Stoked for winter? I am too. And what better way to sustain that stoke for the 65 days until Opening Day at Big Sky Resort than to catch as many ski and snowboard movies as possible this fall. Here's a look at my fall of 2014 favorites:
1) Matchstick Productions' Days of My Youth
Big Sky Resort will be at Days of My Youth premiere in Missoula Oct. 3 and Big Sky Oct. 18. Come say hi!
2) Jeremy Jones' Higher
Jeremy Jones has been blazing a snowboard documentary trail for five years now as he explores the limits of what big mountain freeride snowboarding means in Deeper (2010), Further (2012), and Higher (2014). Check out Higher in Bozeman on Oct. 9 and Missoula on Oct. 10.
3) Teton Gravity Research's Almost Ablaze
TGR continues to impress with film from athletes Angel Collinson, Dana Flahr, Ian McIntosh, and Sage Cattabriga Alosa. See it with Big Sky Resort Sept. 26 in Big Sky.
4) Warren Miller's No Turning Back
Anything Warren Miller produces hits close to home as he resides in Big Sky so much of the year. Just hearing that iconic voice of ski movies makes me want to ski. This year it's no different. Check out No Turning Back in Helena Oct. 24, Missoula Oct. 25, and Bozeman Oct. 26.
As fashion week comes to a close in New York City and Los Angeles and as ski season moves to the forefront of my mind, it's time to talk ski fashion. Ski fashion is far from my area of expertise as I have worn the same winter jacket and pants since 10th grade. Last year it was new pants and a new helmet, but this year it's new goggles and a new jacket.
What can I say about ski fashion?
1) Assess what is in my closet. Does any of my gear have duct tape keeping it together? Will this keep me warm? These are my top 2 questions for gear assessment because as much as I want to look fashionable, practicality comes first.
2) Grab The September Issue (aka: the gear guide issue) of a ski/snowboard magazine. Not only do these magazines know what's best for spending the majority of one's winter outside, but they also often have cute models to display this gear.
3) Shop ski swaps. Sure fashion week in New York doesn't parade around last year's mock turtle neck, but ski swaps are home to hidden gems.
4) Figure out what is necessary to buy and what can wait until next year. I try to balance my ski gear spending with apres and groceries needs and suggest everyone do the same. After all, what's the point of fashionable ski wear without the chance to apres with it?
5) No matter what any ski bum or grommet may say, everyone in the ski industry cares about what they look like on the hill. It's in our human ego DNA. That said, I try to care less and less every year because new ski gear is not cheap, and, because, when it comes down to it fashion + skiing = style, but style only gets me so far. I still have to ski fast, ski hard, and love what I do.
As summer season at Big Sky Resort comes to a close there are still some great deals at Big Sky Sports on last year's gear (highly recommend this), and The Burton Signature Store also can't be beat on style. Check those out and shred in style this winter.
With record breaking skier visitation at 473,000, up seven and a half percent year over year combining Moonlight Basin, the mantra, Better Together, rings true. However, Better Together doesn't stand alone as a symbol of one resort or a symbol of how pulling together results in a record-breaking season, with it comes individual stories and personal reflection on the community of Big Sky and the love of Lone Mountain. Long-time local and Big Sky Resort employee Victor Deleo shares his perspective on what Better Together means from someone who cares for the community and the mountain. To read the full story, check out the latest issue of Live Big Magazine coming Summer 2014 to Big Sky Resort.
In 2003, I was like most young men in Big Sky, Montana. Skiing ruled my life. Big Sky Resort boasted over 4000 vertical feet, 400 inches of snow, and averaged 2 acres per skier. There was no better place for the skier to be. Then suddenly it got better.
That summer, more lifts were erected, more lodges were built, and for the first time in 20 years, a new destination ski resort was opened in the USA: Moonlight Basin. And conveniently, this resort was attached to our already-enormous and beloved mountain. We had more ski runs, more jobs, and more beds for guests. The skiable acres would be so huge, I was sure I'd never have to cross another ski track. But at the same time, things were changing for us that I wasn't expecting. Moonlight Basin brought another base area lodge, a new logo, and another lift system. Skiers began choosing one resort and not the other. While we were all gaining more opportunity, we were becoming slightly divided as a community at the same time. That's how it was for the folks that skied here. This was one mountain, and yet, every skier had to choose a side when he purchased his lift ticket or season pass. Even Aspen had four mountains that were a drive apart, and yet, they had one lift ticket. Then in 2005, with the collaboration of both ski resorts, came a combined option, The Lone Peak Pass. Skiers could finally ski the whole mountain on one, single purchase which was, as Christopher Solomon of the New York Times wrote in 2006, "the most you can ride in the United States without clicking out of your bindings."
Years later, the Lone Peak Pass was appropriately renamed The Biggest Skiing in America Pass because no other ski area had more acres. While this integration was a monumental accomplishment, it was still two resorts, one mountain, and three lift ticket options. Finally, in October 2013, ten years after the creation of Moonlight Basin, both resorts integrated under one name and one lift ticket. Big Sky Resort could claim with certainty, "The Biggest Skiing in America. Period." So now, guests purchase one ticket and have access to the whole thing.
Big Sky Resort's General Manager, Taylor Middleton said it best. "The integration has fueled record-breaking visitation which helps businesses and residents in our community." The integration has given Big Sky Resort the edge in the marketplace as the largest single ski resort in the US. It is now easier to book a vacation here. Our community is no longer divided. And for me, I'm still not crossing ski tracks.
A Big Sky Moment by Kyle Nicholson
I awoke and looked outside
What the doctor ordered,
My eyes did abide.
Snow banks and fields abound
As yet more fluffy white flakes
At the site of this true winter wonderland,
Holds no bounds!
At the lift I could, and did,
At the top,
The whole world greeted with open arms!
Ski for days
And not the same run.
Ski for miles
All the same run.
I'm gonna be a little bit late!
Behold this paradise!
Behold this Big Sky!
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:
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