At a base elevation of 7,500 ft. and top elevation at 11,166 ft. above sea level, Big Sky is one of the largest ski resorts in America with an area covering 5,800 acres. It’s longest run covers six miles and there are over 200 different runs to choose from. Being a first timer to skiing, this was a bit of a daunting place to start with, but alas it would be a great time between the two days we came.
The two days that we spent skiing would involve quite a drastic difference in conditions for the snow. On the first day earlier we would see a good bit of wind with snow that would add a small layer to what was already there. Later in the day as the sun came out, but the temps had dropped, it would almost become solid ice in spots. The second day would see an improvement in the snow quality as it had loosened up, making it easier to learn the technique. The base itself had several options for renting equipment, and a full day cost around $30-40 for skis, boots and poles. There was a restaurant that offered some good food and a variety of beers from local breweries. My personal favorite that they had was the White Noise Hefeweizen. In the same building there was also a shop which offered many items that you could find in a small market, and if interested in vacation property ownership, they had that covered as well.
As for the skiing itself, I am probably not the best person to ask how it compares to other resorts, but based on the comments of others in our crew, while the conditions could have been better, it was certainly a great place because of its large size. The long runs could provide several options for paths to take, with varying levels of difficulty.
Our more experienced skiers/boarders, which would include Jason, Phil, Andrew and Kellen, took advantage of the wide variety of path, event taking a run that started closer to the summit of Lone Peak, the highest point of the resort.
As for Myself and Paul, we would stick more with the green circle (a.k.a. easy) paths. But that isn’t to say that it was without great views.
Having never been skiing before, it took me a good while to get comfortable with it. What I think may have aided me was my past experience with ice skating from playing hockey. I did have to get adjusted to the difference in slopes, but by the second afternoon, I felt pretty comfortable with it, and could complete a full run in about 20 minutes without a fall or stopping. Needless to say, I've become a fan.
The first of the two above pictures comes from the top of the lift from the base looking towards other mountains of the area, and the second is a little bit into the run looking up towards the summit of Lone Peak. To give you a better idea of just how big it really is, check out this picture below that Paul took of me around the same time I took the right one.
Yup, that little dot closer to the bottom is me. I am still in awe of just how huge the mountains of the west are, and they are just as stunningly beautiful as well! Overall, my first skiing experience was a lot of fun! I am glad that I had this opportunity to try something new, and hope that I can get some more opportunities to do it again in the future! We still have more to come from our weekend in Montana with a visit to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and a hike into Yellowstone National Park. Thank you for reading this update, I hope you will come back again! To wrap up this update of the trip report, I present the Wolfpack! (Yes, we all baught awesomely tacky wolf shirts from a souvenir store in West Yellowstone for the occasion.)
Up next, we check out the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center back in West Yellowstone.