BIG SKY RESORT GUIDE
Big Sky Advanced Itinerary
Andesite Mountain, The South Face, Powder Seeker, Moonlight Basin, Challenger
From Mountain Village -- Andesite Mt. -- The South Face -- Powder Seeker -- Lunch @Headwaters Grille -- Challenger --
Return to Mountain Village
1. 9-9:45am – Charge up on Ramcharger
*Advanced shredders can easily spend several days exploring Big Sky's expansive terrain. This itinerary can be broken up over a few days. For Big Sky's toughest terrain, check out our Expert Itinerary.
From the MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, warm up on Ramcharger, the only 8-pack in North America, plus it has heated seats and a blue bubble. For the first lap, exit Ramcharger to the right and curl around the lift building, then take the run in front of you, called Hangman’s. Hangman’s merges with Pacifier, a runout that leads back to Ramcharger. For your second run, exit Ramcharger to the left. Curl around the lift building and onto a cat track. Stay on the cat track until it opens up into a blue run on the right called Elk Park Ridge. Elk Park Ridge is a long steep groomer that goes to the base of Thunder Wolf. Elk Park Ridge is one of our favorite runs on the mountain and benefits from good morning sun.
From the top of Thunder Wolf, go straight toward the top of Ramcharger, get on the same cat track that you took to get to Elk Park Ridge, but this time, take the first run on the left called Ambush. Ambush starts narrow then opens into one of the widest groomers on the mountain that drops back to the MOUNTAIN VILLAGE.
2. 9:45am-12:30pm – Powder Expedition to the South Face
A) Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to step up into some bigger terrain on the SOUTH FACE. After your run on Ambush, take Swift Current, the fastest lift in North America. Exit Swift Current left and ski the right side of Calamity Jane, looking out for Cow Flats which will be on the right after about 50 yards. Cow Flats is cat track that runs to the base of Shedhorn Lift.
B) Take Shedhorn and exit to the left onto Upper Sunlight, a cat track that becomes a groomer. After a couple hundred yards, two cat tracks cross Upper Sunlight. Take the second; it goes to the right, and it’s called Mule Skinner. Stay on Mule Skinner until you reach the base of Dakota. Take Dakota, don’t worry there’s no more cat track taking for a while. It’s time for glades, bowls, and hopefully powder.
C) Explore to the looker’s left of Dakota. Try Dakota Gully and/or Badlands. Or, traverse all the way to the edge of the resort into Hanging Valley, a bowl under KIRCHER'S CLIFFS, named for the family that owns Big Sky. If you find good snow, return to it. Then, explore to looker’s right of Dakota. Seek a powder stash in Bavarian Forest. At the bottom of Bavarian Forest, catch a cat track called Dakota Road. It takes you to the left and crosses Mule Skinner. If want another lap on Dakota, go right onto Mule Skinner.
D) If you want to try something new, continue straight on Dakota Road and merge into Hippy Highway, which winds its way to the base of Shedhorn. Take Shedhorn and exit right onto Duck Walk. Drop off the right side of Duck Walk into Chicken Head Bowl, a bowl so wide open that you’ll never ski the same line twice. Chicken Head Bowl flattens out and rolls over Skittles Road, a cat track, into Pack Saddle Glades and Dude Park. These glades offer tight turns, open stashes, a couple mountain bike trails with rollers and banked turns. Pick any line. Lose your friends. It doesn’t matter. It all ends up at Cow Flats, which takes you back to the base of Shedhorn. If you need a bathroom or a snack stop by Shedhorn Grill, which is visible from the lift on the left.
Powder Seeker en route to Moonlight Basin
3. 12:45pm – More Traversing to Powder Seeker & Moonlight Basin...But We Promise It's Totally Worth It
When you’re done with the SOUTH FACE, take Shedhorn a final time and exit to the right onto Duck Walk. It’s time for a long traverse. First stop Powder Seeker. Second stop Moonlight Basin. Follow Duck Walk all the way to the frontside. When you reach the top of Swift Current, stay high and merge onto Jay Walk. Look out for Powder Seeker on the left.
A) Exit Powder Seeker left onto Turkey Traverse and drop into the bowls of your liking. The longer you traverse, the fresher the snow. Ski past Powder Seeker and take a left onto Jay Walk and follow this until it becomes BRT Road. Same cat track, new name. BRT Road winds through the woods until it spits out under Challenger Lift. Take a right onto Blue Moon, the open run below Challenger. Ski the right side of the run toward Challenger Lift.
B) Exit Challenger straight ahead and then go right and ski under Headwaters Lift and traverse into Headwaters Bowl and Alder Gulch. Both are steep chutes, perfect for practicing pole plants and jump turns. Go left at the bottom of the chutes to end up in Stillwater Bowl. Stillwater Bowl narrows and becomes a groomer called Meriwether. Take Meriwether all the way down to the base of Derringer, a four pack to the left of Six Shooter. Take Derringer, exit to the left, and ski Springville to Madison Base.
4. 12:15 – Lunch @Headwaters Grill
Sit outside, have a beer, a water, a burger, and a view of the Headwaters, the imposing chutes at the top of Moonlight Basin.
5. 1:15-2:45pm – Lift off at Lone Tree
From Headwaters Grille, go right and ski down to Six Shooter. Take this lift and exit right onto Stillwater Traverse. Need a little airtime as a digestif? There’s a big, obvious wind lip on the right side of Stillwater Traverse. After the wind lip, look out for Lone Tree Lift on the left.
The face under Lone Tree is prime freeskiing terrain: cornices, chutes, jibs, rocks, and trees. It’s a short lap with a quick lift, so you can get a lot of runs in. Craving cardio? Exit Lone Tree to the left and step up the staircase that provides access to the terrain under Obsidian and Three Forks. Snowboarders will have to take their boards off, but skiers can sidestep.
When you’re done exploring Lone Tree area or want to mix it up, exit Lone Tree straight ahead and slide onto Horseshoe, a long rhythmic groomer with views of the Spanish Peaks. It’s one of our favorite runs at Big Sky. Horseshoe wraps around to the base of Six Shooter.
Heading up Challenger
Skier in Big Rock Tongue
6. 2:45-3:45pm – The Final Challenge
Time to leave MOONLIGHT BASIN and head back to the frontside. There’s skiing yet in those legs! There better be, because you’re heading to the steeps of Challenger. Exit Six Shooter to the left and take Fast Lane. Go left off of Fast Lane once you see the Challenger lift towers. Stay right at the bottom of the run, and you’ll end up at the base of Challenger.
Exit Challenger to the left and curl around so that you’re skiing under the lift towers. After a fairly flat field, the mountain rolls over and drops away. For a challenge/that feeling of your stomach in your mouth, look for the thin entrance into Big Rock Tongue. It’ll be on the left as the mountain steepens. Big Rock Tongue is a steep, very narrow chute. But it’s short and spits out into a bowl where you can arc wide turns. For something slightly more mellow, keep right as the mountain steepens and ski 17 Green, which ends up in the same bowl as Big Rock Tongue. Go to glades to the right of 17 Green on flat light days. All these runs funnel back to the base of Challenger.
7. 3:45-4pm – Return to Base
For the final run, exit Challenger to the left, but don’t curl around the top of the lift, instead traverse to the right onto Country Club which veers to the left and joins Highway, a steep mogul run that crosses a cat track and merges with Lower Morning Star, a nice and easy groomer back to the MOUNTAIN VILLAGE.
Sing “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash and enjoy your après.
Visit our après guide here.
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