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Talisman

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Yep - Explorer's sole purpose best I can tell is for very beginning skiers to access some beginner terrain, that might be more difficult to access via Swiftcurrent. And perhaps for real estate access.
If Swifty is down or running slowly on diesel, the Explorer can be a link to the Challenger chair for getting up and away from the base area.

Swifty is a linchpin for Big Sky and when it has issues the guest experience deteriorates quickly. Fingers crossed the motor control issues on Swifty are fully resolved.
 

focker

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If Swifty is down or running slowly on diesel, the Explorer can be a link to the Challenger chair for getting up and away from the base area.

Swifty is a linchpin for Big Sky and when it has issues the guest experience deteriorates quickly. Fingers crossed the motor control issues on Swifty are fully resolved.
Looking at the map I was wondering about that. If Swifty goes down the line on Explorer must get huge. While my family of skiers could have fun on Andersite all day I'm doubting that's the case for many people.
 

focker

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How would everyone recommend spending 3 days skiing Big Sky? My family enjoys long groomers and tree skiing.

I was thinking we could spend most of a full day on Andersite, a full day on the main hill and a day over on the Moonlight side.
Not sure the stuff back off Shedhorn is for us...
 

Jack skis

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foker you don't have to restrict yourself to spending a day on Andesite, a day "on the main hill" etc.. When you get there you'll see that you can ski runs all over the place (almost) in the same day. You can get a lot of variety and find the runs you like best doing that. The high speed lifts get you uphill fast and a trail map will guide you around the place. An instructor the first day could do the same thing, only better. Maybe they still have guided tours of the area.
 

graham418

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6 vs 8 ... big sky seems to go big !
Any of the 8 packs I’ve been on in Europe were a hoot.
Between dinner, night skiing and morning congestion... the whopping 5 minuet wait, they will have all bases covered.
Can’t wait for explorer change out. Heard yesterday the new gondi will top out at the bottom of powder seeker.
Some comp lift tickets yesterday offered up some sweet mellow mtn biking

View attachment 52639


That hill looks a lot more intimidating without any snow on it !!
 

Talisman

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Maybe they still have guided tours of the area.
Yes, BS provides tours with Ambassadors every day leaving from a gathering spot near Swifty. The tours are geared toward intermediates and lower.

There is good skiing off of Shedhorn (aka Sheddy) if the snow hasn't been sun scorched. Typically a few trails of Sheddy and Dakota are groomed daily. On cold days skiing off of Sheddy and Dakota in the sun is a good way to stay warmer.
 
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skidrew

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foker you don't have to restrict yourself to spending a day on Andesite, a day "on the main hill" etc.. When you get there you'll see that you can ski runs all over the place (almost) in the same day. You can get a lot of variety and find the runs you like best doing that. The high speed lifts get you uphill fast and a trail map will guide you around the place. An instructor the first day could do the same thing, only better. Maybe they still have guided tours of the area.
While I agree with this, getting to/from the main area to Moonlight adds some time and requires a couple of lifts to traverse. You can certainly do this in part of a day or less, but you will maximize your vertical if you bunch your Moonlight skiing together into a day or part of one (or more if you like it over there!).
 

Talisman

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While I agree with this, getting to/from the main area to Moonlight adds some time and requires a couple of lifts to traverse. You can certainly do this in part of a day or less, but you will maximize your vertical if you bunch your Moonlight skiing together into a day or part of one (or more if you like it over there!).
It is possible to spend too much time skiing Big Sky "sideways" versus racking up verticle skiing a lift pod. Skidrew, thank you for keeping Spirit Mountain and Flatiron Mountain out of this thread. I was concerned you were going to reveal powder stashes.

Seriously though, Big Sky is massive and there are usually powder pockets and untracked corduroy to be found off of some of the far flung lifts for those who explore. While I wouldn't recommend anyone spending the day at Spirit or Flatiron, there are times when they do hold the goods and few others to share with.
 

SShore

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@focker, don't discount Shedhorn, Upper Sunlight is usually groomed and the only real intermediate alpine experience at Big Sky and the tree skiing in Packsaddle Glades and Dude park would be enjoyable for your family. Just be aware of the light. It can be very vertigo inducing over there in really flat light.

I don't ski Moonlight much in the winter (Dec-Feb) as it is always in the shadow and it can be very cold on that side.
 

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My own supposition is that Doppelmyer offered Big Sky the opportunity to "upgrade" to the 8-place lift as sort of a promo for the chair - otherwise it would have been six-place. One thing to note - the PowderSeeker 6 didn't markedly improve uphill capacity to the Bowl - there are fewer chairs with more spacing than the old triple. the benefit (other than heated seats if they work) is the ride is 3 minutes instead of 9. Don't know the figures for the new Ramcharger, but it wouldn't surprise me if the figures are similar.
I agree.
Three additional points. (1) Uphill capacity at PowderSeeker can be increased, when needed, by adding more chairs. (2) When the Powder Seeker was announced, BS management said they thought the heated, covered, reliable, direct drive, quiet, high speed 6-8 place lift will become the standard resort lift over the next decade therefore they think they're just getting started ahead of some of the competition. (3) Lots of effort has gone into locating the new chair barn in a spot that does not adversely impact the view from Everett's.
 

milkman

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How would everyone recommend spending 3 days skiing Big Sky? My family enjoys long groomers and tree skiing.

