November 08, 2008

Lone Mountain's Big Sky Ski Resort and Moonlight Basin

Jackson Hole PowderRarely has so much bounty gone so unplundered as at Big Sky's Lone Peak the biggest place you’ve never skied. There’s rarely a lift line at this sprawling side by side Montana resorts, except when waiting for the marquee 15-person tram that takes skiers to the top of 11,166-foot Lone Peak. A big reason for Big Sky’s quiet is the perceived remoteness of the resort: although it sits only about one hour south of the Bozeman airport.

Big Sky is a destination ski resort if there ever was one, which means midweek skiers share the place with almost no one. The other reason is its sheer size: Those who do make the journey soon disperse over three mountains and nearly 4,000 skiable acres, with a correspondingly huge menu of terrain. From the resort’s tip-top, a snowboarder can drop into the black-diamond slopes of Liberty Bowl and ride all the way down to this winter’s new Dakota triple chair, which opens access to 200-plus acres of expert-level open bowl skiing. Less adventuresome skiers gravitate to Andesite and Flatiron Mountains, where large groomed boulevards like Big Horn and Madison Avenue are served by several high-speed quads.

Corbut'sBut one of the most intriguing developments at Big Sky has been the linking with an adjacent resort, Moonlight Basin which shares Lone Peak; the joint Lone Peak Pass creates a 5,512-acre playground that gets 400 inches of snow a year with access to the gun-sight gullies that spill off of Lone Peak — and may leave skiers who’d been happily humming “Don’t Fence Me In” suddenly wishing someone would have.------------------> More

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