THE SKIING: Great Week!
Three dozen enthusiastic Ski Club members set out for Big Sky Montana on Friday, March 8. The trip turned out to be a great week to visit this colossal ski area with its 5,800 skiable acres. Ample snowfall accumulation for the season and varied terrain that includes plenty of long steep cruisers, extensive intermediate terrain, challenging and fun green runs, powder bowls, tree runs and chutes at the 11,161’ summit of Lone Peak made for a great week. Club members of every skier level got what they wanted from Big Sky this week! Lift lines were mostly absent, except moderate lines during peak times at the base, so there was little to interrupt vertical momentum.
For those not ready to brave the chutes down, we could still take the tram up the summit of Lone Peak and still enjoy 360 panoramas on a clear day including views all the way to the Tetons.
We arrived on Friday and had several inches of new snow to enjoy Saturday with temperatures in the mid 20s. Sunday and Monday were both bluebird days with mild temperatures (20-30 degrees) and no wind. The rest of the week continued with the same conditions, with a bit of new snow on Thursday, another perfect bluebird day.
One of the great features of Big Sky is its Mountain Guides, which provide free daily tours for small groups touring the different ski areas. Many members took advantage of this to explore new areas including Moonlight Basin, which Big Sky bought a few seasons ago. Many also took advantage of the excellent ski school which provides small group lessons.
THE LODGING: Huntley Lodge
The group stayed at the Huntley Lodge, which was at the base of the lift area. The location was great and rooms were typical ski lodge style. The Lodge served an extensive breakfast, which was included in the package, and morning meets ups gave an opportunity for the group to decide who to ski with before heading off to the lifts each morning. Members took full advantage of other Lodge amenities including the Spa, hot tubs, pool and overnight boot storage and drying.
THE FOOD: Varied and tasty Montana cuisine
There were many nice restaurants in the Mountain Village that Club members sampled. We organized three optional dinners at Andiamo Italian Grill, Lotus Pad Thai in the town, and Everett’s 8800’, which is a lift ride up to the top of Andesite Mountain. All were good, but Everett’s was a highlight. 20-25 members participated in the optional dinners these nights.
We had an excellent group dinner at the historic Buck’s T-4 ranch in the town of Big Sky. They provided us with a great private room with our own bar--and the food was memorable—and ample I might add. Another feature of Montana cuisine…
Our last night, we had a group pizza party at the Huntley before packing up to leave.
THE MID-WEEK BREAK: YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
The mid week break on Tuesday was also a perfect day for the two dozen Club members that signed up for the optional trip to nearby Yellowstone National Park. After a 45 minute ride to the park, we were greeted with a magical snowscape pockmarked with geysers and thermal features ‘where the buffalo roam’. Part of the group took an all day snowmobile tour out ‘Old Faithful’, and the others took the same route, but in a heated snow coach. The weather was mild at 34 degrees, so good for snow mobiling, and the sky, a very “sky blue”.
BIG SKY Ending:
but NOT our last trip together!
A convivial group of ski lovers, we enjoyed each other’s company on-- as well as off the slopes. The was great snow and no bad weather to interrupt the fun. As our last trip of the 2019 ski season wound to an end, members were already talking about where they could go next year to ski. They will find their ski buddies on one of the Club’s 2020 season trips to great destinations including Vail, Taos, St. Moritz Switzerland, and Banff in Canada.