Saturday, February 27, 2010


After 1055 miles and 16 hours in the car we made it home at exactly midnight last night. It was a long but good drive home. I was sad to see the miles tick away as we got further and further away from Big Sky. But most importantly we had a safe vacation skiing and a safe drive home. I will recap our last ski day soon. I have a lot of stuff to put away...

Thanks Big Sky for being so fricking awesome! Once again you provided us with a great vacation, many smiles, and lots of laughs...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Big Sky Day 2

Well yesterday started with 4 warm up runs on our favorite green runs on Andesite. They turned out to be smooth and fast. It was another blue bird day here, not a cloud in the sky. The views were amazing to say the least. After our 4 warm up runs, Melissa want to take a break and have some coffee so we headed back to the base for a coffee break. Our legs are getting a little more tried then usual due to the hard conditions. We really need some snow to soften everything up... After our break we decided to give the bowl a try in hopes of finding some soft snow, especially after Monday when the wind was blowing the snow around in there all day and it was closed due to high avalanche danger. So anyway we headed up Swift Current and then up the Lone Peak triple. I was watching the a few people coming down in the bowl and it was looking good. Lots of powder flying off their turns. Finally we were at the top and made our way across Turkey Traverse and dropped in. Yup! Soft snow, awesome Montana snow, our turns were soft and creamy and it was heaven. We both had smiles on our faces the whole way down and we were finally giving our powder skis a workout. We got to the bottom and headed back up for another lap. Awesome. After that lap we headed back to the village for lunch at Whiskey Jacks. They have a great food and we had a nice lunch together. Once lunch was done we headed back up to the bowl for another go. After that run we decided to head back over to Andesite and do one last run over there for the day. We had a great day skiing, we finished the day sitting in the base area watching the last of the skiers and enjoying the really warm sunshine. It was heavenly.

Last night was our backcountry yurt dinner. We met over at the Summit hotel, checked in and boarded the snowcats for the 20 minute trip up to the yurt. You could either ride inside the cat or up on the roof. We decided not to ride in the warm comfort of the inside and climbed the ladder to the top of the cat where there were cushions and blankets waiting for us, yeah that was the right decision. Oh my god what a fricking blast. We made our way up the cat trail to the yurt. It was a perfect night, chilly but not to cold and a clear sky to see the stars. Once we arrived we went into the yurt where there was a nice hot bowl of french onion soup waiting for all of us, I think I counted about 30 people. Once inside the yurt we got our seating assignments and sat down, met our table mates and enjoyed the soup. We were sitting with some great people from Texas, a doctor and his wife, they were awesome. A lot of fun. We finished our soup and headed out and went sledding, they had a lantern lit sledding hill, Melissa and I did three runs on the sleds. It was great, we laughed the whole way down, it was so fun. And before we knew it the dinner bell rang and we returned to our table for, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies and the best beef tenderloin I seriously have ever had. Melissa went for the salmon, but I shared my steak with her and I think she was a little bummed she didn't go for the steak. Seriously you did not need a knife to cut this meat, it was tender and awesome! After dinner we enjoyed the company of our table mates, had chocolate fondue for dessert. Then sadly it was time to return. We talked our new friends from Texas to join us on the roof of the cat for the return trip, we laughed the whole way back. What an amazing experience. My god it was so fun. The dinner was awesome and it was just a cool experience. I highly recommend it if you ever come this way.

We finished the evening with a little TV and hit the rack... Another awesome day in Montana.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Big Sky

Well today was a fun day, we got a fairly early start. We got up had a nice breakfast and headed across the street to the lifts. We got tickets and heard a nice loud explosion! Avy work? hmmmm... What is going on, it was snowing but not very hard, the peak was in the clouds. Was it dumping up there? Interesting. We made our way over to Swift Current lift and headed up with a goal of heading straight to the Tram and making our way down Liberty Bowl to start the day. We got about half way up and heard another explosion, ski patrol is trying to get something to slide. I wonder where they are working? We unloaded and headed down toward the Lone Peak triple lift... It was closed, we also learned that Shedhorn, Dakota and Challenger lifts were also closed. The wind had really picked up it was blowing out of the north and the visibility in the bowl was zero. While we stood there we heard another explosion. Wow... I really wish I could see what was happening. But no luck and we had skiing to do. We made our way down Crazy Horse, the wind had taken it's toll on that run, it was hard and had very little powder left on it so it was a challenge to say the least.

