Big Sky, MT Conditions Report: March 5th, 2016
After seeing some recent snow in the past week, Big Sky is still holding onto much of the heavy snowfall from the early season. The mountain is starting to look a tad bleak; many open skeleton rock bands and bits and pieces of rock under a thin cover in spots, however with the storms hitting the west coast there is snow in the forecast starting Sunday.
Today started out far from snowy, the sun was out and provided some warm temperatures (around 40 at mid-mountain) yet by the end of the day the winds picked up and the skies had become overcast. This played a factor in the variable snow; sticky to chalk to spots of really soft snow attached with patches of ice. But hey, Big Sky is such a huge mountain and with so many options this meant so many different characteristics to explore.
Big Sky, MT = 48-68″ snowpack
By midday the snow between the base and mid-mountain was rather grabby but snow up top was still firm. We decided to start our day off at Headwaters with a hike along the ridge. The A to Z chutes didn’t have much coverage going towards the bowl so we made a decision to glide into the chutes descending to the double and the quad. Being inexperienced Big Sky riders we were kind of going on a whim. Entering into Jack Creek the snow was pretty hard and with a steep line and high consequence it was a little unnerving. Luckily about a third of the way down the snow softened up, turning into a bit of chalk making for some delightful riding.
Lone tree proved some fun riding in the trees and below the rock bands in Stillwater bowl where big open turns were steady and fluid. This was true of the skiing to the west of Headwaters double as well. By the time we made it to the tram the light was rather low and the sun was covered up. The wind was gusting in the mid-20’s and there were patches of exposed rocks to get around to the Gullies. The rough, harshness of the ridge paved way to some semi-hard slopes that skied well but still needed quite a bit of edge. An exciting run through the feature filled White Magic helped to polish off a wonderful day at Big Sky.
As we were leaving I gazed upon Lone Mountain and all the runs thinking bout how unbelievably superb a pow day would be here. Of course skiers and snowboarders always dream of these epic conditions but once again with snow on the way there is plenty of time for an amazing late season run.