I was thinking we could spend most of a full day on Andersite, a full day on the main hill and a day over on the Moonlight side.
Not sure the stuff back off Shedhorn is for us...
A short, two-hour, morning tour from the Mountain Hosts will save you time over the three day trip. Meet mid morning above the ski school at the flag.
Don't forget you can ski the same run a dozen different ways. There are plenty of groomers and trees on all three faces to fill three weeks, much less three days.

You have a good approach in skiing a different area each day. You can waste a lot of time skiing across the big mountain instead of going up and down. There are three high speed quads on Andesite, lots of terrain in the middle and two thousand acres on the Moonlight side. There are plenty of blue and green runs in every direction. (Yes BS Greens are FUN too) I'd also include at least one run over to the Shedhorn area to see it and the Yellowstone club. As they say, "It's worth the ride".
 

Talisman

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[QUOTE="milkman, post: 264511, member: 1111"I'd also include at least one run over to the Shedhorn area to see it and the Yellowstone club. As they say, "It's worth the ride".[/QUOTE] It looks like Cow Flats is being reworked a bit to make the slog over to Sheddy a little easier for those not taking the worm hole through Paradise and Bacon Rind to Pack Saddle or Dude Park.
 

focker

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@focker, don't discount Shedhorn, Upper Sunlight is usually groomed and the only real intermediate alpine experience at Big Sky and the tree skiing in Packsaddle Glades and Dude park would be enjoyable for your family. Just be aware of the light. It can be very vertigo inducing over there in really flat light.

I don't ski Moonlight much in the winter (Dec-Feb) as it is always in the shadow and it can be very cold on that side.
Getting some real Alpine skiing experience is high on my list for the family. They've only skied whitefish and while we love it they don't have much of that feel there, if any.

My plan was to hit powder seeker and challenger for a couple runs to start one day (probably our 2nd or 3rd day there) so maybe we'll head to Shedhorn after that. If I have to drop something it'll probably be Moonlight I guess, or spend less time on Andesite.
 

focker

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one issue we have is when we really really like a run we tend to do it 2-3 more times. On a small midwest hill that's no big deal, out west that can eat up a lot of time you wanted to get to other areas.
 

Talisman

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Getting some real Alpine skiing experience is high on my list for the family. They've only skied whitefish and while we love it they don't have much of that feel there, if any.

My plan was to hit powder seeker and challenger for a couple runs to start one day (probably our 2nd or 3rd day there) so maybe we'll head to Shedhorn after that. If I have to drop something it'll probably be Moonlight I guess, or spend less time on Andesite.
You might want to let snow and weather conditions factor into your plan. In snow or flat light Powder Seeker can be disorienting while the long tree runs at Moonlight are fun. On a super cold day being in the sun off of Sheddy or Dakota can be more pleasant than enduring the Sixshooter at -10*F. The northerly aspect of Moonlight preserves powder when the south facing slopes are crusty. A few runs off of the Powder seeker on a sunny day before the shadows cross the whole bowl are a classic BS expereince.
 
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skidrew

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[QUOTE="milkman, post: 264511, member: 1111]"I'd also include at least one run over to the Shedhorn area to see it and the Yellowstone club. As they say, "It's worth the ride".
It looks like Cow Flats is being reworked a bit to make the slog over to Sheddy a little easier for those not taking the worm hole through Paradise and Bacon Rind to Pack Saddle or Dude Park.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, hopefully that will improve the trip for those of us who don't care for worms. And the slog will be more worth it with a faster, more comfortable lift.
 
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skidrew

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one issue we have is when we really really like a run we tend to do it 2-3 more times. On a small midwest hill that's no big deal, out west that can eat up a lot of time you wanted to get to other areas.
While not true of all runs, there are a number at Big Sky that you'll find you can repeat very quickly. Anything off the Bowl, other than time on Turkey Traverse, is 3 minutes up, 3-7 minutes down, depending on your style and stamina. I've lapped that most of the morning, doing different runs. And true for other parts of the mountain, like Andesite, where several good runs filter right down to Thunderwolf. Lap times a bit longer, but still can do 3-4 loops in an hour, each run different but equally meritorious.
 

Talisman

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I've lapped that most of the morning, doing different runs. And true for other parts of the mountain, like Andesite, where several good runs filter right down to Thunderwolf. Lap times a bit longer, but still can do 3-4 loops in an hour, each run different but equally meritorious.
Doing 3-4 loops an hour off of Thunderwolf is some skiing that takes "quads of steel" that aren't easy develop on a smaller hill. A lap off the T'wolf even down ELk Park Ridge without stopping gets my thighs screaming early season.
 
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