We decided to head up Ramcharger lift and check out the runs on Andesite. Good choice, we skied: Deep South which is my favorite green run at Big Sky, it runs right along the Yellowstone Club and it is really fun to look in and see the beautiful homes in there. After Deep South we head to Big Horn which is a huge blue and turned out to be great. We also did Silver Knife which was also a fun run. We took a break and then headed back up Swift Current to see if the Tram was open. It was! So we headed up the Lone Peak triple and made our way to the Tram. We asked a ski patroller how Liberty Bowl was skiing with all of the wind and he said it was good, a lot of snow had blown over there and had started to fill back in the dumps, so he said there would be so areas of good powder. We got to the Tram and there was no line so we got on the first Tram and made our way to the summit. Holy crap it was windy up there, a little spooky with the gusty winds and the snow blowing, it was hard to see. But we got started down Liberty Bowl and the patroller was right on the money I found good pockets of ankle deep powder and it was nice and soft. Liberty Bowl was skiing awesome! We made our way down slowly but at a good pace. It was a blast. That run is so amazing! It is huge, steep and the views are incredible in every direction. We exited the bowl and enter the run Screaming Left and made our way to Middle Road. About 1 hour later we had skied 6.5 miles and about 4000' vertical feet. My legs were burning and I had to sit down for a bit, so we took a break had a little something to eat and reflected on our run for the summit. So awesome!

We did discover what was going on with the avy work, the big bowl was closed because the snow in the gullies above the bowl was very unstable and we saw evidence of at least 3 slides into the bowl which was pretty freaky to see that. Not sure if they were ski patrol induced or natural but they were slides none the less.

We finished with a few more runs on the front side of the mountain. What a great day.

We went down to the village and went through our favorite stores. I found a cool beanie and then we went to Bucks T4 for dinner. We both had Buffalo burgers which were excellent. Now we are sitting in our hotel room talking about the day and planning another ski day at Big Sky for tomorrow...

I am thinking we are going to sleep well tonight.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Moonlight Basin

Wow, what a day... We made the short drive from Bozeman down to Big Sky, it is 39 miles and it is an amazing drive, really pretty. We arrived at the Moonlight Basin base area at about 930, we got a great parking spot and got ready to roll. We headed right straight up Six Shooter lift, it was a perfect blue bird day, not a damn cloud in the sky! When we got to the top we decided to take our favorite green cruiser from the top for a nice warm up run. It was incredible, the views were amazing and so beautiful. I love this area of Montana, I love the mountains here they are awesome in everyway. Anyway, after our warm up run we headed back up Six Shooter, we had decided that we were going to head up to the upper portion of the mountain and check out our favorite tree run. After getting off Six Shooter we headed into Stillwater Bowl Traverse and down to Lone Tree lift. We took that up to Horseshoe Bowl and made our way to Lookout Ridge with the idea of heading into Single Jack, which is our favorite tree run. We were hoping to find some soft snow to ski in. They have not had any new snow in a few days so things are pretty firm. We dropped into Single jack and found some good snow along the whole run, it was pretty fun. It is so fun skiing the tree out here, they all seem to be perfectly spaced. We exited Single Jack and finished off on Lookout Ridge before heading back to the Six Shooter lift. We headed back up and took another nice long green cruiser back to the base area to have lunch and rest. It was pretty chilly here today and we need a break to rest and warm up a bit.

