The mountain continues to impress with a remarkable day of high-speed, carvy, double black diamond ripping off the South Face and Bowl area. I was out of town on business and am embarrassed to report that I had not skied Big Sky in over 10 days, can you imagine this work-place abuse I've had to endure, I was considering a full report to the HR office to document this injustice, but full reparations were quickly established when I grabbed Chris, one of our impressive snow reporters to re-establish my relationship with Lone Peak.
The sun was shining brightly when we took off and even though it hadn't snowed in a few days, I know there will be plenty of fun turns to be found. The place is simply too big not to always have a few stashes. We started the day by going up Ram Charger as I wanted to see our new Super-Pipe that recently opened, (yeah, yeah, it's been open for a week, don't get me started). It was looking good and we saw some impressive skiers nailing the first turn. Chris and I worked our way to Congo, a nicely thinned out tree-run that is north facing and was a great warm-up to get my skis back comfortably under my feet.
From there, we headed up Swift Current, met and loaded by our very friendly Jamaican friend, Damien, I was impressed as Chris never once stopped from the top of the chair to the Triple, buckling in his boot while moving down the recently widened Jay Walk, in fact he beat me to the triple, considering I'm such a lousy snowboarder and half the time on my run is usually spent with me trying to buckle down the free boot.
Anyhow, our intentions were on the Tram, but we noticed a couple of super strong skiers maching down an open pitch of the bowl. It didn't look quite right as normally when we're between snow storms, the bowl area will develop moguls, not a place to five turn the entire face. But upon closer look, we could see snow flying with others in the bowl, what was happening was it had been wind groomed the night before and was loading with an upper mountain westerly gust. So much for the Tram plan, we had to see this for ourself and upon starting tentative, soon saw we too could rip effortlessly down the bowl, absolutely amazing combination of weather to provide this perfect template.
From there we decided we had better focus on the plan and we went to the Tram. We skied Marx and quite honestly, I was expecting more moguls, which from the top, there most definitely were some, but the snow was just carvy enough, the big bumps could be negotiated and we got through the top section to stop on the right side level with the Gullies Traverse. As much fun as I usually have on the right side, I noticed a familiar sight, it appeared the gut of Marx was shaped just like the amazing Bowl run we had, sure enough, we went over there and before we knew it we had smoked down that face with effortless, high-speed, almost groomed like turns, except this had 2-4 inches of nice wind load keeping it nice and silky.
When I knew I wouldn't have the words to describe this, I asked Stergy at the end of the day in the Mall how I should explain it, he had a great analogy, he said it was like when you take the top off of a brand new tub of butter and how soft and perfect the first knife stroke hits it, that oddly explained what we had with the south face today. We went back again, just as much fun, then finished the day with Bowl laps, once going to the South Wall, but really, having the most fun lapping the big open section underneath the Second Gully.
You might notice that I have fun every day that I ski at Big Sky, and this is true, but occasionally I get these really nice surprises like today. I hope you're able to make it for some sun and smooth snow for our mid-January conditions, we have a ton of season left in front of us and I've got some make-up work to do.
We'll see you out there,