My three brothers and I grew up skiing Big Sky together in the days before the Tram allowed access to the very top of Lone Peak. Our family would drive out from Chicago for the holidays and it was always the highlight of the year. It’s been a few years since we were all able to get together and ski the slopes of Big Sky, but this Christmas Eve it all fell into place. I finished the morning Snowreport duties and headed out to meet my brother Pete, John and Pat. Pete and Pat both live in the area and therefore own proper ski attire. John on the other hand apparently lived in Northern Minnesota for a bit too long and has forgotten what publicly acceptable ski gear looks like. He stuck out like a sore thumb wearing a one piece brown Carhartt suit that look like it belonged to a car mechanic from the 70’s, a bowling ball style helmet and old goggles that were fit for a giant. Pretending I didn’t know who John was, we all headed up swift current, and despite it being John’s first run of the season we made our way to the Tram.
It had snowed about a foot the day before and it was now perfectly clear out, needless to say I was excited to get on the peak. As I waited for the tram my eyes were glued to the A-Z’s , which are filling in remarkably for this time of year, while everyone in line couldn’t stop looking at John and his suit. I am sure they were wondering if he was going to make it down alive. At the top we took in the view of the Grand Teton peaking up over a few clouds and then strapped in. We opted for Liberty Bowl which had great snow the day before. After weaving through the snow gates we found that the right shoulder of Liberty was still super fresh as we made knee deep turns with occasional face shots all the way to screaming left. Pete and Pat ripped turns with no problem , but what surprised me was how fluid my brother Johns skiing was for being his first run of the season, not to mention for how little he skies these days.
We noticed that Patrol had opened Bavarian Forest and the glades in that area. We took some untracked lines through the trees then headed left for aspen meadows. The snow was untouched and deep. We stopped to get some video of the open trackless meadows then hopped on the Shedhorn Lift. My first run on Shedhorn was as good as always. We rode through Yellow Mule hitting all the jumps and wind lips along the way and finally ending up in Dude Park rolling over all the powdery dips and humps. After a few more equally good laps on the tram I left my bros and returned to work to finish up for the day.
Christmas day was forecasted to be another beautiful sunny day; instead we were blessed with a Christmas miracle of 3-6 inches throughout the day. I met up with the one and only Santa Claus to document his visit to Big Sky. The jolly old man and I headed up Swifty looking for powder. I was surprised at how talented of a skier Santa was, he ripped down Rice Bowl throwing up powder as he turned straight into massive airs off of the features on Crazy Horse. At the Base I followed him into the Swifty 2.0 park as he wanted to show off his moves on the box. Our next lap together was down Mr. K so he could give candy to all the kids and adults alike. After skiing Santa was still not tired, even after his long night he had energy to test out Big Sky’s new Bungee Trampoline where he executed double back flip after double back flip. I can’t think of a place I would rather be for the holidays then in Big Sky.
Check out the end of the homepage’s video to see Santa rip it up.
Have fun out there,