Big Sky, MT Ski Trip

Image property of Jim the Code Poet

This was a family ski trip, where we decided to try yet another "non Colorado location". This was because the snow in Colorado continued to be very erratic, and because Big Sky would not have the same altitude (7,218 feet) issues that Colorado has.

We had never been to Montana before, having spent all of our ski trips in Colorado. So we decided that we needed to mark that check box off, and flew into Bozeman, MT. Picked up our rental vehicle, and drove down to Big Sky.

We had decided to rent a 4WD, and it proved to be a fortunate decision the very first night we were in the condo!

The condo was nice sized, sufficient room for everyone to be comfortable, get their ski equipment on, etc. However, the very first night, the condo heating unit did not function. We called the condo owner, but he could not get anyone to come out and repair it until the next day. Overnight was a full tilt blizzard, and the wind howled all night long as the condo temperature dropped like a stone.

The next morning, when we got up, we found that it had snowed 17 inches overnight! We had the only 4WD vehicle in the condo parking lot, and were able to drive out without any problems.

There were people everywhere in the parking lot, digging out their 2WD vehicles! We offered to help a few, but there were so many people digging, and so many snow removal trucks trying to get into the parking lot, that they just motioned us onwards.

Chelsea and I waving at Mom as she glides over all that powder! It is difficult to adjust one's snowboarding riding stance to clumps of fresh powder, but once you adjust, riding becomes fun again.

Chelsea is explaing to everone how much work it is to ski on fresh powder. Celeste and I were on snowboards, and we had some difficulty with it at first too, but soon found a rhythm.

See how deep the powder is on the table tops? The powder has stacked up everywhere. As cold as it was that morning, something warm to drink hit the spot.

It was such a beautiful day, that we wound up taking a lot of pictures. As you can see in the background, visibility was perfect!

I think Chelsea & Jeremy were laughing because it was nice and warm in the cable car, compared to outside conditions!

We took a day off from skiing, and drove down to Yellowstone Park. Here we are after waiting for a new snow cat to come and get us. The one we were on for our tour of the park, broke down and we had to wait for an hour for a new cat to arrive.

Everyone is celebrating the new snow cat arrival, as we knew that it was going to be warm inside!

The bison in Yellowstone, were obviously dressed for the weather, and were no doubt much warmer than we were!

There were several large bison herds that our snow cat drove by, these guys were everywhere.

The geography throughout Yellowstone Park is highly variable, and as you can see, very rugged country.

Did I mention our snow cat broke down? As you can see in the image to the right, the track mechianism has completely sheared off from the drive axle.


And like all good vacations, this one came to an end and we flew back to Virginia. This was a fun trip, and we all came away with the feeling that Montana was a great place to recreate at. Not the altitude related issues you bump into in Colorado!

In fact, we liked it so much that we decided that we were going to go to Whitefish, MT at some future date.

 Ski Resort Statistics 
44 miles from Bozeman, MT airport
Base Elevation:
7,500 feet
Avg Snowfall:
400+ inches
Summit Elevation:
11,166 feet
Vertical Drop:
4,350 feet
Chair Lifts:
Surface Lifts:
Skiable Acres:
5,800 acres
# Terrain Parks:
Marked Trails:
300 named runs on 4 connected mountains
364 acres/148 hectares
Longest Run:
Liberty Bowl to Mountain Mall: 6 miles
Beginner Ski Trails:
Intermediate Trails:
Advanced Trails:
Expert Trails:

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