4/5/2013 10:48:00 AM
2 upcoming rippers. Watch out ski world, these boys mean business. (Noah left, Isaac right)
Dear Big Sky Social Media Fans,
I have checked out your Facebook page on numerous occasions and being a full time blogger for Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah, I found it humorous that your blogger seems to be completely incognito (I, on the other hand...am not). Really, unless you happen to be privy to your mountain’s inner workings, you might never know who is posting information about your mega resort on it’s FB page and elsewhere. Well, lucky me, I found out. He (yes, it’s a he and not a she) could very well be one of the best things at Big Sky...behind the skiing, scenery and of course, the Euro-looking Lone Mountain that looms over the valley like an extreme snowy playground just daring you to show up with your A game.
Although, some of you reading this may already be friendly with so-called blogger, I promise I am not going to expose his desire for anonymity but only share with you what he shared with a (I’ll admit it) self-absorbed skier/blogger from Utah and my crew of little men who found a new stomping ground deep in the southwest corner of Montana.
Over the past few weeks I have been continually asked why I decided to take my family to Montana for spring break to ski when I live in a state which is overrun with out-of-towner’s during March, who specifically come to Utah for world class skiing. I love Utah. I love skiing, living, and playing in the Beehive State but, every once in awhile I need the unknown, something unfamiliar and different. I need to go somewhere that gets my blood rushing and I need to ultimately step out of the Utah bubble for just a moment. Generally, this desire sends me packing to Wyoming and the steeps of the Hole but, I have begun to know that mountain like I know the Cottonwood’s and it was time for something completely foreign.
Although, flying into Bozeman was an option, the drive from Salt Lake City to Big Sky was a breeze. Five hours to West Yellowstone and another forty minutes through some of the most spectacular country in America. I wouldn’t have traded that drive for a quick flight any day. I may have traded out my two boys though...
Who knew Big Sky was so close and so accessible? I sure didn’t. I guess that is why it has taken so long for this Utah transplant to discover what you guys reading this have known about forever. Thanks to your ambiguous blogger who happens to be a little higher up the totem pole than social networker, my family and I were able to crash at the best Big Sky has to offer (although, I believe a dorm room at the hostel would have been satisfactory to have been able to ski three days at your mountain).
I know, I know, I am a bit jealous of myself even as I sit in my house looking out at the snow capped Wasatch writing this. I was just thinking this morning that I wish my boys, Noah (10) and Isaac (7), could eat at the Summit’s breakfast buffet every morning. It would save so much time and energy (for myself). That buffet killed it! It was hard to ski afterwards but, trust me...we did! In fact, most of the food we had in Big Sky was fantastical.
From here on out, I am going to refer to your completely rad blogger who ended up not only being the person behind the e-mails and text messages but who ended up being a guide, friend and even (whether he liked it or not) Isaac’s favorite play thing, as K. Bottom line is, K hooked us up (maybe not with some certain nachos) but he made our trip. Generally, I run into a small mountain office on these writing gigs of mine, say hello, shake a hand, grab some tickets, promise to send finished copies of articles written and that is that. Peace out. K became part of our experience. It was unexpected but in a perfectly good way.
I am sure I could have picked up another cute guy to show the fam around or someone else to lead my 10 year old into the Dictator Chutes or someone to race down the widest, most perfect cruisers I have ever seen, but no one would have been more successful than K. Even when K wasn’t around, he sent us off with good directions and recommendations. My husband was also impressed. Okay, this blog just got boring...he’s taken ladies. My husband and K, they are both taken. A few years and you might get lucky enough with Noah or Isaac. Keep your fingers crossed. Anyways, the bottom line is that your locals, especially K, know and love your mountain and are happy to share it with outsiders.
Some things that I learned about your neck-of-the-woods is that the town of Big Sky is MUCH smaller than I expected. This is not entirely bad as Bozeman is bigger than I anticipated and a short drive away. K says he can drive back from shopping in Bozeman and his ice cream is still frozen. I don’t necessarily buy that one. Certainly, the liquor laws are a far cry from Utah’s...I swear the beer runs freely from the taps here. I learned that although alcohol is a primary food group at Big Sky, the locals don’t seem to notice or mind the dizzying amount of white crosses that dot the roadsides. I came to Big Sky to ski BIG terrain but, bring a shovel, beacon and probe as they won’t let you into the serious stuff without it...dang (sort of). I learned that the big in Big Sky really means BIG! Who knew that there are two other skiable mountains within steps of Big Sky? Moonlight Basin and The Yellowstone Club (Although, unless your Bill Gate’s illegitimate child, you are probably not skiing the club any day soon) make this skiable playground the largest in America! Your mountain is huge in a million ways. I was also blown away by all the beginner and intermediate terrain that your mountain has to offer. Shocked...completely shocked! This mountain should be on any diverse families hit list! I learned that I couldn’t possibly ski or come to know your mountain in a measly 3 days of skiing...it is that BIG!
