|The Lone Peak Tram makes a single leap up the summit cone of Lone Mountain, more than 1,400 vertical feet in half a mile or so, without a tower between the tram's base and summit stations. This gives you some idea of the terrain from the top, all double diamond or nearly so, and a somewhat different world than that at the base, 4,350 vertical feet below. Many will never survey the view from the 11,166-foot summit, but may nevertheless feel that it's just as impressive from below.|
Lone Peak may be Big Sky's most visible asset, but it's by no means the only one. With 3,812 acres of terrain and 150 named runs, covered (on average) by 400" of snow a season, there's quite likely to be more than enough choices for all abilities. And the self-contained nature of Big Sky - a necessity considering its location - encourages a week of exploration.
While hard-core skiers and riders crow about the tough stuff, novices, beginners, and intermediates have plenty of excellent terrain to keep them happy. The Ramcharger and Swift Current high-speed quads, both rising from Mountain Village, access about two dozen trails, most of them blue, but with a few long greens thrown in, too. The Explorer Double and the Southern Comfort Triple (the latter over on the sunny side of Flat Iron Mountain) are devoted to beginners, with miles of well-groomed trails. There are even a couple of upper-mountain cruisers - Sunlight off the Shedhorn Double and Upper Morningstar off the Lone Peak Triple - that allow intermediates to experience the alpine aspects of the resort.
By the same token, you don't need to venture to the very summit for challenging terrain. Weather or conditions might not allow it in any case, but there are plenty of black diamonds lower down (and four short double blacks off the Challenger chair), distributed among nine lifts. So if you can't play hero off the summit, you can play hero with your family and still find satisfying challenges.
For those who find challenge off the beaten path, book a day of cat skiing. The venue is 1,000 acres on the north side of Lone Mountain. Full and half day trips are available, with up to 10,000 feet of accumulated vertical.
Snowboarders will find a couple of natural half pipes around the mountain, and a groomed one and a terrain park off the Ramcharger Quad on Andesite.
Big Sky's Mountain Village is anchored by the Shoshone/Huntley/ Yellowstone Conference Center and the Summit at Big Sky. The two complexes offer nearly 500 rooms, suites, and condominiums. Nearby and at varying distances from the lifts are more lodges and condominiums. A bit further away is the Meadow Village around the golf course, and the Canyon area, along US 191 and the pretty Gallatin River. The central plaza offers plenty of shops and restaurants, nightclubs, a grocery and deli, and a full range of customer services. There's even a medical clinic.
Bozeman, a modestly-sized city (23,000), is home to Montana State University and Gallatin Field, the jetport. It's only an hour or so away, and is home to shops, galleries, micro-breweries and a pretty good nightlife scene.
There's always something to do here, whether it's browsing for the perfect Montana gift to take home, enjoying new western cuisine at the Peaks restaurant or something less formal at any number of other establishments. But much of the activity centers on the great outdoors. A snowshoe trail winds through the draw between Andesite and Lone Mountain; or head to Lone Mountain Guest Ranch for 75 kilometers of cross-country trails. There are also backcountry skiing possibilities in nearby Yellowstone or in the Gallatin National Forest, winter fishing along the Gallatin (where a good deal of A River Runs Through It was filmed), snowmobiling, dog sledding, and sleigh rides (including dinner sleigh rides).
|Snow Conditions (updated)04/14/2013, 6:33am |
|Operating Status: Closed for Snow Sports |
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