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Get Your Body Slope Ready

Written by Brin Merkley on October 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Ok! So you've got your new snow gear, boots, hat, gloves, ski's and/or board is waxed, season passes purchased, condo booked... you're set! Oh, but wait... you haven't been riding or skiing since last season... orrr really going to the gym (and running to work because you're late doesn't count, but way to be optimistic!)

This year you told yourself you really want to hit the slopes without getting muscle cramps, but now snowflakes are beginning to fall and it's just about go time for The Biggest Skiing in America!
Worry not! Because I've compiled a dandy list of workouts that you can do to get your body ready to shred some serious pow.

Active.com asked a personal trainer whose trained skiers and professional athletes for his two cents on the subject and found out it's the secondary muscles that you need to pay attention to. These are your muscles that aren't used every day in constant motion, and by strengthening them you'll help avoid injury.

They identified the 6 muscles used the most in skiers as hamstrings and glutes, inner and outer thighs, abs and back, calves, quadriceps, and arms. You can click here to get their 6-week workout plan.

Shape.com focuses on balance as a MUST HAVE skill whether you ski or snowboard. They say we begin to lose our sense of balance at the age of 25, so maintaining it with exercise is essential.
First they recommend finding a BOSU ball for some powerfully effective exercises.

(This a BOSU ball, but I just like to call it Harvey.)
BOSU BALL

They recommend balancing on one foot on the top of the BOSU while doing bicep curls, or start with both feet on the floor and alternate toe taps in a quick series while aiming for the top point of the BOSU, or Harvey.

Another balancing exercise they recommend is standing on one foot, with the other foot raised just barely above the ground. Feel free to do this while brushing your teeth, talking on the phone, watching TV, or deciding to name your ball something other than Harvey. You can read more about that here. 

Speaking of balance, yogajournal.com says being aware of our feet is a critical factor in stability. By standing in the "Extended Sides Angle Pose" or Utthita Parsvakonasana (rolls off the tongue), they say to practice putting even pressure through the entire foot, observing how the slightest shift to one side can cause you to become unbalanced.

Here is what this looks like, and you can click here to read more and see demonstrations. 

Yoga pose to increase balance
Theactivetimes.com called on some snow experts, personal trainers and yogis to weigh in on the topic as well. They list the 7 most important moves for building total body strength that will help you power down the mountain along with a guide to show you how to execute the move perfectly. Those moves include lunges, burpees, push-ups, squats, chair pose, single leg Romanian deadlift, and last but not least... planks, baby!

Even though you're pretty confidant you know how to do a lunge properly, make sure you check out the guide for each move to avoid hurting yourself in the process of trying to help yourself. Nobody wants that.

Need another incentive to get off the couch and get started? Tell yourself you'll allow one extra plate of food on turkey day if you get the ball rolling now! Or... just think of that time when you were trying to be cool and wrecked HARD in front of all of those cute girls or hot guys... if only you had taken the time to hang out with Harvey! :)
You've got this!


Just 5 Reasons Big Sky Resort is the Biggest Skiing in America

Written by Brin Merkley on October 15, 2015 at 3:00 PM

You might see the hash tag #TheBiggestSkiinginAmerica on our social media posts often (accompanied by a killer emoji combo of a pair of ski's next to the American Flag) but what exactly makes Big Sky Resort the biggest skiing in America?

Here are 5 of the many reasons why Big Sky Resort is THE BIGGEST SKIING IN AMERICA.

Big Sky Resort

Photo: Ryan Day Thompson

1. Space to Ski - We have 5,800 seamless skiable acres with a 4,350 vertical drop and about 2 acres per skier, that's more than a football field of room per skier.

2. More Slope Time - Here at Big Sky Resort you can ski more lines by not waiting in line! We have an average of 3,000 skiers per day, which is a fraction of skiers at metropolitan resorts of similar size.

3. Consistent Snowfall - Based on historical weather patterns, we have a total annual snowfall of 400" that fluctuates very little from year to year.

