Opening Day: A Time to Give Thanks

Written by Anna Husted on at

Part of me feels unoriginal and predictable in writing about things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day. However, I actually do have a lot to be thankful for and why not take at least one day a year to write those things down. I am thankful for:

1) Opening Day! Today is opening day at Big Sky Resort. Get out there and ride with us.

Peak Sign

2) Snow. Perhaps snow should be first on the list, as one can't have an opening day at a ski resort without it, but I am so thankful we are open for skiing once again. I have a pen pal in Fortaleza, Brazil, who has never seen snow. It is so hard for me to imagine her life-a life without snow. I see and play in snow every winter, and have a job thanks to snow, yet I am always surprised by it and thankful for it.

RDT Snow
Photo: Ryan Day Thompson

3) My family. They are always ready with a good joke after I've had a rough day.
4) My Big Sky Resort family. Not only do I have an amazing job, but I have great teammates and managers. The managers at Big Sky Resort truly care about where I am headed in my job position and in my career. This isn't something that happens everywhere and it is easy to take for granted so I am thankful for this great team at Big Sky Resort.
5) Skiing. Enough said.
6) Big Sky Resort purchasing Moonlight Basin. I can't wait to ski Moonlight Basin all the time this winter. I respect and thank all those involved in the merger who have a vision for Lone Peak and the Big Sky Community.

headwaters

7) A sense of humor. This can really help an office and a small resort community when stress is high. Something as little as a team member pranking every team member in the office with a plastic cockroach. Of course if we had cockroaches in Montana it might be a different story.
8) The lack of cockroaches in Montana.

9) Montana Wildlife. Even in winter you might see a Big Horn Sheep or a Pine Marten.
10) Pumpkin Pie (with a dollop of Cool Whip).

I have much more to be thankful for, but enough writing, it's time to give thanks out on the mountain.
-Anna


Countdown to Ski Season: 20 Days (in Photos)

Written by Anna Husted on at

"Winter is Coming" is the slogan of HBO's Game of Thrones. It is the motto of one of the families on the show (and in the novels) and is the name of the first episode of the first season. Game of Thrones uses the slogan not just because the season of winter overwhelms characters and plot, but also because it is a metaphor for the coming evil and darkness upon the land. How they couldn't be more wrong. Here are a few photo glimpses into the brightness and joy of winter at Big Sky Resort:

Lone Peak

LP Long Shot

snowmaking close up

LP Snowmaking

fox


Countdown to Ski Season: 30 Days

Written by Anna Husted on at

30 days or one month or 720 hours. No matter how you break it down these are the facts that are between Big Sky Resort and the first day of skiing. Ski season is just moments away and just a few snowflakes away. I am writing to you as the snow falls outside my window here at Big Sky. The flakes are not huge, but are steady-hiding the view of Lone Peak and covering the ground with a sense of renewal. Falling 2-9 miles an hour, snowflakes are cruising down to earth for being so light and fluffy.

From an early age everyone learns that each snowflake is different than the one that fell before it. This is used as a metaphor for the uniqueness of each human life and to show the complexity of nature. The uniqueness of snow and snowflakes extend to its significance to mountain living and to ecosystems around the world. More than 180 billion molecules of water make up each snowflake and roughly 12 percent of the earth is covered in snow year round. As much as I love snow, I'm grateful for the annual spring run-off for a number of selfish reasons, but also because snowfall accounts for 70 percent of annual precipitation in the United States. Winter and snow mean more to me than being able to enjoy yet another powder day on Yellow Mule or to cozy up fireside with a book and a latte, it means life continues to exist wherever snow reaches. From the Gulf of Mexico to upstate New York, snow affects human life as it accumulates on our mountaintops and melts into our rivers. I find this comforting and beautiful. Snow is something I long for as an individual adventure seeker, and as a human being who is a part of mother earth.

I want to take time today to be thankful for the flakes that are falling. The beauty in a complex, yet simple-looking snowflake never ceases to amaze me.

"At first look it all seems like a geologic chaos, but there is method at work here, method of a fanatic order and perseverance: each groove in the rock leads to a natural channel of some kind, every channel to a ditch and gulch and ravine, each larger waterway to a canyon bottom or broad wash leading in turn to the Colorado River and the sea." -Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
-Anna

snowy peak


Bungee Trampoline... It's For Adults Too

Written by Sheila Chapman on at

Bungee Trampoline At Big Sky Resort the Basecamp To Yellowstone Park
So there I am standing in line behind a 6-year-old girl waiting my turn to get on the bungee trampolines in the Mountain Village Plaza at Big Sky Resort. She and I watch an 8-year-old boy attempting a flip and a 3-year-old girl bouncing as she giggles looking at her parents, both of them have ear-to-ear grins on their faces. Well, here I go a 40-something year old woman about to find her inner child.

Barefoot I climb onto the trampoline. The Basecamp bungee trampoline guide connects two bungee cords to my harness, I look over at the 6-year-oild girl and she already has it figured out- jumping and laughing on the twin trampoline next to mine. The guide explains some how-to's for jumping, she steps off, and tells me to have fun.

I start off a little on the shy side- I haven't done this in a while and I make some baby jumps at first. I put some more leg into it and it's like an instantaneous transformation...

BAM... my fearless inner 6-year-old comes out and I'm using those bungees to launch me in the air, bouncing higher and higher. I can't stop laughing and smiling and feeling free. As I rocket again in the air I start singing out loud "sky rockets in flight... [insert sound effect]... afternoon delight" by the Starland Vocal Band (yes, I had to Google it). Now I hear my guide laughing and yelling to me to do a flip. Woo Hoo- I'm six again! Ahh yeah I can do flips- watch this! My first attempt at a flip brought me back to the reality of my adult form. Not as easy and nor as graceful as I pictured in my head.

