Big Sky Resort ambassador Dan Greene makes skiing look easy. Greene and Big Sky Resort Broadcast Media Manager Michael Jezak took a few days this December to ski the peak, grab some face shots, and film this video. It's short and sweet just like the lift lines and ski lines respectively here at Big Sky Resort, and it captures the coldsmoke powder we've been experiencing this December. With more than 25" in the past week, and 26" the week and a half before that it's time to shred into the New Year keeping the winter vibe alive.
Featuring: Dan Greene and Nick Malik; Video: Michael Jezak
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the hills
Many creatures were stirring, but mostly skiers with skills.
The gear was hung by the chimney with care,
Hoping more snow would come with more prayer.
The children were shredding all snug on Lone Peak
With visions of powder on Rock and Jack Creek.
Adults felt the same, "powder stashes for days"
They hooted and hollered, wishing away sun's rays.
When out on the mountain there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from Key Hole to see what was the matter.
It was a noise like a moose call, we all were compelled,
"Coming from Liberty Bowl" someone yelled.
Away to the Tram we flew like a flash,
Tore open the doors and raced to the stash.
What a beautiful day to ski from the top,
But what was that sound that made us all stop?
Around the Tram dock we carried our skis,
When something red and shiny appeared through the breeze.
Santa was real, and there he was with Patrol,
To deliver presents and get first tracks on Liberty Bowl.
When Tram laps were had, and Uncle Dan's cookies were eaten,
Santa sprang to his sleigh with a look like he couldn't be beaten.
"Off to spread gifts and tidings of good cheer," Santa said,
"I left gifts in Freestyle Forest, but nothing beats a good shred."
Photo: Adam West
Each week we pick one amazing photo as our weekly winner. All that has to be done to enter is #bigskyresort on Instagram. December's winning photos displayed the wonder of Lone Peak in the sunrise, star light, and snow, and the wonder of living in Big Sky.
New terrain park manager Adam West likes blunt 3's, tube jibs, and working in the shadow of Lone Peak. Check out the full Q&A for more info on Big Sky Resort Terrain Parks. Then like Big Sky Resort Terrain Parks on Facebook and follow @ridebigskyresort on Instagram.
Where'd you come from?
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. And I worked at Hidden Valley. They're in the southwest of Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. Every year I thought about moving West so I kept looking for the right opportunity. Big Sky certainly gave me that.
What did you do at Seven Springs?
Running terrain parks. Terrain parks are all the draw back East. You could say it's because they are not in the shadow of Lone Peak.
How long have you been working on terrain parks?
This is my eighth season.
What do you like about terrain parks out West?
I like that they are all spread out even though that makes work a little harder. They are all over the mountain, which is good because if you're cruising down Headwaters you can still go down to Zero Gravity. Or if it's too windy and a lift is on hold you have Swifty 2.0 at the base area. And I enjoy not pushing ice around that is for sure.
Tell us about changes that will be made in the resort's seven terrain parks this year.
Freestyle Forrest has been revamped top to bottom. We have a new wall ride; new launch ramp, which is like a North Shore bike ramp; dirt work on the jumps; and all the logs have seen an upgrade on their sliding surface.
What did you like about Big Sky Resort when you first started?
We have a tremendous rail fleet. They've done a good job over the years of building up the larger features and now I'll take a focus on the smaller ones.
What is the hardest feature to build?
A well-built jump. You have to take into account the pitch of the parent slope and the amount of snow you have. Sometimes you have to be realistic about what can be built over what you want to build. And that's really pertinent to this year. The biggest change to the parks this year without making promises of jumps would be adding a focus on flow throughout the terrain parks: How features ride together instead of how large or gnarly individual features are, but how they fit together in the whole picture.
What kind of education have you gone through to become a terrain park manager?
It's mostly all experiential. I had an opportunity to go to Cutter's Camp at Mt. Hood in 2013, and that showed me the risk management side of the game.
Did you do well in physics?
I did not do well in physics, no. I do well in applied physics. *laughs
In an ideal world, what would you want to build at Big Sky Resort?
A consistent, medium-size jump line: A Three Pack with rails leading into it. Classic Slopestyle.
The first terrain park ever was at Bear Valley Ski Area about 25 years ago, which was not that long ago. They built it just to get snowboarders away from skiers so it was a snowboard park.
When I was young I was fighting those ways. I remember these little mountains in Pennsylvania and I was trying to go into the snowboard park as a skier and kept getting kicked out. But by the time I started working parks we'd moved past that "skiers suck" mentality.
What is your favorite trick?
I love blunt 3's. And we need a jump to do it.
What is your favorite rail?
Any tube jib. Lift tubes, down-flat-down tubes. We have a lot of tubes.
What events are you most looking forward to this winter?
I can't wait for Snobar.
What made you choose Big Sky Resort?
The opportunity. It's a big shot for me to come out West and bring my image of terrain parks that Iv'e grown up with on the east coast to a bigger canvas.
Adam West building Swifty 2.0.
Photo: Adam West
"Oh! The snow, the beautiful snow. Filling the sky and earth below. Over the housetops, over the street, Over the heads of the people you meet. Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along." -J.W. Watson
A few weeks ago, BBC published an article titled: "Why do we get so excited about snow?" The article caught my eye for two reasons: 1) I do get excited about snow and cannot always articulate why; 2) I did not know why the British, of who most don't live in the mountains, get excited about snow?
From what I can tell those who do not live in the mountains get excited about snow for some of the same reasons as those who do live in the mountains: Feeling of nostalgia, holiday season, outdoor activities, and its uniqueness to certain parts of the world. However, the BBC article also pointed out that this sentimental feeling toward snow is relatively new for human beings. Skiing has only existed in the modern form since the 1700s and snow used to be something to fear. Then why do we love snow so much now?
The most unique answer the BBC arrives at is that our weather memories are short and mostly positive. We remember shredding Shedhorn laps last March with glee, but have already forgotten when the least snowy day of the year was last year. We enjoy snow. We look ahead. We keep skiing.
Photos © Ryan Day Thompson, 2014 | www.ryandaythompson.com
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