Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

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Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby EMSC » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:33 pm

No time to post much. Very mixed weather day. Did get some headwaters and got a lap in Big Couloir with almost no wait at the "penalty box" checking out with patrol. Six shooter broke down for 20min at some point too.
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Who says there are no lift lines.
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Good view of the Big.
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Inside the penalty box
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Top of the Big. Pics make it look so much flatter. My guess is it is close to 50degree pitch...
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby TRam » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:36 am

Very nice! Big was closed in early jan, I really like this place and mostly not for the "Peak" but everything else. Have fun up there. The weather can be real nasty
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby EMSC » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:53 pm

Nearly identical weather day on the 3rd. Patrol wouldn't allow 1st timers on the north snowfields and the wait for Big would have been 2+ hours so we opted to just do a backside run with a couple others from our group that had come up the tram.

In the afternoon we did a hike run in headwaters area which is always quite interesting due to the rocky, narrow and kind of sketchy hike route. A couple of areas even have ropes to grab, while attaching skis to a pack is required (no putting skis over your shoulder). Multiple other Headwaters runs on the traverse in stuff, but nothing else of big interest. Very similar chalky hardpack mixed with a few inches of soft on many areas.
Attachments
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Not so awesome visibility up top.
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Getting to the bottom of Liberty bowl
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Time to hike Headwaters
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Not our group, but shows some if the rocky and narrow hike (other sections are even worse, but no way to stop and take pics.
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Sorry for the lack of action pics. Somewhere in this one if you zoom in is a ski patroller that followed us down after closing the hike gate for the day.
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:37 pm

EMSC wrote:Top of the Big. Pics make it look so much flatter. My guess is it is close to 50degree pitch...

I read 43 degrees average for over 1,000 vertical, so yes the steepest parts could be pushing 50. That may be the scariest run I've ever skied as it was 2:30PM in late March so the upper part above the dogleg had had morning sun and was firming up. Little Chute at Alta is way more confined, but it's 2/3 as long and I got it on its opening day in 2014 in hero snow.

Then there are the much longer steep runs at Las Lenas and La Grave. Our guides correctly kept us off the really crazy stuff at La Grave as it hadn't snowed in a month.
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby Marc_C » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:10 am

Does anyone know of any sources of info for where these hikes are located, which gate(s) provide access, where/how of exit details, etc.?
-marc
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby EMSC » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:59 pm

Marc_C wrote:Does anyone know of any sources of info for where these hikes are located, which gate(s) provide access, where/how of exit details, etc.?


Which Hikes? the ones at Big Sky? or the ones Tony mentions at La Grave or etc...

At Big Sky, everything off the summit Tram is downhill, no hikes needed (though many require patrol check-out). Headwaters hike to Headwaters or A-Z chutes is the same knife ridge (one side will be good while the other is wind scoured scratch) and starts at the top of the Headwaters lift.

Tony Crocker wrote:I read 43 degrees average for over 1,000 vertical, so yes the steepest parts could be pushing 50.

Which is interesting since when I just did a google several sites/articles list a consistent 50 degree pitch...

Either way, it's got solid pitch for a very nice and long vertical descent relative to many other places.
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby Marc_C » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:35 pm

EMSC wrote:Which Hikes? the ones at Big Sky? or the ones Tony mentions at La Grave or etc...

At Big Sky, everything off the summit Tram is downhill, no hikes needed (though many require patrol check-out). Headwaters hike to Headwaters or A-Z chutes is the same knife ridge (one side will be good while the other is wind scoured scratch) and starts at the top of the Headwaters lift.

Yes, the ones at Big Sky. And I use the term "hike" more figuratively - meaning a gate and a traverse as well as uphill hiking. I skied there once but was entirely clueless about what gates lead where. At the time it didn't really matter as my skiing ability eliminated a lot of them (eg: the summit tram was strictly a sightseeing ride for me).
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:19 pm

The closest Headwaters runs can be reached by a short traverse. But as you go farther (which I have not done) the ridge angles slightly upward and it rarely holds much snow. So its definitely a bootpack and I agree skis should be secured to a pack and not be carried over your shoulder.
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Re: Big Sky, MT Mar 2 & 3, 2018

Postby kingslug » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:48 am

The top of Big Sky is probably the scariest inbounds summit I have ever skied. Never hit Big Couloir but it looks insane. Little chute was enough for me. Have to get back there some time.
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