After a 30-45 minute rest we headed back up and went over to the South side of the resort where Big Sky and Moonlight come together, it was really cool, I poached a few turns on the Big Sky side and then came back to Moonlight Basin, in all of times that we have been here we have never seen that area of the resort so that was really neat. As always we had a great time cruising and making our way around the mountain. It is an amazing place. The skiing is always good and the people are so friendly, I think that is what makes it fun.

We finished our day with the longest run here at Moonlight, a run called Horseshoe which is 3 miles long so awesome.

We packed up for the day and headed over to our hotel to check in. We have a great room with a nice view of the mountains. It is going to be a great week.

Tomorrow we will be skiing at Big Sky... Finally!

Moonlight Basin bound

Just a short blog this morning, we are packing up the car in prep for our 39 mile drive down to Big Sky... We are going to spend the day skiing at Moonlight Basin which is on the north side of Lone Peak. I can't wait to get down there. More later.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bridger Bowl

What a great day. We got up after a pretty good night sleep and went and had breakfast. The hotel that we are staying at here has a nice breakfast included with the room. We fulled up and got ready to had out. Bridger Bowl is about 15 miles from our hotel. We had a nice drive down to the resort and found a place to park. The parking lot was already pretty full when we got there at about 915. We got our list tickets studied the trail map for a few minutes and head up. We decided that we were going to do a quick warm up run before heading up to the upper mountain. We went up Virginia City lift and came down a nice green cruiser The snow was soft and it had begun to snow. It was already looking like a great day. After our warm up run we headed back up but this time we went up Powder Park lift and then went up yet another lift called Alpine Lift to the upper part of the mountain, my god it was so beautiful up there. There was a free ride competition going on today so on our ride up Alpine lift we were able to watch a little of the competition. It was really awesome to see the competitors coming down from the ridge line. From Alpine lift we skied down Three Bears bowl which was steep and holding so great snow. We were able to find so untracked lines so we had out first powder run of the day going. Once we exited the bowl we took a nice green cruiser back to the base area. We decided that since the lifts on the right side of the resort were pretty busy that we would go up on the left side and try to get away from the crowds. We headed back up Virginia City lift and then made our way to Pierre's Knob lift. We stayed over on the left side of resort for the rest of the day. It was awesome over there we skied some great lines. Off Pierre's Knob we skied South Bowl to Thunder Road which was a great run. The Best snow we found was on Southbound which was a nice steep black that ran right along side Slushman's Ravine which is an uncontrolled avalanche area that requires you to have a transceiver, probe and shovel, we peaked and it looked pretty intense in that zone. But we were very happy with our runs off Pierre's Knob lift, we found some excellent untracked snow on every run over there so it was just awesome. I love skiing here. It is always just so amazing and so much fun. The people here are so friendly and are so chatty and glad to share a conversion about skiing.

We called it a day about 2pm because we wanted to hit the shops in downtown Bozeman and have an early dinner. We had a great time browsing around and having dinner at Montana Ale Works. Awesome place, we enjoyed a couple beers and I had a Kobe Beef Burger and Melissa had Fish Taco's which she said were really good. My burger was amazing. We were happy with our dinner choice.

We did have a minor issue, when we got back in the car after skiing I noticed a 6-7 inch crack in my windshield! Bummer. So we went and found an auto glass place to ask their opinion on whether or not I should get it fixed ASAP. They looked at it and said yes. So Wednesday I am going to drive back to Bozeman from Big Sky and have my windshield replaced. I made a 4pm appointment so we will still get a full day of skiing in. Oh well, I am not going to let it put a damper on the vacation.

Tomorrow we are leaving here at about 830 and making the 39 mile drive down to Big Sky. We are skiing at Moonlight Basin tomorrow and I can't wait. It is going to be awesome. Moonlight is amazing and so beautiful...

I love it here.

Skiing today

We are getting ready to go have some breakfast and then make the 15 mile drive up to Bridger Bowl. It sounds like they got 5 inches of snow over night so the conditions should be excellent. I am really looking forward to hitting the slopes. Also as a bonus they are having a free ride competition at Bridger today so it will be fun to check that out as well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What a day...

