ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url
Words & video by Big Sky local and Liberty Skis athlete Chris Rennau
(editors note: This is likely the most difficult line at Moonlight Basin. It’s a steep line into a mandatory 60-foot cliff that Chris has gathered the mental focus to hit 3 separate times. On April 8th, 2013, he hit it twice.)
I’ve been looking at this cliff since I started skiing at Moonlight Basin about 4 years ago. Class 6 to me has always seemed like an obvious line, It’s what my eyes are drawn to every time I look at the headwaters. Each time I’ve gone for this cliff it’s fairly impromptu. One hike in the morning delivers amazing snow conditions and I think, “today is the day.”
The hardest part about this line is dealing with the fear. The first time I hit it in 2011, I did some pretty hard bruising to my shins from landing in the backseat.
Class 6 is accessed via a 30 minute hike up the headwaters ridge at Moonlight Basin. The hike is difficult when you know you’re going up there to ski this line. It gets pretty quiet. Your mouth gets dry. Only a few people have gone over it before me. Scot Livingstone (a fellow Vermonter and former ski patrol at Moonlight Basin) sent it a few years ago on tele’s. He almost stuck it. Lost a ski and tore some ligaments in his knee.
A tourist rode up to the edge of it once, took off his board and tried to hike out. He fell off backwards and broke his leg.
People might call me crazy or stupid for doing this, but Class 6 is very personal for me. No one has ever stuck it. To me that is a huge challenge and huge invitation. I had a couple “oh shit” moments with my health this past year which have helped shape my fear management strategies. The biggest fear to me is to live with regret. I’d hate to be on my deathbed looking back on my life and regret not going for it.
You gotta give a shout out to Moonlight Basin Ski Patrol. They keep us safe and let us get rowdy on some pretty big terrain. There are a lot of resorts where this cliff would be a permanently closed area. At Moonlight there is just a sign. Caution: Cliff