4. Terrain Variety - We have the best mix of beginner (15%), intermediate (25%), advanced (42%), and expert (18%) terrain for seamless skiing between 4 mountains served by 30 lifts with more than 300 runs.

5. Lone Peak - There is only one. You can ride the Lone Peak Tram to 11,166 feet for 300° of skiing, views of 3 states, and 2 National Parks. (Talk about major instagram ammo)

Sure, some places may have more acreage than Big Sky Resort (anyone can add acreage and we may too)... but does it really matter how many acres you have if you're forced to waste precious time in a crowded lift line only to find that the mountain is all skied off at noon on a powder day and then to be sardined the entire ride down? Me thinks not.

The Biggest Skiing in America tagline was never about one number, or one statistic. What it means to us is the skiing experience as a whole. It's the feeling you get when you're out here, and you see Lone Peak towering over you, the zero to limited lift lines. It's about being able to find powder on the mountain days after a storm; and about having more room to ski than anywhere else. If you want the ultimate mountain experience, Montana just makes sense.

**Mic drop**


The Shadow of Lone Mountain

Written by Brin Merkley on October 7, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Have you ever looked at something so beautiful, or so perfect that you can't believe your eyes? Funny enough, this is the feeling that caused quite the controversial debate over our Big Sky Resort Facebook page last week after we posted a photo of a shadow. The shadow is incredibly massive, and belongs to our iconic Lone Peak.

Within a matter of hours, the photo went viral.

Here's how it started.

Lone Peak Shadow Facebook Post

Then came the conflicting comments, is it real or is it photo shopped? What do you think? 

(Some names have been blurred for privacy)

Facebook comments on post

Soon enough people began posting their own evidence of its authenticity, including the photographer and Big Sky Resort employee, Robert Wood.

Facebook Comments

Facebook Comments

The question as to whether the shadow was real or fake persisted, so I decided to do some research in an effort to provide an explanation to people who still could not believe their eyes.
First I brought the photo into our "technology/photo brain children staff" who concluded that the image was, indeed, real.

But that wouldn't be enough for the non-believers, so here's some science... if you're into that kind of thing.

According to Science.gov (which Google tells me is a place to find creditable scientific websites) some call it, Mountain Shadow Phenomena. Scientific articles on the topic say regardless of the profile of a mountain, whether it is flat on the top or pointed, to the person observing the shadow from the summit, all mountain peaks cast triangular shadows when the sun is low. The shadow is perfectly symmetrical because it is not falling on the ground; it is falling on a haze layer in the atmosphere. The secret to the shape of the shadow is that is driven by the effect perspective, with the shadow reaching to a vanishing point in the far distance.

Boom! Is your mind blown? Here are some additional cool photo comments showing more examples:

Atmosphere shadow comments

Still don't believe it? 

Come see it, so you can believe it with your own eyes! 


The Famous Fox at Big Sky Resort

Written by Brin Merkley on October 2, 2015 at 2:00 PM

One lady told me she named him "Red", but everyone else who talks about him says he doesn't have a name. I heard about this beautiful creature from people all over the resort... and then one day after work, I finally saw him!

My first sighting happened on a sunny evening as I was jumping into my car to head home for the day. I remember stopping to look at the beauty surrounding me when a flicker of red came into the corner of my eye. There he was... a gorgeous red fox!

He came strolling confidently and comfortably through the public parking lot as if to say, "oh hey new girl, that's where Dan usually parks... no biggie, seeya later!"

I was taken back not only by this animal's beauty but the fact that I had never been so close to a fox before! I had to follow him! 

He strolled on down to Lake Levinsky to refresh himself with a drink of water.

At this point I noticed a guest, a teenage boy, had also been struck by the same excitement that I had. The fox sat down maybe 15 feet away from him, just to hang out!

Even as complete strangers, we beamed at each other understanding the rare magnificence of this moment.

