Ruth and I just spent most of a week boarding the immense, spectacular, ginormous Big Sky resort in southern Montana. We've been to a lot of ski mountains, and most of them have their charms. Big Sky's claim to fame is that they have the most ski-able acreage of any resort in North America. I now believe that claim. We fell in love with the place by the second run. The facilities are nice, the few people up there are nice and respectful on the slopes, but it's the mountain that steals the show.
We'd been looking forward to this trip (any trip) for quite a while. Several friends had added to the anticipation with tales of interstate highway sized groomed runs that went on and on like there never was an end. Still, nothing is real until you've been there and I'm happy to report that Johnny actually underplayed the size and quality of the place. I've listed the mountain's stats below, but I hope I can create a little perspective regarding the size of this place.
|Big Sky has 22 lifts accessing 3600 acres of skiable terrain.|
The longest run is 6 miles (10km).
|Highly impacted lift lines. Just terrible. Riiiight.|
|I couldn't believe the crowds. Hard to find the space to carve a turn. Riiiight.|
A two-banger gondolla gets you to the top.
Our accommodations, shared with another ruth's BFF Michelle and husband Chris, was a nice house just 6 miles down the road. It was across the street from a tiny town center, home of such notables as "The Hungry Moose" and "Milkie's Pizza". Don't come to Big Sky if your partner doesn't ski, they will be bored and texting you all day while you are trying to ski. There is no night life, nor are there boutiques and shops ala most ski towns. In the winter here, it's ski or go fish.
Ruth and I spent most of our slope time together due to our counterparts' over-all sub-par fitness level or boarding ability, but we, Ruth especially, spent a good deal of time coaching Michelle through the turns. Point is, we got in many, many quality runs in the time we had.
|Ruth & Michelle, at the bottom of Ambush, on a Saturday,|
if that says anything about the crowds we had to deal with.
|Lone Peak, with gondolla access to the summit, 11,150ft.|
|Miles and miles of blue groomers.|
|A little dust on the corduroy.|
|A cold day after a 4" powder night. By cold, I mean -5 degrees Fahrenheit on a sunny, windless day. Condition: Excellent! if you're local,|
Chillingly Excellent! if you're not.
|Ruth & I outside Whiskey Jack's at the base. Good place to defrost,|
the chili ain't bad either.
|Ruthie, cuttin' up the pow.|
|The Southern Comfort lift.|