A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Revisiting the Best of Big Sky

February 23, 2018
Emilie Phillips

This post is from the fourth day of our short week vacation.

I started the fourth day unable to turn left. Dad was feeling enough better to come up to the bowl with us. Ski patrol held the top lift for a half hour after the lower lifts opened. At first, we only heard booming explosions. Then we picked out the traverse line and puffs of smoke from two ski patrollers clearing the chutes above. They let off a few small sloughs, but nothing that ran more than 50 feet.

Isaac, Trudy, and John on Turkey Traverse

It was a blue sky day, and the crowds showed it. My Dad joined us for the first run down the bowl. Isaac picked a line through the stand of trees. Next run, Dad decided to rest on the groomed blue route down. Isaac followed the grandparents, leaving Tyson and I the opportunity to traverse to a double black gully.

A left turn would be really nice somewhere around here.

My leg muscles didn’t feel sore, but when I asked them for a left turn, nothing happened, I just went straight. So I skied down the gully Telemarking the right turns and wedging the left turns. Oh well.

We rode up the bubble chair once more and then traversed out of the bowl to Cow Flats and then around to the south side of Lone Peak. I practiced warm up exercises on the cat walk until I’d figured out which muscles were on strike and coaxed them to work again. A good thing, because we left my Dad resting at the lunch yurt and tackled the black diamond trees.

Trudy getting bold

This side of the mountain appeared to get less traffic than the east and north sides. Even six days after the last snow storm, we found powder in the denser glades on White Pine trail. The best snow was tight against the trees on the more wooded trails. We also found lots of untracked powder on a wide plateau in White Pine trail. I wondered if we had accidentally missed the ski area boundary. We double poled along the single track until we came to another descent and then onto a Jockstrap. We saw no one else in the woods.

Emilie descending into Screaming Left

Up the lift once more to find some powder under the Shedhorn lift and then back to find my Dad. He was excited for more skiing, so we followed Mule Skinner to the Dakota Tripple. Mom showed Dad Liberty Bowl, the black slope we skied from the top Tuesday. We retraced our route from the bottom of the bowl and back down Screaming Left, another black diamond. Dad skied the whole gully, moguls and all, to the bottom, stubbornly refusing the to take the groomed blue midway down. My Mom, having parallel skied it three days earlier, telemarked down the gully. Tyson, Isaac, and I skied out the ridge and slalomed off the side. All three of us were looking good.

From there, it was blues and a lift to get back to the front side of the mountain. At the bottom of White Pine, Mom stopped Dad.

“I skied those trees” she said pointing enthusiastically up at the forest. “Not the trail,” she insisted when Dad seemed to be looking too far right, “the trees straight above us.”

Isaac finished the day skiing around every tree and over every bump and jump he could find at the edge of the blue trails.

All Photos

GPS Track