Big Sky Resort, MT :
A Skier's Mountain
The Biggest Skiing in America. Base Camp Yellowstone.
Big Sky Resort was the brainchild of native "Montanoid" and NBC anchor Chet Huntley. He purchased the land from a logging concern and the resort opened its doors in December 1973. With its "Lone Peak" looming like a sentinel, Big Sky lives up to its name - boasting " The biggest skiing in America", with the most ski terrain in North America.
Big Sky is no Aspen, Vail or Telluride. That is what precisely makes this place so special, precious, and unique. It's a skier's mountain for all ages, where you can ski all day and barely see a soul. How does no lines and fresh powder sound? How about serious skiing with 220 named runs and a 4,350 vertical drop that covers over 110 miles on 3 separate mountains. Big Sky has earned its moniker as the "biggest skiing in America" for a reason. If you're looking for the glitzy crowd and big nightlife, this isn't the place for you, but if you're a serious skier looking for quality time with family and the mountain, this place is nirvana.
Summit (Lone Peak) - 11,166 feet
Base (Mountain Village) - 7,500 feet
Base (Lone Moose & Six-Shooter) - 6,800 feet
Vertical Drop - 4,350 feet
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Need Oxygen?
Apparently, I am one of those sensitive types who has a difficult time adjusting to high altitudes. I did try the well-known advice of drinking large amounts of water before my arrival, but I still did not feel well at all. Thankfully, there is a remedy that worked wonderfully for me. The Oxygen Bar is in the C & P Grocery in the Mountain Mall, and was exactly what I desperately needed. Please do not be shy about sitting there quietly on a bar stool with a clear tube at the base of your nostrils. It might look a bit odd, but it completely rejuvenated every cell in my body. The fee is ten dollars for 10 minutes, but the kind soul there let me stay longer. I must have looked as ghastly as I felt. I went back the next day for an extra dose of precious oxygen, and I was ready to hit the slopes. Daily 8-6 pm. Contact: 406-995-4376
WHY YOU'RE HERE: SKIING BIG SKY
Once you have your ski legs, head up Shedhorn and take Duck Walk to Jay Walk where you can take the Lone Peak Triple to the Turkey Traverse Bowl. We had the privilege of skiing some of the driest powder in North America. You may want to slowly edge out parallel to the fall line to pick the perfect line for your descent. Be careful that you do not stop on the higher track as other skiers or snowboarders may plow into you! It's super steep and you'll tumble quite a distance if you're not careful. Launching off into the powder is meditative. Quiet. Peaceful. You are floating on powder and whooping it up. By the way, you're all alone on the mountain, it seems. How cool is that?
If you think it doesn't get any better than this, guess what? It does! At the end of your run, you'll have the option of heading up the Lone Peak Tram. If it were a sunny day without too much wind, I'd recommend this to expert skiers. It's also fun to take the tram just to sightsee. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Grand Tetons, which is a stunning sight to behold. We decided to leave our skis at the base of the tram and head up for a scenic trip. It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to get to the top. The tram fits eighteen people. As usual, there were no lines.
The vistas from this tram are amazing but you really need to be an expert skier to ski this terrain. In some areas, you are required to have avalanche beacons, a skiing buddy, and to file a report with the ski patrol stating your intentions of where and when you'll be skiing. Remember, safety first. ....