Skiing is fun, just in case you hadn’t heard. Sometimes it just takes the right motivation to get you out on the hill and there are never any regrets.
My motivation this week was that one of Big Sky’s biggest fans has been emailing me for years regarding different snow related topics from his home in Georgia. He was planning another trip back to Big Sky and thought it would be fun to be featured in this blog, so I set a time for Robert to meet at the Summit Clocktower and I was joined with his two sons Gabriel and Tripp.
Like any tour of the mountain I first learned where they had been skiing, luckily they were very adventurous and wanted to use the opportunity to ski somewhere they hadn’t with a local’s guidance.
We got started with a ride up the Triple Chair, where Robert explained to me all the reasons he loves Big Sky, he has brought dozens of folks up before making them all believers, he really likes the snow, plus the altitude isn’t as high as other places he’s been in Colorado, but really, he loves the fact you can simply get so much skiing in during a short vacation, his theory is that for every extra hour he uses to fly to Montana, it pays for itself with 2 hours of extra skiing, he’s seen some resorts with hour long lift lines.
We all worked our way across the Turkey Traverse and my theory was that the north facing South Wall could hold some soft snow. I invited Gabriel to go first and he handled it well, Tripp went second and made easy work of the run, Robert took off and got himself down using a wide line technique, one that is useful and easily done with Big Sky’s big runs. He was having a blast and they all decided they wanted to try a different run from the Tram (they had previously mastered Liberty Bowl).
Since they had the confidence, we spun back around and met a Tram station that had no wait, amazing considering the conditions are good, the sun was shining and it was 2 in the afternoon. I took a picture to prove it, I was blown away. Folks, if you like skiing the Tram, this week is a good one to be here.
We got to the top and with the sun shining, there was an interesting mix of clouds in the sky, most of them lower than our 11,000 foot perch, it was one of those breathtaking moments that the photo doesn’t do justice for, but I tried anyway.
I had received word before I took off that Lenin was skiing well with the new snow and I figured that would be a great run to progress from Liberty Bowl. This run had it all with the steeps at the top, smaller bumps through the middle and then soft turns out the bottom. We may have all taken a while getting down it, but I just suspect Robert wanted to savor the run.
To ski back to the base I figured I’d keep showing them runs they wouldn’t normally have seen or done, so I asked at the top of Jay Walk if they wanted to ski Rice Bowl, it’s great because you can see it from the first gate so they knew what they were getting in to. I skied Great White and found really nice powder toward the final turns to the road. Rice Bowl paid off with about 4-6 inches of fluff working through the trees. I did notice Gabriel chose to really enjoy the powder by immersing his whole body in it with a little bit of a check slide.
We rode Crazy Horse from there and I got to hit the little kickers on the right side and found really nice turny snow in the middle. At the bottom I had to bid farewell, and the family from Georgia was really thankful for the tour, but in reality, it is me thanking them, they love Big Sky and tell everyone about it, they find a way to make it up here often, and finally and most importantly, they gave me the reason to jump out and make some turns, something we should all be doing more often, after all, skiing is fun, look at those smiles.
We’ll see you out there,