Trip Report: Snow-Starved Californians Find Winter in Big Sky

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by Metres

A crew of five snow-starved stragglers from California voyaged north in search of winter in mid-February.  They found it at Big Sky on Wednesday in a big Montana way.  Super friendly and welcoming locals, fresh cold snow, bluebird conditions, and nearly the whole mountain open stoked the travelers in a big way.

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Fog cleared as we rolled in, revealing a calm and clear day at Big Sky.

First order of business was rolling up the tram, accessing Lone Peak, the sign-in required Big Couloir (bring your avy gear for the Big), and lots of alpine steeps.

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The snow was excellent off the top. 

So we took a few more laps from the summit, and gawked at the west-facing A-Z Chutes.  

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Big Sky’s Tram accesses excellent big-mountain terrain on several sides, each with a different character. 

More excellent terrain off the top. 

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Big Sky is a big mountain.  We didn’t even get to these groomers.

After having our fill of the still somewhat bony peak, we headed over to Challenger lift, and the hike to the Headwaters zone of Moonlight Basin.  This area hosts freeride comps, and featured cold snow and long, steep, and featured skiing.

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Getting to the Headwaters requires a short bootpack with excellent views of Lone Mountain. 

The bootpack even featured some rope-assists in a via ferrata style.  

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We finished the day lapping Challenger with nobody on the mountain.  

After such an awesome day, Big Sky definitely left us wanting more.  

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