In a year of harsh weather and many days where I had to remind myself that there is no such thing as bad skiing, only bad attitudes, my spring skiing trip to Big Sky, Mt. , (bigskyresort.com) has been the necessary balm for my “I miss perfect snow” soul.
Since they’ll be open until the end of April, you can get in on the action too. If that notice is too short, now is the time to start planning for next season. Because Big Sky is worthy of your tricks. It is also a nice place for your non-skiing friends.
I arrived at the Big Sky Resort on a Saturday, an easy trip from Boston on Jet Blue’s new direct flight to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, one of the prettiest and friendliest airports I’ve passed through. (Fireplace crackling, anyone?)
A quick shuttle ride via Karst Stage put me in a good mood – the less than an hour ride winds uphill along a beautiful riverbank.
After checking in to the Summit Lodge at the edge of the slopes (recently renovated), I could see the afternoon scene jumping out of my huge windows looking out at both the mountain and the base square, so I headed to Westward Social for Montana-style poutine, fresh air, and plenty of spring breakers having the time of their lives.
After securing my demo rentals just inside the Summit, I fell asleep wondering if they would get the predicted two inches of snow. Even a dusting, I thought, would make my day.
As I dozed off, I thought of Big Sky founder Chet Huntley (yes, NBC news anchor Chet Huntley), a rugged guy raised in Montana who founded the area not to ski (he wasn’t really for skiing) but as a way to get back to his roots and, as he said at the time, “take the damn deadlines away from me”. I understand.
The next morning, I opened my curtains for a view of the resort’s breathtaking Lone Peak – a laccolith volcano – only to find a curtain of white.
Powder. Big golden sky. It was like a dream. I skied deep powder all day, finding plenty of fresh lines around the resort’s massive just under 4,000 acres. Led by local extreme ski legend Big Sky and Milton-raised Dan Egan, I got into the rhythm and skied race after race.
It was magical: the snow was deep but soft, the air was warm. It kept falling, but we could see. Impossible? Not at Big Sky.
The second and third days brought sunshine, almost no wind and a chance to enjoy the true beauty of the resort and its surroundings. Big Sky has something for everyone, like the fun and must-do Horseshoe, Mr. K. and Morningside green trails, as well as steeper snow groomers and yes, some pretty extreme skiing from the top of the tram at Lone Peak.
Big Sky is America’s second toughest ski resort (only Jackson Hole is higher), which means their green runs on the mountain are more interesting and fun than most, and their blues and blacks are business synonyms. Their combination of leaving good snow for digging and preparing cruisers gives you plenty of options, as well as easy ways to ski everywhere with friends of varying abilities.
Their lift system, continuously updated thanks to owners Boyne Resorts, stands out. Where else can you find bubble lifts pretty much anywhere you look? And although the resort is quite extensive, their excellent walkways and trail design make it a breeze to get in and out.
Head to the other side of Madison’s base area (formerly Moonlight Basin; now part of Big Sky) and you’ll feel worlds apart from the wooded structure of the trails. But you’re really only a quick ride to the other parts of the mountain, where you’ll find open bowls, fun cruisers, and plenty to choose from.
There were also GOATS and goats. The greatest skiers of all time seemed to be all around me – Big Sky attracts the true fans of the sport – as do the real goats who live along the peaks and like to find rocky ledges to relax and watch the action. . We skied right past four of them, a unique skiing experience. I think I heard them cheering me on.
There’s no shortage of all the other good things that make a resort great: dine at the semi-chic with stunning views Everett’s 8800 or the simple and sublime Shedhorn Grill, a ski-in ski-out yurt where you can catch a brat perfectly. cooked. With all the skiing, I won more than one of their legendary Uncle Dan cookies (try the ginger) during my stay.
The city of Big Sky is also special. Located about 11 km downhill from the resort, you will find great restaurants and fun shops to peruse while never losing sight of those breathtaking peaks.
I left Big Sky wanting more. I will have it. This summer they are starting construction on their new tram and will soon be adding a gondola with mid station, putting learners up the hill (love it!) and giving non-skiers a place to hang out for dinner and Moreover.
Direct flights to a goat from a mountain where you can even ski with goats, great snow late in the year, super great pros to guide you, and kids from the slopes. Best ski week ever? Just maybe.