This week has been a whirlwind of powder, sunshine and more powder. Starting on Saturday night and on into Sunday we received upward of 20 inches on the upper mountain and the snow just hasn’t stopped falling. As of Thursday night we have received what I estimate to be close to 4ft in the past five days and more is expected overnight. Is there such a thing as too much snow? Absolutely not, but I can tell you that everyone that has been skiing here for the past week, including myself, has turned into zombies with Jello for legs after tearing through feet after feet of new snow.
Tuesday was an incredible day with good friends, great snow and a little sunshine. The forecast had been calling for only an inch overnight, but lone peak got lucky and got about 10 inches. I spent the day on Challenger with skiers Kyle and Chris, along with fellow boarders RC and Cameron. We headed straight for Outer Limits (which was untouched) and then above the Moonlight Cliffs. With RC in position taking photos I went first and boosted a nice sized drop straight into thigh deep snow and immediately tumbled down the run out. Next, Cameron dropped the same cliff that I just ate it on and rode away smooth, making it look much easier then I did. Up next was Chris who without hesitation launched the cliff straight to an epic faceplant. The powder was so deep that Chris was all smiles even after going face first into the snow upon landing a 20ft+ drop.
We stayed over on challenger for the remainder of the day, riding up an empty lift and skiing down empty powder runs. It was a very relaxing powder day as there was no pressure to ski something before others got to it simply because there was too much snow and too few skiers. We ended the day with a run down the Pinnacles, which is an absolutely breathtaking run do to the incredible rock formations from top to bottom. I often think of the Pinnacles as a fun run due to the views, but not necessarily for the deepest snow as it sloughs out a lot. But today was different, the snow was deep from the get go as I watched the guys make nearly waist deep turns around upper set of pinnacles. The snow was good enough that I decided to take one of my favorite lines on the mountain, the short but super narrow chute at the bottom skiers left of the Pinnacles. After a sketchy second of commitment the chute opens open into a powder field above Upper Morning Star where you can make some hero turns and comfortable slow yourself down.
Wednesday I was totally worn out from consecutive powder days and met back up with RC to get some powder shots. We strayed away from the usual stomping grounds off the tram for another day on challenger. We had received another 5-8 inches overnight and the cliff hucking was back on. We went back and got a few more shots of the Moonlight cliffs then cruised the trees and meadows near Midnight and Moonlight. You couldn’t have asked for a better day; empty slopes, sunshine and waist deep pow. Unbelievable! We ended the day on a high note riding Little Tree, which was riding better than I have ever seen it, and into the open powder below.
And finally today, Thursday April 2nd. In the words of Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High: Awesome! Totally Awesome! I made it back to the peak for another day of Tram laps. With so many faces and aspects on Lone Peak, usually some areas are super deep and others may be a little wind/sun affected, but today everything was DEEP. The skiing was quite honestly what I would expect to find after being dropped off by a helicopter deep in the Canadian Rockies. The line was short so a did a few Gullies laps and found consistent thigh deep snow with the occasional waist deep turn, but dropping into Crons I was making some turns that nearly buried me. I met up with fellow employee and Lone Peak ripper Dan and we made a discovery that I cannot speak of, but let me tell you it was on the south face and it was crazy deep. I then met up with Craig for a few more laps in the afternoon. It had been snowing so hard that runs I took earlier in the day were even deeper and fresher now. We busted down the south face then to Rice bowl for some extra deep lower mountain turns then met up with everyone’s favorite ticket checker Benny A for a final waist deep Challenger lap to end the day. If you haven’t been skiing Big Sky this week I feel sorry for you, because it has undoubtedly been the best skiing of the year. We only have ten more days left in the season, but there’s plenty of snow on the mountain and even more on the way so get up here while you can.
Shred the Gnar,