As I sit here typing, while it’s snowing on the mountain, I love being able to reflect on my ski day while trying to share the experience in this venue. As many readers know, I’ve had the good fortune to have developed excellent friends and seen many snowy seasons come and go.
Today I had the opportunity to rip turns with KP, a good buddy who has seen much more than me both in and out of the mountains. Most of his career was as a line-man with Montana Power Company, that hit hard times for several economic reasons 6-8 years ago and gutted his “safe” retirement. But KP’s not easily concerned, most recently with work in our area working power lines while getting to ski most every day.
While riding Swifty we started talking about the current economy and what lies ahead for our country, our area and our resort. Over his time, he’s developed a great sense of balance that with whatever happens, he knows he’s going to keep skiing and he’s sure the rest of the country will too, it’s just too good and too important for all of us skiers.
He comments while motioning his pole across the entire Bowl, knowing that even with early December conditions, today we will be riding more and better terrain than most anyone else gets a chance at, any time of the year, in his words, “come on, you just have to stop and smell the roses.”
I followed KP and we started off the triple toward the wall of the A-Z chutes, hitting a run he called StuBob’s Gully and finding really smooth soft, snowy turns within the banks of the gully. We then worked our way around the Bowl, with a Never Sweat run that proved to be fun, then lines within the bowl, all giving a little different taste, sometimes full throttle wide turns, occasionally tighter ones through the bumps. Getting steep turns was a sensation my skis and legs welcomed greatly.
Having explored most of the choices from the triple, we ended up deciding that we’re going to finish the day to the bell and we spun laps again and again on that chalky, turny, snow of StuBob’s. KP even admitted that those kinds of turns were almost better than powder for him, even though he would never fully commit to a life of not getting our infinite face shots mid-season.
In summary, Big Sky is open early December with over 750 acres of terrain, with seven lifts including Challenger and the Lone Peak Triple, there’s no controlling the news that spews the economy is heading downhill, but we can control our reaction to such news by making sure we all get the skis pointed downhill as often as we can. That’s what I’m going to do, you with me?
See you out there,