The skiing and snowboarding at Big Sky Resort has been fantastic this year (I can attest to the skiing, the snowboarding is hearsay). With nearly a 100" base on the upper mountain, conditions are solid and powder can be found off of every lift. Mother Nature and Father Sky continually look kindly on Big Sky Resort as we have received snow 24 of the last 27 days, yet the sun has also shined through providing plenty of goggle tans.
Last Saturday, I skied off of Moonlight area lifts all day. As someone who grew up going to Big Sky Resort from the early 90s until today, I have been fortunate to explore the Moonlight side of Lone Peak this year. The first few runs of the day I stuck close to Moonlight Lodge (ensuring to get some of those Parmesan Garlic Fries on my ride break), mostly skiing in the trees through Upper Bearcat Gully, Hollywood or Snake Bite to Lower Bearcat Gully, Iron Maiden, and Dogwood. One word describes these runs, especially on a powder day: Contagious. Skiing in the gully near Iron Horse Lift is a unique experience few mountains provide. Sweet snowy turns through the trees give me an infectious delight. Although these runs are not as long as so many others up here off Lone Peak, they're worth exploring.
After my fries at Moonlight Lodge I ventured over to Lone Tree Lift to huck some cliffs. Kidding! But I did take a few hops off of small rocks on Lone Tree and enjoyed the subtle black diamond Grizzly Meadows.
The days I spend skiing pass by in a blur. How very lucky we all are to be able to welcome and enjoy all the fresh snow we received at Big Sky Resort, about 90" this past February. March is just getting started and I'm looking forward to yet another month of making the best of a great snowy situation.
Photo by Ryan Turner Photography
Inside Moonlight Lodge
Perfect spring weather was welcomed with open arms this past weekend and it couldn’t have arrived at a better time: Mother’s Day. Even though I was well over 1,000 miles from home, I felt the need to take advantage of the warm sunshine after a long phone call Sunday morning wishing my Mom a great day.
With highs in the mid to upper 70s over the weekend, Mother’s Day brought spring with summer closely in tow. Around the area families were out in full force enjoying the sunshine, dry trails and green grass. Even my friend’s Brit and Kelsey (a new mother as of Saturday) were out with their newest addition (puppy) Gus: an adorable 7 week old Brittany Spaniel.
Not about to let a great day pass us by, my friends and I spent Mother’s Day at Big Sky’s community park. We made a day of it using the multi-purpose field to its fullest extent. Tossing around the frisbee, softball and football, we bided our time between sports stretching out and lounging under the blue skies above.
We even found time to session the new bouldering wall (a large concrete boulder) next to the basketball court and new skatepark. Running low on chalk and stamina after a long day, the wall eventually got the best of my hands with a few blisters to prove it. But with multiple faces, pitches and holds, it’s a splendid addition to Big Sky’s already fabulous community park complex. My friends and I will be back.
Making our mom’s proud; we soaked up the warm weather and good company. Exactly how they would have liked.
Gus had quite the weekend!
The beautiful spring weather of recent is a telling sign of summer golf rounds to come and a wait that is almost over.
With the course scheduled to open this Friday May 24th, it’s time to bust out the clubs, give them a good cleaning, and brush up on your swing. But if you’re feeling a little rusty, look no further than Big Sky Resort’s PGA Golf Professional, Mark Wehrman. Coming into his 2nd year with Big Sky, Mark is eager to get things underway and with his expert instruction, he’ll get your swing back on plane.
Don’t go worrying if you’re just visiting though, Mark has got you covered. With a brand new line up of Nike rental clubs you’ll be stroking the ball just like Tiger in the Players Championship (or at least we hope so).
But since the snow has melted, we locals have been left drooling as we hanker for an opportunity to tee off on the plush green carpet that offers one of the most beautiful backdrops in golf: Lone Mountain and the surrounding Spanish Peaks. If the scenic views from the course aren’t enough, the extra carry you receive off the tee at 6,500 ft. will surely have you strutting up to your second shot. But be sure to keep that in mind when stepping up to the ball, I’d hate for you to sail one over the green.
With sunshine and blue bird skies in the forecast, it looks like we’re in store for another phenomenal start to golf season up here in gorgeous Big Sky.
Womens golf clinic
View from the putting green looking down the 1st tee
Aerial view of the back 9
Nestled in the southwest corner of Montana between the city of Bozeman and the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park sits Big Sky: a small mountain town with a Montana sized heart. While known as one of the country’s top ski resort destinations, the charming yet lively town blossoms into a summer resort with so many activities at your fingertips, it would be nearly impossible to check them all off in just one visit.
Big Sky is easily accessed via the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and a short 50 minute drive through stunning Gallatin Canyon. The setting for the movie A River Runs Through It, Gallatin Canyon offers a beautiful and scenic setting to take in as you navigate your way down highway 191 along the banks of the Gallatin River.
While the scenic drive alone would sell most on a visit, here are three key reasons why Big Sky needs to be at the top of your list of must do summer vacations.
