "powder skiing pioneer" who spent most of her time perfecting the art of powder carving in Utah, Colorado and Switzerland. She inspires this blog post because she too would have been counting down her days until winter. Or she would have done one better by traveling to the southern hemisphere, experiencing winter all year long.
For those of us who can't do that and can't wait to turn 'em downhill, I have good news: We only have 85 days left until ski season at Big Sky Resort!
The 2013 ski season will start like any other season, with a feast of snow on Thanksgiving Day. Wrap that turkey to go and pocket some pumpkin pie because it's going to be one for the record books. Each day from here on in as you peruse the latest issue of your favorite ski or snowboard magazine, catch up with cult classics such as The Blizzard of Aahhhs (1988), Further (2012), Deeper (2011), Into the Mind (2012), or mark your calendar for the nearest Teton Gravity Research movie premiere near you (see you later this month at Way of Life, Montanans) remember LaChapelle's deep ecology: that what we "experience in powder is the original human self ... undamaged in spite of what our present culture tries to do to us." Snow brings us together, nurtures the whole Self, and presents us with opportunities to go beyond our selfish ambition to shred, and serve our natural ambition to shred together.
See you out there in 85 days.
The other day on a work related email a business acquaintance signed off his email with: I am looking forward to the ski season. Each day is closer than the day before. I have only ever met this man through email, yet the sincerity in which those two sentences were written was more than many in-person interactions. What is it about meeting fellow skiers and snowboarders that makes one instantly friends? Perhaps it is the exclusivity that is the sport of skiing, or perhaps it is the desire to make play as important as work so as to never miss out on a great day of skiing.
I come from a very short line of skiers. My father learned to ski in college and passed his knowledge and ability, including the way he leans back on his skis from time to time, on to me. I would ski in his exact tracks to find that pitch and rhythm of the fall line. That's it. Just the two generations of us pizza wedging our way down Mr. K, flying down Calamity Jane, picking out turn by turn on Buffalo Jump, and standing in line for the tram. Before my dad there was no one holding up the Husted family name on the ski hill, there seemed to only be time for work. I'm so thankful for Chet Huntley, Everett Kircher, and people like my dad for putting skiing within the world of work. Whether it's building a ski mountain, a ski lodge or holding annual business meetings on the ski hill, there was always time to ski.
Those men and women ski pioneers paved the way for sincerity between strangers over a thing like flakes of snow on a 50 degree gradient. Reveling over new glades, undiscovered tree runs and feeling happy waking up to falling snow put me where I am today: working at a ski resort.
Now with only 80 days until Big Sky Resort opens, we can begin comfortably dwelling on fresh tracks, no lift lines and first chair without driving ourselves crazy. With each new day we are closer to skiing than the day before. So take a moment to reflect on those sincere moments with strangers and do a little daydreaming about fresh tracks. the meantime, grab your season pass before September 30 for the best deal: Bronze for $279 and Sky Card for $69 are fantastic deals, but check them all out here. I can't wait to see you out there ... in 80 days.
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