Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27 - 3/4/19)

9 messages Options
onscott onscott
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27 - 3/4/19)

Told ski partner that I would go anywhere as long as it's on the IKON pass so he picked Big Sky, MT.  Off we went to Bozeman - small market airport so tickets were a bit pricey.

Big Sky is a massive, impressive place.  We skied it for two days and missed about 70% of the mountain - it is literally that huge!  A lot of the terrain, however, is served by a 15-person tram; lines can be over an hour on a good snow day.  All of the terrain off the top is expert or insane so it's not something I would be skiing anyway.  Main problem is that it is totally exposed and visibility is not always good.  Between long lines and poor visibility we never did make it up there.

That said, the rest of the mountain was just one big playground.  Trails and trees everywhere.  We had a good 10" of powder on the first day and found some steep and deep over on the south side of the mountain.  By day two the snow had set up due to sun and wind and it wasn't as much fun but still decent.  Got to practice in some nice soft moguls.




The thing that surprised me most is that there are a lot more skiers there than most reviews would indicate.  Lift lines were always short but rarely empty - good snow gets skied away just as fast as any other area.  Price is a ridiculous $151/day (if you don't have IKON).  On mountain lodges are really bad - crowded and overpriced and the food isn't all that good in my opinion.  Bring trail mix or some other snack and save your money.

Day 3 was spent at Bridger Bowl.  Much smaller but still huge by EC standards.  Less than half ($65) the price of BS and just as fun in its own way.  Looks like the place to be on a powder day.




Day 4 was a snowmobiling trip to West Yellowstone.  This was the highlight of the trip for me - they have a massive trail system (outside of the park) and it only cost $329 total for 2 trail sleds and clothing.  We could only get Polaris 550s and were worried that they wouldn't be enough but they kicked out enough power to do over 60mph on the flats and they also climbed the steep sections without any problems.  Lucked out with a blue sky day and the scenery was spectacular throughout our 75 mile ride.



T

They pretty much leave you alone out there - go where you want to just don't be stupid!

All in all a great trip.  We stayed in a condo in Bozeman and it was very affordable.  Very cold there - every morning it was -5 or colder but fortunately it was much warmer in the mountains.  I would definitely go back but still have many other places to visit first.
bumps bumps
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

Someone once said that at Big Sky whenever you see a huge field of untouched powder, don't ski there because the locals know there are shark's teeth hiding underneath. Any truth to that?
marznc marznc
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

bumps wrote
Someone once said that at Big Sky whenever you see a huge field of untouched powder, don't ski there because the locals know there are shark's teeth hiding underneath. Any truth to that?
There are rocks, big and little, all over Big Sky.  They chip off and roll down onto groomers.  It's a function of the local geology.  Find them in bump runs and even in trees.  I made more of a mess of my ski bases at Big Sky than Taos, and my first trip to Taos was in January when coverage was clearly thin in places.  More than once when showing friends who are intermediates some fun easier bump runs, I was yelling "rock" even after a few days of 3+ inches of fresh snow.

I was finishing up my ski days at Big Sky with a bunch of friends as the OP was starting.  Skied there Feb. 22-27, after a few days at Bridger.  Got 10-20 of fluffy powder at Bridger plus the day after.  That's what they call Cold Smoke (<5% water content) at Bridger.

Hoser Hoser
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

In reply to this post by bumps
Yes- did my worst ski damage - ever - a few years back at Big Sky, was late March or early April, so full cover.  Not a loose stone but a tooth sticking up from the earth.  Deep into base, could see some of core of ski, and about a 1/4" plus wide. UGLY,  beware is right.
Ciscokid Ciscokid
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

 Beautiful pictures and a snowmobile trip to Yellowstone is on my bucket list very soon. Who did you go through as a snowmobile provider two tops?
 I love the snow ghosts did you do Lionshead trail ?
 Had my best one day of snowmobiling ever at Togwotee on the south eastern side of Yellowstone but that was 25 years ago
ADmiKe ADmiKe
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

In reply to this post by bumps
bumps wrote
Someone once said that at Big Sky whenever you see a huge field of untouched powder, don't ski there because the locals know there are shark's teeth hiding underneath. Any truth to that?
Yes. Was there in 2013...me on 10 year old snowboard, friend on his brand new as in first day on it board.  I was guinee pig...went off the top boundary line in some bowl...untouched.  I hit all kinds of stuff and tore my board apart.  I waved up to my friend to try and wave him off.  He thought I was waving in excitement of how sweet the line was, so he came thru.  Trashed his brand new board first day on it.  Core shot the size of a hot dog.
Jamesdeluxe Jamesdeluxe
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

Saskat Saskat
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

Big sky is awesome. And big. Such a variety of terrain. And Bozeman is a great town with good food. Glad you got to Bridger. It’s the local community “hill,” run as a non-profit, I believe. The best part of Bridger, if you’re a good skier, is the Ridge terrain. Some is hike-to and some is accessed via the Schlassmans lift. Although patrolled, ridge terrain requires carrying a probe and beacon. It’s best to go with a guide, since some of the terrain is cliffed out. The ridge tour I did with the mountian’s ski school was a highlight of my trip. Deep and steep, from a high, knife-edge ridge. When I have a chance, I’ll dig up some photos.  
onscott onscott
Reply |
Open this post in threaded view
 

Re: Big Sky / Bridger Bowl (2/27-3/4)

In reply to this post by Ciscokid
We used Travelers Snowmobiles Rentals in West Yellowstone.  Costed us only $325 total for 2 sleds, clothing and damage waiver for the whole day.  I've paid more than that for a single sled up in Tug Hill (NY).  

Did the Lions Head loop but did not take the side trail up to the summit - that narrow trail with big drop-offs on the sides had me spooked. Did Togwotee last year and it probably better as it is much less crowded although we didn't see a lot due to visibility.
Reply