Big Mountain, aka Whitefish Resort, is definitely a place that you need a season to explore. It’s a sizeable hill, with some fine tree skiing, but it’s not the extent that takes the time to explore. Veiled in fog much of the time, it’s simply hard to find your way around. And when you find a nice new line or run, tracking it down again can be a challenge as the clouds swirl around the broad flanks of the mountain.
One of the locals we met on a chair simply referred to the fog as Montana Crowd Control. It certainly has that effect. Even on a snowy weekend, lines are non-existent and it’s a surprise when you bump into another rider. This is of course often because you don’t see them in the fog.
In three days we had a few short periods when the weather cleared. But most of the time the best place was in the trees (pics here) where the fog had little impact and the snow was at its best. There’s undoubtedly some top quality tree skiing to be found, and exploration (and pointers from locals) revealed some steep tight lines that were an absolute hoot.
And with butt flap-clad locals bringing a constant smile to our faces (Montana fashion!), we had a fine time poking around in the fog, ripping the trees in Hellroaring Basin and Wood Lot, and enjoying some fine food at Cafe Kandahar. Big Mountain is certainly a place I could happily spend a season getting to know.
Friday: 8250m Saturday: 8800m, Sunday: 5950m
Season totals so far: 27 days, 15 powder days, 206,550m vertical