Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

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Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Mar 27, 2001 7:58 pm

Ski journalists were given an unusual opportunity to ski at the private Yellowstone Club ski area just south of Big Sky. For details on the diverse activities and membership requirements, check their website.

Yellowstone Club's terrain is easily visible while skiing the south side runs from the top of Lone Peak at Big Sky.
Image
What you notice is 800 acres of impeccably groomed north and east facing runs with 3 high speed quads but almost no people on the hill. There is also a long ridgeline with numerous steep chutes (3 of which we sampled) of around 800 vertical above the groomers, and a gladed backside. There's about 2,000 acres of skiing at an elevation range of 7,200-9,900 feet now, with eventual buildout to 4,000 acres. One can only imagine it with a couple of feet of fresh powder.

Here we approach the club after passing through the security gate.
YClub01approach.jpg

Our journalist group of 20 people was probably their busiest day in 2001 since Christmas. Warren Miller was their ski director and gave an introductory speech and answered questions at breakfast in the then modest base lodge. Now that is the site of the Warren Miller Lodge.
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Warren is no longer with us, but now Scot Schmidt is the Yellowstone Club's ski ambassador.

Development progress in 2001: There are 16 mid-mountain cabins for prospective members to stay.
YClub02guest.jpg

Nearby is the beautifully decorated Rainbow Lodge for guests and prospective members, carved wooden eagle here by windows with Lone Peak view.
YClub03eagle.jpg


70 memberships had been sold and the first 20 houses and a lift connecting to Big Sky were to be built in summer 2001. For summer use, a Tom Weiskopf golf course was also built soon thereafter and the Yellowstone Club property contains 14 miles of fly-fishing streams.

Grooming was of impeccable quality but flat spots got sticky about midday with the warm but overcast weather.
YClub04groom.jpg


Brandi Miller was the guide for the advanced group:
YClub06guide.jpg


Brandi then moved us over to the Pioneer Ridge expert terrain.
YClub05pioneer.jpg


First up was Hourglass Chute.
YClub07hourglass.jpg


Stein's Run was the highlight in terms of snow quality and a sustained steep fall line.
YClub08steinsdown.jpg

YClub09steinsup.jpg


All of the NASJA members regrouped for a sumptuous lunch at the upper mountain Timberline Lodge, greeted by Marketing Director Charlie Callandar.
YClub10charlie.jpg

Small world! Charlie was one year behind me in high school at Webb in Claremont. Charlie is still in management at the Yellowstone Club after the tumultuous bankruptcy during the Great Recession.

Here I am before lunch.
YClub11tony.jpg


Dick Needham, editor of SKI Magazine for 25 years:

YClub12needham.jpg

Dick Needham hired me to write resort guides and snow analyses for the Inside Tracks subscription Newsletter from 1997-2002. These articles qualified me to join North American Snowsports Journalist Association in 1999. I gave Dick a local's tour of Mammoth at my first NASJA annual meeting. Two years later I got the invite to Yellowstone Club in conjunction with NASJA's annual meeting at Big Sky.

NASJA members at TImberline Lodge:
YClub13timberline.jpg

Recent NASJA president and occasional FTO writer Martin Griff is at left.

After lunch NASJA had a Q&A with some Yellowstone Club representatives.
YClub14nasja.jpg


Charlie is addressing us here.
YClub15reveal.jpg

At left is Jon Reveal, who was in charge of mountain operations. Warren Miller visited Jon in a Billings hospital in 2015 and wrote a quite interesting bio article. Jon's health has recovered enough for him to take on the job of reviving the Tamarack resort in Idaho.

After lunch we took a backside groomed run. The backside has open glades at the top, but the trees close out about halfway down, so some trails are cut to a cat track returning to the Lake lift. From the top of Lake my guest Garry Klassen and I left the group and skied to the base.
YClub16tonygarry.jpg

We had to hit the road by 3PM because I had a late flight home from Salt Lake.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
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Re: Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

Postby Tony Crocker » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:48 pm

In slack season I'm adding to archives. I thought my day at the Yellowstone Club would be a good TR to scan and include film print pictures. More background info:

Wikipedia summary history

5 page FTO thread on the bankruptcy

Best detail reference of the bankruptcy in that thread
Unfortunately many of the other articles referenced in that thread have broken links now.

Current Yellowstone Club trail map:
YC_map2018-19.png

All of the Pioneer Mt. lifts were there in 2001. Eglise Mt. is relatively new. The lifts/trails in the lower part of the map are "real estate lifts" to provide ski-in ski-out access to homes. Some of those lifts also provide access to Big Sky.

There are about 500 members now. They are still selling new properties, 4,000 - 8,000 foot duplexes or triplexes for $6M - $19M.

Cross Harbor Properties, new owners of the Yellowstone Club, also assisted in bailing out the Spanish Peaks and Moonlight Basin bankruptcies. Those properties are integrated into Big Sky now while Yellowstone Club remains private.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

Postby snowave » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:28 pm

funny, I was just reading an article about Ashton Kutcher having 2 places up there, and bounced back and forth to a couple other articles. Thanks for the photo TR ~20 yrs later! ;)

Some more interesting stats on the place.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... aires.html
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Re: Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

Postby jamesdeluxe » Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:37 am

What a coincidence; I was thinking about the Yellowstone Club yesterday and about to do a FTO search for it, then I saw this post (I thought that Admin was the one who'd visited YC, not Tony).
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Re: Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

Postby EMSC » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:46 am

How tracked up were the steeps? EG one would think only the patrol would even be competent to ski it, but maybe there are one or two uber-rich that actually know how to ski?
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Re: Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:21 pm

EMSC wrote:How tracked up were the steeps? EG one would think only the patrol would even be competent to ski it, but maybe there are one or two uber-rich that actually know how to ski?


I was there at a very early stage, which is why journalists were invited. No homes had been built yet.
Our journalist group of 20 people was probably their busiest day in 2001 since Christmas.

I don't think we saw anyone else there in 2001 who was not an employee.

I have never bought into the stereotype that there is some kind of inverse relationship between one's bank account and ski ability. The obvious point is that skiing is not and has never been a cheap sport so there are barriers to entry with limited resources. I have also read that a high proportion of expert skiers started before age 10, meaning their parents invested some time and $$$.

Snowave's reference mentions that the average Yellowstone Club owner spends 60 days a year there. I'm sure a lot of that time is in summer but there have to be a significant number of members skiing 20-30 days a season there.

One of the other recent articles mentioned that peak attendance during Christmas Week is about 2,000 members and guests, though I'm sure quite a few of those don't ski much.
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10669
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California

Re: Yellowstone Club, 3/25/2001

Postby Tony Crocker » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:11 pm

Snowfall claims are more realistic than at Big Sky.

From Yellowstone Club website:
https://yellowstoneclub.com/ski/ wrote:Pioneer Mountain is the star of YC, with a peak elevation of 9,860 feet and an average of more than 300 inches of snowfall each year.


From Wikipedia page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_Club wrote:Snowfall averages approximately 300 inches a year and is very consistent from year to year and week to week. Although it is one of the few western ski resorts located east of the continental divide, the area receives consistent light snows. The club's tagline is "Private Powder" and this is made possible by frequent snows and low skier traffic.


I still have the souvenir hat:
IMG_2474.JPG
http://bestsnow.net
Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
User avatar
Tony Crocker
 
Posts: 10669
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:37 am
Location: Avatar: Charlotte Bay, Antarctica 2011
Location: Glendale, California


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