Basecamp to Yellowstone Park: If you want to make your summer vacation feel more like Family Summer Camp, look no further than Basecamp. Conveniently located in the Resort’s Mountain Village, it serves up an extensive activities menu that ranges on the adventure scale from easy going to full on adrenaline rush for the entire family. With activities geared specifically for little ones, teens, adults or all the above, there’s something for everyone.
The guided Lone Peak Expedition ($79/person) whisks you to the top 11,166 ft. Lone Peak via chairlift, Mountain Safari Truck and Lone Peak Tram. From the top take in the 360 degree views that overlook 3 states, 2 national parks, and mountain ranges as far as the eye can see. On your way to the summit, one of Big Sky’s friendly and knowledgeable Basecamp guides will point out different geological features along with specific peaks that begin to emerge on the horizon.
Lone Peak Expedition too mellow? Harness up for the Adventure Zipline Tour ($79/person) to pick up the pace and really get the blood flowing. Coupled with heart pounding speed, multiple spans and gorgeous mountain vistas, it’ll put a whole new spin on the wild wild west. Don’t worry though if the adventure part is a bit intimidating, the Nature Zipline Tour ($59/person) offers an option for those looking for a more scenic and less adrenaline driven option. With height and weight requirements of only 3ft. and 45lbs. respectively, there’s nearly no barrier for a family to part in this fun-filled activity.
For a full list of Big Sky’s Basecamp offerings, visit www.bigskyresort.com/basecamp.
Close vicinity to Yellowstone: With geysers, mud pots, western wildlife, and an awe-inspiring backdrop a short and scenic 45 minute drive away, Big Sky’s closeness to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is no doubt one of the top reasons to visit in the summer.
Known as the world’s first national park, Yellowstone offers more than enough elbow room for you and any in-laws. Spanning an area of 3,468.4 square miles, half of the world’s geothermal features (geysers, mud pots, hot springs, etc.) call YNP home making it one of the most visually stunning parks in the world. A few of the notable attractions that make for a memorable Yellowstone experience include Old Faithful, Yellowstone Falls, Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Fountain Paint Mud Pots but only comprise 4 of over 10,000 total geothermal features within the park’s gates.
If the colors and showmanship of the geothermal features aren’t enough, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the last remaining large and nearly intact ecosystems in the northern temperate zone. Hundreds of species of birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles make it their home here including grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. Following the roads that lead you through the park, it’s easy to view of these animals in their natural habitat from the safety of your car or from a distance at one of the many viewing pullouts along the way.
Think of it as an American Safari from the safety and comfort of your car that’s taken at your own pace. For more park information visit: www.yellowstone.visitmt.gov.
Family Friendly: Remember the good old days when parents allowed their children to roam freely without a worry about their wellbeing? Guess what, at Big Sky they still do.
With a centrally located mountain village, the resort features a layout with every activity, meal, or lodging option only a few steps away. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the inviting mountain plaza that sort of acts as the hub within the resort which offers picnic tables, a free putt-putt course and Lone Peak as the backdrop. From here you can easily access Basecamp, stores in the Mountain Mall, or simply bask in the sunshine while catching up with friends and family.
Adding to the safe, tight knit feeling of the village, the friendly resort staff polishes things off with their warm Montana Hospitality and desire to ensure your stay is the best it can be. So unleash the kids, kick back, and rest assured that as long as they’re not trying to pet the wildlife, they’re probably not getting into trouble.
Whether you’re checking off items on your bucket list, heading out for a quick hike around the base area, or lounging by one of the resort pools, Big Sky has the ingredients for an unforgettable summer vacation. So load up Aunt Edna and the old family Truckster because Lone Peak and the Big Sky state are beckoning.
A scenic lift ride gets you half way to the top and just above the tree line
Lower Tram Dock and the Mountain Safari truck
The view from the atop 11,166 ft. Lone Peak
One of the many natural hot springs
Bull Elk bedding down in the tall grass
YNP's most common foot hoof traffic
One of the views from the Nature Zipline Tour
The mountain plaza
Smoke Jumper Giant Swing located in the Mountain Village
Pond Skims have become a spring staple at many winter resorts - skiers and riders try their luck gliding down a ski slope and then across an icy pond.
But at Big Sky Resort, the annual Pond Skim is a ritual in creativity and daring, pushing the boundaries of a ski culture classic. Last weekend, Big Sky pulled it off again, with these key ingredients for the perfect Pond Skim.
Big Sky's pond is never just a pond. Every year the shape and approach are a surprise - participants tackle double ponds, giant kicker entries, and s-curves. 2012 brought the most elaborate pond yet: a tetris-piece shaped pond with two separate entry points, a jump, and endless skimming path combinations.
Ballerina, banana, giant ape, beach babe - skimmers don't skimp on wild attire. And neither does the crowd.
Rules are, there are no rules - Big Sky encourages the unexpected. Daffys, 360s, ski and water ballet moves are all fair game.
Over 100 skiers and riders skimmed to the tune of thousands of cheering spectators this year. And every spring it gets bigger and crazier. There's just something about standing in a sea of neon onesies that makes you feel like you're part of something bigger.
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