In general, I’ve been bringing the snow with me to places. Technically, the same was true for my arrival in Big Sky, MT last week. That is, if you count a paltry amount of trace snow. If I had my own car, I would have likely made my way to Colorado (top catch the tail end of that big storm) or Utah (to catch the incoming mid-sized storm) for a quick visit. But, Big Sky Resort was always the most prevalent in my trip “plans,” so I took a ride when I had the chance. I wasn’t swimming in tits deep powder all week, but I wasn’t disappointed. Luckily it had been staying cold in the area, leaving some nice snow left in the backcountry surrounding the resort. With the right attitude, motivation, and crew, there were plenty of snow related fun times to be had. If you’re reading this, you probably like the outdoors, and if you like the outdoors, there’s always fun times to be had with the aforementioned items working in your favor.
After a successful introduction to the mountain with a karaoke shit show, it was nice to have a place to sleep within stumbling distance. Nothing cures a hangover like stiff bloodies and a hike into the backcountry on a bluebird day, and we (one of my best shred buddies of all time, who recently relocated back to the area) decided that was the best course of action that following morning. Armed with the Jammy Pack blasting death metal and our Tubbs Shoes, we made our way into the Beehive Basin area in search of a booter my buddy had spotted from another ridge a day or two prior. We found it, and it definitely was in need of some love. It had probably been built a month prior, and had seen more sun than any of the shaded bowl surrounding it. With a two man crew wielding snowshoes and snowboards for shoveling, we kept the work to a minimum and hit it a few times in all its sketchy glory before hiking up top for a soft and deep line on the way out. It must have been fun, because it wasn’t until the goat trail run out that I thought about the fact that pretty much all I had eaten that day were the pickled veggies in my bloody mary and a pack of peanut butter crackers made by some popular tree dwelling elves.
The rest of the week was devoted to shredding the resort, which is, in fact, quite big. I’m 3 or 4 days deep at the resort and I feel like I haven’t even put a dent in it. It’s the type of place that can get crowded, but it doesn’t feel like outside of the base area with an average of multiple acres per skier/rider. I’m saying all this, and I haven’t even made it over to the Moonlight Basin side yet. Big sky does it big. I mean, even their Mardi Gras tree (I wouldn’t dream of going somewhere without one) was literally overflowing with decorations. I was able to find some sweet skate/surf style gully lines in Harbor’s Halfpipe (rocks and trees abound, all asking to be tapped and gapped), as well as hit one of the parks and get some tram laps in. As the week turned to the weekend, the shred turned to a more spring like affair. My friends (most new, one old) embraced the south facing slope life, and got some buttery tater turns on wind lips that fed into abundance of tree taps.
Sunday afternoon even provided an opportunity for some “fresh” turns if you were willing to work for it on the way in and out.
While enjoying some barley sodas at one of many chill shacks in the woods late Sunday afternoon, some new friends and I pondered the meaning of life (no, not really) and the idea of sending it towards Red Lodge (really). After being some of the last people people off the hill that weren’t clocked in, we decided that heading east was the best thing for us to do that Sunday night. Check in next Monday for the story on that and more!