When it comes time to be putting the seriousness into my articles for Big Sky, I will look back and remember the fun to be had in Montana because of K.
Thank you for letting us come and explore the mountain that you love so much. We all need an entire season to really understand and explore the steeps and deeps as well as the expansive gentleness of Big Sky’s wide open spaces so, don’t be surprised to see us again someday soon.
Sincerely, Rachael Hodson
P.S. Thanks K for crushing me and putting me back in my rightful place....all that vertical....ahhhh
Noah arcing turns and laying trenches down Dictator 1
The Bowl in all it's unbumped spring wonder
Isaac and I (K) goofing around at the base
K skiing Chicken Bowl
3/6/2013 10:07:00 PM
WHEN IT COMES to conquering mountains, Lone Peak is one hell of a monster to take on. Whether you’re tackling on the steeps of Challenger or the high alpine exposed terrain from atop Lone Mountain’s 11,166 ft. summit, Big Sky is sure to challenge. So when my friend Johnny who was visiting said he was up to task, I gladly agreed to show him the ins and outs of what makes Big Sky BIG.
Day 1: Having never skied off the summit we first tackled Liberty Bowl. While the peak was socked in, we navigated our way through the snow fences and straight to the gut. I informed him to follow the green dots down and to use them as a point of reference. The powder was deep and after reconvening at the bottom, I knew Johnny was thrilled by his trademark large grin. We ventured on to the base and finished our day poking around the lower mountain in the trees chasing powder.
Day 2: Having had a taste of what Lone Peak offered, Johnny wanted more. Since he had already checked off Marx with another friend of ours the day before, we decided the best next step would be to take on Lenin. While offering the same southern aspect as Marx, Lenin is steeper with a bit more of a pinch than what most vacationing skiers are used to, but that didn’t stop Johnny. He confidently took it on as if we were skiing Mr. K and once again show up at the bottom (maybe a bit more out of breath than other Mr. K) with another huge grin.
Final Day: Still wanting more, Johnny requested that we seek the peak once again in hopes of checking off one more steep, technical run. After having seen the Dictators while skiing Lenin a few days prior, we set our sights on D1. With a storm quickly moving in, we headed straight for the tram. Traversing from the top of Lenin we made our way to the top D1. Looking down the rock walled run we pointed our tips downhill and went for it. Johnny precisely navigated his way down and we met up just above the traverse to Lenin. Pole taps/high fives were a given and of course Johnny’s smile accompanied them.
We next ventured to Challenger to check off the final steeps that Johnny hadn’t skied yet. Once again Johnny killed and we headed for the base. Sending Johnny on his way wishing him safe travels back to LA, we exchanged hugs, a few fist bumps, and of course the plan to take on the rest of the peak next year.
Interested in checking out some of these great spots? Look into the mountain guide program offered through Mountain Sports School.
3/3/2013 2:48:00 PM
Skier: Dan Herby Photo: Freeride Media
CONSISTENT SNOWFALL, FREE refills and good friends have made for an amazing few weeks here at Big Sky Resort. Whether it’s a fresh 6 inches overnight or a bluebird day with knee deep recirculated powder, the mountain has been skiing great.
While entertaining Freeride Media earlier this week, we were treated to soft snow off the peak and a bluebird day to remember. Joined by skiing legends and a stellar film crew that not only can shoot but also rip, we roamed the mountain in search of the perfect shots. Finding excellent steeps through the Dictators off the Tram and fantastic gladed shots in Dude Park off the Shedhorn lift, we compiled a ton of footage that’s sure to please.
Interested in checking out some of these great spots? Look into the mountain guide program offered through Mountain Sports School. Or if you want to see more of these great photos here are 2 albums from their visit: Day 1, Day 2.
Skier: Desiree' Leipham Photo: Freeride Media
Skier: Scott Evans Photo: Freeride Media
Skiers: Dan Herby and Dan Egan Photo: Freeride Media
Skier: Tommy Frey Photo: Freeride Media
Skier: Kipp Proctor Photo: Freeride Media