Northern Rockies/Alberta Big Sky 2019-2020

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020
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4,303
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
What’s a “Sandbag” ski run?
Per the way it was used earlier, it's a run that's harder than it's color would lead you to believe. ("Sandbagging" being a term for intentionally performing worse than your real skill level in order to get some advantage later.)
 

surfandski

Getting off the lift
Skier
What’s a “Sandbag” ski run?
When climbing in Yosemite it wasn't uncommon to come across pitches that were "sandbagged" in that they might call it a 5.10 but in reality it would be a 5.11+ in other parts of the country. It used to be a badge of honor with the old schoolers where it was like, I'm so good, this only feels like a 5.10 to me when us mere mortals were straining just to survive. Heck, some 5.9s in Yosemite could be downright scary and I've come across a few ski runs where there's a similar discrepancy but definitely not as common in our sport. A blue in Wisconsin may be like most greens out West and even out West, some mountains that generally have more expert terrain may stretch the truth a bit calling something a green if they are wanting to advertise more beginner friendly terrain. You could say they sandbagged those runs by making them appear easier than they actually are but the color grading is really just relative to that specific mountain.
 
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skidrew

skidrew

Putting on skis
Skier
Posts
264
FWIW, I'd say that Big Sky run grading is pretty fair, with the biggest issue being some inconsistency between the Moonlight Basin grading, which is on the easier side, and the Big Sky grading. The difference between a hard blue and an easy black is pretty subjective (and same for green/blue) that it's easy to argue both sides. (Safari is the one green run that I'd say borders on blue.)
 

ejj

Booting up
Skier
Posts
64
As mentioned, the grooming and time of day are what can modify the grading. Fresh snow gets skied out and that can change the experience for people that aren't used to it.
 

Bruuuce

My advice is worth what you paid for it.
Skier
Posts
424
Location
Steamboat Springs
To continue my "off" timing this year...

Went to Jackson last year when the gathering was at Big Sky and this year I'm headed to BS while y'all head to JH. Since it's been a while since I've been to BS and you all were there last year, anything stand out as runs you enjoyed (could be puckery or smooth), food to be found or other tips that I can't get from the normal Internet guides? We have one "intervanced" skier, but the rest are advanced to expert.

Any info would be much appreciated!!!!
 

dbostedo

Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020
Moderator
Posts
4,303
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
To continue my "off" timing this year...

Went to Jackson last year when the gathering was at Big Sky and this year I'm headed to BS while y'all head to JH. Since it's been a while since I've been to BS and you all were there last year, anything stand out as runs you enjoyed (could be puckery or smooth), food to be found or other tips that I can't get from the normal Internet guides? We have one "intervanced" skier, but the rest are advanced to expert.

Any info would be much appreciated!!!!
For the intervanced... If the snow is good, the stuff off of Lookout Ridge is a lot of fun - particularly Single Jack and Double Jack, though you have to take the ridge a long way out. And Congo seemed to be a PugSki group favorite if you're coming back to the base off Andesite. And Elk Park Meadow has infinite lines depending on conditions.

I never made it back anywhere off of Dakota or Shedhorn, or up the Tram - the place is huge. For the harder stuff, you're gonna need some other folks to clue you in.
 

BS Slarver

Formally known as Catskill Carver
Skier
Posts
807
Location
Big Sky MT
@bruuce - shoot me your dates for BS.
We are at the gathering for only part of it and would be happy to show you around when your in town
Last time we got together in Steamboat we didn’t get to ski together- we need to fix that !
 

Jack skis

Ex 207cm VR17 Skier
Skier
Posts
352
Location
Fidalgo Island, WA
Skiing off the Tram goes from black diamond Liberty Bowl at the "easiest" on up to crazy when you can see where you're going. As it's about 1400' of exposed vertical there aren't many places to relax and cruise, for most ordinary mortals. One of the places we liked off Shedhorn was Dude Park (well spaced trees) which can be skied on even low vis days. There are more trails off Dakota and Shedhorn than there is grooming which can make for soft snow skiing. The Bowl has fun lines too and open slopes with good pitch. Single Jack and Double Jack are on the Moonlight Basin side of the place. While you're at Big Sky make a trip to the Corral for a meal. It's a cowboy bar with good bar food and happy people. Don't expect it to be quiet and romantic as it ain't either of those. Need a ski shop, rentals, tunes, or repairs? Find Lone Mountain Sports, it's easy as it has ski in/ski out access. Extra points if you can find Rice Bowl and Buffalo Jump. Enjoy.
 
Last edited:

Bruuuce

My advice is worth what you paid for it.
Skier
Posts
424
Location
Steamboat Springs
@bruuce - shoot me your dates for BS.
We are at the gathering for only part of it and would be happy to show you around when your in town
Last time we got together in Steamboat we didn’t get to ski together- we need to fix that !
I'd love to get together while we're there. I'll PM you. Thanks!
 
Thread Starter
skidrew

skidrew

Putting on skis
Skier
Posts
264
Skiing off the Tram goes from black diamond Liberty Bowl at the "easiest" on up to crazy when you can see where you're going. As it's about 1400' of exposed vertical there aren't many places to relax and cruise, for most ordinary mortals. One of the places we liked off Shedhorn was Dude Park (well spaced trees) which can be skied on even low vis days. There are more trails off Dakota and Shedhorn than there is grooming which can make for soft snow skiing. The Bowl has fun lines too and open slopes with good pitch. Single Jack and Double Jack are on the Moonlight Basin side of the place. While you're at Big Sky make a trip to the Corral for a meal. It's a cowboy bar with good bar food and happy people. Don't expect it to be quiet and romantic as it ain't either of those. Need a ski shop, rentals, tunes, or repairs? Find Lone Peak Sports, it's easy as it has ski in/ski out access. Extra points if you can find Rice Bowl and Buffalo Jump. Enjoy.
I think you mean Lone Mountain Sports - http://www.lonemountainsports.net/rentals/

(I've been renting skis there the past few years - agree with recommendation especially for anyone staying near Mountain Village base)
 

Jack skis

Ex 207cm VR17 Skier
Skier
Posts
352
Location
Fidalgo Island, WA
Caught me there on Lone Mountain Sports. I went back and corrected it. Wife and I had locker there for some years, the staff would let us try new arrivals in their demo stock, and participate in manufacturers new models on snow days skiing, complete with rating sheets to fill out. Good folks and I was glad to see them again when at last seasons gathering, though I could barely sk.
 

MN_Drew

At the base lodge
Skier
Posts
12
Did either the Spanish Peaks base to Flatiron Mountain lift or the Madison real estate access lift end up getting built this year? I haven't seen any coverage of either. If the SP/Flatiron lift was built, did they cut any new runs on that side of Flatiron?
 

Talisman

Out on the slopes
Team Gathermeister
Posts
554
Location
Gallatin County
The new lift up Flat iron from the East has the lift line cut, tower bases poured and top station in place. No new trails have been cut other than the lift line on Flat Iron.

Flat Iron Top dec.jpg
 
Thread Starter
skidrew

skidrew

Putting on skis
Skier
Posts
264
So sounds like it won't be finished for this season? Which may not matter if the hotel isn't ready . . .
 

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