In preparation for the beginning of a new ski season I am participating in what I like to call the 25 Days of Winter leading up to Nov. 27. With less than one week until Opening Day, stay tuned for more tips and anticipation of the coming winter season. Here are days 6-10:
Plan to attend a festival this winter. To beat the mid-winter blues (aka: lack of Vitamin D) catch a music or film festival for those après-ski hours. My suggestion: Big Sky Big Grass Bluegrass Festival at Big Sky Resort. Quickly becoming the largest bluegrass festival in Montana, Big Sky Big Grass features Leftover Salmon, The Travelin' McCourys, Della Mae, John Jorgenson, and so many more. Tickets go on sale soon.
Journeying. The ultimate exploration of the mountains means one has to go on a journey. Part of that journey includes these days leading up to Opening Day. The days feel like they drag on forever, but time goes by quickly so get ready to continue that journey into winter.
Look for annunciations. Listen closely for the start of those daily snowreports and lift openings. Big Sky Resort begins the daily morning snowreport on Thanksgiving Day. Click here for snowreport info at Big Sky Resort.
Plan to stay for après music. Figure out what days work best in one's schedule to stick around at Whiskey Jack's or Carabiner Lounge for live après music featuring amazing Big Sky and Bozeman local artists. I would give a suggestion, but there's just no going wrong when it comes to live music in Big Sky.
Wax. It's time to get those skis and snowboards waxed for the upcoming season. Get more info on tune ups at the Big Sky Sports Repair Shop or Moonride Rentals and Repair.
Check back soon for days 1-5.
Della Mae at Big Sky Big Grass 2015.
In preparation for the beginning of a new ski season I am participating in what I like to call the 25 Days of Winter leading up to Nov. 27. With just about 2 weeks until Opening Day, stay tuned for more tips and anticipation of the coming winter season. Here are days 11-15:
Penitence. Expression of humility toward Mother Nature makes for safer and more exciting winter adventures. Approach this winter with humility.
Have something to do in the dark hours. Sunset is exactly at 5:00pm this time of year. This means there are 5+ hours of darkness to fill with non-outdoor activities. My tips: Après-ski at Whiskey Jack's or Andiamo (once they are open); take up knitting (so much yarn at CReations Yarn Shop); go to the movies at Lone Peak Cinema or for free in the Big Sky Resort Amphitheater; or plan the next day's adventure with friends. These activities should help curb that 5-hour boredom during these dark months.
Find joy. A major element to advent is seeking joy during the holiday season. For the 25 Days of Winter, joy should be sought by simply waking up to 5 inches of fresh snow on the ground and smiling, coffee in hand, at the day ahead. Never lose touch with the magic that snow brings.
Expectation. Similar to joy, having delightful expectation at what this winter will bring is important to practice during the 25 Days of Winter. I try to have positive and realistic expectations for the ski season. I expect to ski nearly every day and take on new adventures (like skiing the Big Couloir), but I know not to be disappointed if neither of those happen.
Read. Study up on NOAA's weather predictions, stay up to date on unofficialnetworks.com latest resort recaps, and look at blogs (such as this one) for the latest local perspective on Big Sky happenings.
Check back in five days for days 6-10.
Photo © Ryan Day Thompson, 2014 | www.ryandaythompson.com
Lynsey Dyer's all-female ski movie, Pretty Faces, premieres in Big Sky at Lone Peak Cinema on Saturday, Nov. 8. Check out a sneak peek of the film below. In addition to Pretty Faces, Dyer opened up the all-female video idea to all resorts by encouraging submissions of their own ladies shredding their home mountains in the Stomping Grounds competition. Although Big Sky Resort didn't win the competition (ok Jackson Hole, your edit isn't bad), the all-female Big Sky mini film showcases just the tip of the iceberg of women shredders hitting the Biggest Skiing in America. Check out the Big Sky edit below and see it on the big screen Saturday night.
Pretty Faces Teaser Trailer
Big Sky Resort's Stomping Grounds. Filmed by Chris Kamman; Edited by Michael Jezak
In preparation for the beginning of a new ski season at Big Sky Resort I am participating in what I like to call the 25 Days of Winter leading up to Nov. 27. Here's my take on days 16-20:
Day 20, 19, 18:
Luck. Being lucky as a skier means finding the perfect line, day after day; avoiding injury; and creating luck by seeking adventure. To make these three lucky things happen it's important to practice the following:
1) Befriend the right people. I like to know the people who beat me to the first tram on a powder day because they can tell me where the best powder is off the top of Lone Peak, and have no problem telling me if I buy them a beer at Whiskey Jack's later.
2) Get into good ski shape now. The best way to avoid injury is to be in good shape. Check out Fitness Fusion's Ski Conditioning class in Big Sky or one's local gym.
3) Know the trails and trust one's gut. Trusting my gut when I'm planning the next big adventure is important to being lucky. Whether I'm traversing to the Dirtbag Wall or the North Summit Snowfield, getting lucky with fresh tracks and fun can only happen if I'm going with my gut. That also means: Know the trails. Knowing the trail map is easier with an awesome brand new Big Sky Resort map (see below).
Create a playlist. Although taking in the solitude of nature is important, it's also key to have the right music when taking a few Andesite laps or just driving up the mountain for a day of shredding. My playlist this year starts with The White Stripes and Mos Def and ends with Reel Big Fish.
Make multiple plans for the winter. I ski Big Sky Resort almost every day during the winter season, but I also have my goals for skiing Big Sky, which include: Skiing the North Summit Snowfield, skiing the Big Couloir, and hitting the Headwaters. However, every year is a different snow year so I have Plans A, B, and C every time I go out just in case weather prevents A or B from happening that day. I'm always open to new things because this might lead to an unexpected adventure of a lifetime.
Check back in five days for days 15-11.
As part of my reflection for day 23 of the 25 Days of Winter I'm looking back over past year's videos. February and March 2014 videos stand out above the rest from the last year, but I'd seen those more times than I can count. After digging through the Big Sky Resort YouTube archives I found one from early last year that I missed. The following video recapitulates how I feel this time of year and how I wish snow came as quickly as it does here.
Video: Chris Kamman
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