I sat for a minute to appreciate how great it was to see a teenager in the 21st century (who had just been completely sucked into his phone) transform entirely, smiling from ear to ear at this fox sitting near him.

Whatever was on his mind before had been erased and replaced with pure joy. Funny, how nature has that effect on people.

Just as my phone was about to die, I captured this ten second video, as this famous local fox snuggled into some lucky guests grass covered lawn for a bit of beauty rest.




What's for Dinner?

Written by Sheila D'Amico on July 22, 2015 at 1:00 PM


Photo: Michel Tallichet

Ever Asked: What's for Dinner?

It never fails! Each night after our evening adventure, my husband and I look at each other and ask, "what's for dinner?" Summer is active time. Longer days after work give for more hours of play. Majority of the time we don't want to cook. Thank goodness there are plenty of restaurants that do. Big Sky Resort recently put together Feasts of the Week which helps take the guess work out of "what's for dinner."

We've tried to make Monday our golf night because of the Bunker Bar & Grill's Burger Night where we can get a burger and a beer for $12. After chasing a golf ball around for 9-holes, one gets a bit parched and famished. The Bunker grills up amazing burgers and I happen to love the Cold Smoke beer on tap.

On Tuesdays we like to go for long walks and combining the Carabiner Wine Night we save 40% on bottles of wine from their Wine Spectator list. This is a great ‘friends' night where we can enjoy lovely wine on a budget. Add in some great appetizers to share and we're sliding into our week rather well.

Hump day should be a weekly celebration. You're halfway to another weekend of fun. This is a great ‘date night' with a mountain bike ride on the new flow trails at Big Sky Resort and cap it off with a fine cuisine dinner paired perfectly with Montana Microbrews at Chet's Bar & Grill for their Beer Pairing Dinner.

Double dipping another round of 9-holes, the Big Sky Resort Golf Course on Thursday is convenient with Happy Hour at the Bunker where all appetizers are ‘fore' bucks (except the wings) and all Montana craft microbrew drafts are $3. For me, a refreshing summer drink involves vodka and happily (I think this is why it's called Happy Hour) all Stoli flavors are $5. Heck, it's almost the weekend!

TGIF is in full swing after work with a hike from the Scenic Chair Lift. If you're a 2015-2016 season pass holder, remember, you ride the Scenic Chair Lift for free or if you're a guest lodging in Big Sky Resort managed properties, it's free for you too. Now this is a great Friday night date. A good hike to ‘get to know each other' followed by a ‘picnic' from the MT Smokehouse Grab-n-Go you can either take with you to eat at the top of the Swift Current chair lift (hint: the outdoor bar at the closed Burrito Shack is the perfect place for a romantic meal with a view) or after your hike in the Mountain Village plaza at the picnic tables. When you discover you don't want the night to end, head to Andiamo restaurant for an adult lounge experience featuring craft cocktails by Dave McCune.

Saturday won't be beat out by Friday for amazing food and drinks. Whatever your mountain adventure is on Saturday, don't miss the Aperitivo at Andiamo Italian Grille for a traditional Italian happy hour on the patio and in the bar (Italians love to eat, so why would happy hour be drinks only!) with a variety of small plate specials and wine for $6 or cocktails for $8. Even if you aren't Italian, you feel Italian.

I'm not sure if Bloody Marys were invented to recover from your weekend or to prepare you for your work week, but the Bunker Sandtrap Sundays at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course works either way. They have an amazing Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar for $7 (with thick, yummy bacon) and Mimosa Buckets for $20. Surprising enough, some people don't even come for the golf on Sundays.

Trying to plan a date night in the near future or maybe something a little special during your vacation? Andiamo Italian Grille is putting together some delicious specialty nights:

August 19, 2015 - Alto Adige, presenting mountain wines and cuisine from Italy's norther-most region
September 16, 2015 - Piemonte, a culinary tour of Italy's most famous wine region

Reservations can be made at 406-995-8041

Photo: Michel Tallichet


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