I had the good fortune to lead a full mountain tour that combined a few of my favorite things, snow, sunshine and good friends. I smiled immediately when the assignment came across my desk with a media request to host a state sponsored group appropriately called, “Women Who Rip”.
Now you all know me as a pretty busy guy, right? But when the “job” asks that you tour a group of snow-seeking, ripping girls and show them Big Sky from top to bottom, you can imagine my thought process of priorities shuffling quickly through my head . . . um, yeah, I’d be available.
I met Becky and Leslie in the office and we began the tour, the others would join in later. I know Becky can ski it all, but having just met Leslie, we started nice and easy, plus considering I’ve been at a ski industry show in the desert all week, maybe I needed a little warm-up. We took one of my favorite green screamers, El Dorado off the back-side of Andesite. It was perfectly groomed and the sun was beaming down on us on this perfect ski morning, I had a great time getting big, giant wide turns and considering we had the entire run to ourselves, it reminded me how nice it was to be home. Plus the view of Lone Peak from the top of Southern Comfort is amazing, we could sneak a peek of where I knew we'd be later.
We tipped up the pitch a bit, but with another super-fun groomer to take on Elk Park Ridge, I love this run because not only do you get the consistency of a corduroy ridge, but you can opt for an adventure to get the soft snow into Elk Park Meadows. The fall line takes you ultimately to the same place, and if you found your legs weren’t enjoying the natural terrain, you can always peel back to the comfort of the groomer. For this day, the snow was just fine, and Leslie and I skied nice, soft, day-old tracked up powder.
OK, women who rip, what am I doing on the lower mountains? I know, I know, but to show off the biggest skiing in America, it’s good to check it all out. But now is the time to get up Swifty and let it really rip. We got to the Tram, the blue-skies let us peek out and see the Tetons on the horizon and we were joined by Ben, one of our up-and-coming top snowsports school instructors. He was a great addition because after we slayed Liberty, we got into Dakota where I’m still learning this new terrain, so he was the guide to the guide, plus I suspect he too was enjoying this company.
After soft, mostly untouched powder on upper Dakota/Bavarian Forest, we made our way up the lift to ski Screaming Left and by now it was lunch time and we had to catch the rest of the crew. We took Shedhorn and skied Great White to Rice Bowl, then Buffalo Jump to Whiskey Jack’s for some southwestern grub.
The afternoon we were joined by Sarah and we all took a south wall shot following the Turkey Traverse off of the Triple Chair. We finished the afternoon with a couple of fun, carvy Challenger laps and I led the group to the easy access back to their Powder Ridge Cabin. Chad, joined us too, had to have another guy in the group to help keep up with all these girls.
Of course, this crew doesn’t just rip on the snow, we caught up for a quick cocktail at the Carabiner and saw the crowd gathering for a free show from the Jerry Garcia Band’s piano player Melvin Seals. We could only glimpse a sliver of the show as they had arranged a snowcat tour up to the Yurt with Moonlight Dinners. Between the amazing entrée and the chocolate fondue, Chad and I rallied the troops for some extreme sledding. I laughed so hard my stomach was hurting, with a nightcap at the live music in Whiskey Jack’s, I’m pleased to report it was a successful day back to Big Sky, can’t wait to do it all over again.
We’ll see you out there,