400  and  Alpine  Chicago area Ski Clubs
Trip to  Big Sky, Montana  - March 2 to 9, 2011.

We started out from Chicago's O'Hare Airport around noon on a non-stop United/Sky West flight to Bozeman and from there an hour or so bus ride to our lodge - The Lodge at Big Sky. We were checked in with an hour free to rest before our 6 PM welcome party.  Even though Big Sky is quite remote, getting there was really easy.

The ubiquitous scenic feature of the area is the Lone Mountain peak, the logo for all the old Paramount Pictures Movies (well, maybe).  The elevation of the peak is 11,166 feet, and there is a tram to the top, with one black diamond bowl run down from the top, plus may double-black bowls and chutes.

The Village we stayed at is at 7500 feet and is the center of all the Big Sky skiing.  The runs go off in two directions - west to Lone Mountain and southeast to Andesite Mountain.  The runs to the west start at 9200 and 9800 feet (except for the run off the tram at 11,150 feet).  The Andesite Mountain runs start at 8800 feet.  Runs from Andesite go west back to the village, as well as east down another slope system, all the way down to 6800 feet.  So the total skiable vertical at Big Sky is 4350 feet.

In addition there is another complete ski area, Moonlight Basin, to the north that connects seamlessly with Big Sky and offers a vast ski terrain that is all north facing and has fabulous snow conditions, 2000 feet vertical, and a high speed six passenger lift.

For a Google map of the entire ski area, with all the lifts highlighted,  click here.  You can switch back and forth from the "terrain" map to a Satellite view, and zoom way in to see lots of detail.  For another map using the "MapMyRide" site which shows the ski area and lifts on a USGS topo map  click here. The drop down box at the top of the map lets you pick a map type, e.g., Topo Map, as well as Terrain or Satellite.  The "View Notes" link lets you see lift names and elevations.

For the official Big Sky ski area trail maps  click here.  [Village Map]   For the Moonlight Basin ski area trail map  click here

For some YouTube ski footage click on  ski run with the peak in the background  and Ksenia skiing the Lobo run.

For Cal's pictures from this trip on "Picasa"  click here.

There is also a major cross country skiing area at Big Sky, called  Lone Mountain Ranch  with an 80 kilometer groomed trail system [click here to download the XC Ski Trial map].

PHOTOS:  For more information or to add a link to your site for this trip, send me an e-mail at:  

Click on any of the pictures below to show a larger size image or to enter "slide show" mode.  Click on any "slide show" mode picture to see the full resolution picture, which you can download.


View of Lone Mountain from The Lodge Great Room, and the main lane through the village:

View of Lone Mountain from the top of Andesite Mountain and skiing the Silver Knife run down to the village:

Big Sky is adjacent to the "Yellowstone Club - Y\C" which is just to the south, and has an area of about half of that covered by Big Sky.  Y\C connects seamlessly to Big Sky, but not the other way.  Guard posts with armed guards prevent ordinary Big Sky skiers from wandering into Y\C which is restricted to billionaires.  Here is a view of some of the Y\C cottages as seen from Big Sky's Chuck's Run:

Skiing the Lobo run down to the village with the Ramcharger lift-served Andesite Mountain runs in the background:

View of Lone Mountain from the Crazy Horse run and from the Swift Current lift:

Loading the Lone Mountain tram for the 3 minute ride up to the peak:

Views from the peak - panorama to the north with some Moonlight Basin runs at the lower edge of the photo:

Views from the peak - three views to the south with the Yellowstone Club ridge and runs visible:

Return Ride on the Tram:

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