I fly up again, my inner 6-year-old tells me I can do it. Using what little abs strength I have I throw a backward flip. Yeehaw! I did it!! Now I'm trying to jump even higher, the bungee cords stretching to heights of 30-feet. I do another flip and another. My inner 6-year-old is roaring, I'm laughing, and the crowd of parents are cheering me on. Then my 40-something year old body pipes up. This is on heck of a workout. I'm using all my core muscles. I become breathless and my legs are tiring. Of course my brain interjects on my body's behalf, "time to let the other kids have a turn." So I slow my jumping to a stop, dismount and slap a high five with a 3-year-old boy waiting in line.

As I walk across the plaza, my inner 6-year-old girl skipping in my heart, with an ear-to-ear grin on my face.

-Sheila


Training for a 50K?

Written by Lyndsey Owens on at

Training on the trail with Enthusiastic Training Partner

I love running. Running distances for fun, like on a Sunday- all day. I know this is not the norm because I only know a few people that get as excited as me when I ask if they want to go- and I mean I can count them on one hand.

It was a Saturday this past January. I had just returned from some morning skiing when my phone rings. It’s my friend Allison (she is counted on that one hand mentioned above). “Where are you? It is registration day and the 30k already sold out in 5 minutes.” she says. I reply “What? Oh better get on it” . So my race begins, at a computer, six months before the physical start line. There I was feverishly pecking away my information with credit card in hand. The result? Allison has the last spot in the Big Horn Wild and Scenic 50k and me close behind landing first on the wait list.

A few weeks later I am explaining my predicament to Mike Foote, accomplished mountain runner on The North Face Ultra Running Team and Race Director for the Rut 50k & 12K at Big Sky Resort. “You’re first on the wait list? Oh don’t worry, you will get in. You better start training.” Foote says. He was right. In April I got my confirmation, I was in!

Training….uhhh….Training for a 50k, I like running, but I am no expert on actually training for 31.6 miles. I sought out the internet for some advice.

“The 50K schedule alternates between hard weeks and easy weeks to allow recovery and help prevent overuse injuries that may occur from ramping up mileage too quickly. Rest is essential.”
http://www.trailrunevents.com/ul/schedule-50k.asp

“….there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a foray into ultra-running. Adapting to increased mileage, developing the ability to run while fatigued and experimenting with different nutrition and hydration needs are all very individual endeavors.”
http://running.competitor.com/2012/11/training/going-longer-how-to-train-for-your-first-50k_61887

I like that it is subjective to the person and I think I can work with this. Rest is something I have failed at in the past especially during the taper. I have definitely experimented with the ability to run while fatigued and with different nutrition and hydration, not that it was a success. With all that in mind I put together this checklist on what I essentially needed in my training:

1. Time
2. Enthusiastic and Willing Training Partners
3. Hydration
4. Nutrition

Time, where does it go? This was my biggest challenge. Trying to find the time to log all the miles. I found that I had to juggle priorities to hit the numbers. As always, I would have liked more time in the day to run more.

Training partners. As I mentioned before there are a limited number of people I can call and say “What are you doing on Saturday? Want to run all day?” or “Meet me at 6 am for a trail run?” and get a “Yes, I’d love to” response. A good partner is essential and will keep me motivated and it’s always more fun to share the experience, especially in Big Sky, Montana and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem where the views alone are awe-inspiring. Another thing in our world today is “there’s an app for that” and guess what? There is an app for training! I found my iPhone app Runmeter to be an effective training partner for only $1.99. It logs my distance, time, pace and elevation. This app assisted tremendously by connecting my “how I feel today” to some hard numbers. Runmeter talks to me while I run, updating me on my distance, time and pace…I liked that a lot too. I have had many conversations with fellow runners and everyone seems to have an app that they like and use- that’s great.

Hydration, managing this is essential. More miles equals more water, hydrating pre-run is ultra-important and I have learned to drain my hydration pack (a Nathan pack) before the downhill to avoid back pain later. Have you ever heard of ancient medicine like Aruveda? I have tried it- Aruveydic practitioner Callie Stolz (www.santoshabigsky.com) introduced me to this rehydration therapy: a warm cup of water with fresh lemon in the morning. It’s a delicious way to start the day and I do think it has worked for me.

Nutrition, eating the right foods at the right time is important. I am still figuring this one out. Through much trial and error I have found what works for me and what does not. I have also learned to play it safe on race week with my diet. My husband and I have moved toward a plant based diet. We have kept our diet clean with organics and local when possible (sometimes hard to do, but worth it). I have found an Aruveyda approach to eating has been beneficial for me. Good websites like www.joyfulbelly.com and seeking advice from a professional- Aruveydic practitioner (Callie Stolz) provided more understanding on nutrition and digestion.

After all I hope all my training will make the day more fun, because for me that is really what it is all about. This Saturday, June 15 is the day I have been working for over the past 6 months. I am a little nervous, but mostly excited to spend most of the daylight running, because I love it. Wish me luck or better yet join me wherever you are by running a few miles on Saturday.

Looking for your next trail race? Big Sky Resort is hosting The Rut 50k and 12k September 14, 2013. Run the Rut- sign up today. There is limited availability and spots are going quickly. Oh and I recommend you start training!

-Lyndsey

Mile 20

I am still smiling at mile 20. After a down pour and lightning.

allison

Enthusiastic running partner- Allison looking fast on an all day training run.

Snow

Enthusiastic running partners found snow! Sometimes you got to grin and bear it.

Apps are fun! More App StuffRunmeter

Look what my app can do! Runmeter logs all the important stats.


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