We just got back from dinner at MacKenzie River Pizza, man was it good. We had a really fun server so we had a lot of laughs with her. Good food and a lot of laughs.

The blue light is flashing in downtown Bozeman which means that Bridger has gotten at least 2 inches today. I can't wait to get there tomorrow.


Got up early and hit the road... We made it to Bozeman in good time and got a hotel room. We went through a lot of snow showers on the way here. Nice big flakes. After checking in we went downtown Bozeman and had lunch at the Pita Pit which has the best pita's on earth and then hit the shops. We had a great time downtown. I love this town, it is just such an awesome place. The vibe here is just so excellent. People are so friendly and every where you look off in the distance you see the mountains. It just makes me happy.

Tonight we are going to MacKenzie River Pizza which is a Montana pizza place, there are about 5 of them all around Montana, we found it in Whitefish when we were there 2 years ago and the food is awesome. I am really looking forward to going tonight.

Saturday we are hitting Bridger Bowl for our first day of skiing, I am so excited. To get on the snow here... More later...

Feb 19, 2010 1:44:27 PM

At the Pita Pit for lunch, Bozeman MT.

Feb 19, 2010 1:06:15 PM


Melissa is cracking me up this morning. She got up at 6am and has been jumping around and acting silly for about 32 minutes.... I think she is looking forward to getting on the road and heading for Bozeman which I think secretly is her favorite city on Earth. She loves it there, all of the fun little shops and cool places to eat. I am also looking forward to getting there. I looked outside and the cars are covered in a dusting of Montana powder. It is starting out perfect...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phase 1 of Vacation

Well it all started 133 days ago when I started the countdown which would lead to today...

I had a hlaf day at work today which was nice, I was busy so the 4 hours I was there went very fast which was nice. I left there at about 11 and was home at 1125, we loaded up the car and were on the road by noon. I had a goal of making it to Dickinson North Dakota, which would have been a great day 554 miles from home over half way. We made it to Fargo in exactly 4 hours. We got gas and had something to eat and hit the room. We got to Bismarck in what seemed like no time at all, the roads were perfect which was so nice. I knew we were going to make it to Dickinson with no problems at all. I asked Melissa when we were done getting gas in Bismarck if she was tired and she said no. I asked if she wanted to go a little further since everything was going so smoothly, road conditions and all. She said yes. Well we made it to Glendive Montana in exactly 10 hours... I couldn't be more pleased. It will make our day tomorrow so easy. We have an easy day of 364 miles to Bozeman tomorrow so I am very happy. We will get there early and have the whole day to bum around...

So far all is well...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Andriod blogging app..

I am just testing an app for my Driod. My goal is to blog daily while I am on vacation. I just want to see if this one is working...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Powder Day in Minnesota

Well the snow arrived this week and it arrived with vigor... We got about 10-12" between Sunday and Tuesday. I went out on Tuesday just as the storm had ended and left behind a fresh playground for me. I ditched out of work 30 minutes early and headed to Welch Village. My god it turned out to be amazing. the place was pretty much dead and there were fresh lines all over the hill. The entire hill was skiing great. I only found one spot that was icy. It was on the run Chicken which is the steepest run there and gets skied out pretty quickly. But otherwise there was fresh powder everywhere. There was awesome snow on Dan's Dive and Wild Finale, I was getting knee shots on Dan's which is unheard of for here in Minnesota. The snow was soft and a joy to ski in. I skied till just before close and then headed home thinking about how much I love to ski powder, even Minnesota powder.

Skiing on Tuesday night really just amped my excitement for Big Sky which is now under a week away. I cannot wait to get out there. I am really looking forward to it and have been watching the weather forecast more closely now for about 2 weeks trying to see patterns and estimate how our week out there is going to play out. I am hoping for dumpage all six days we are skiing. I am hoping the weather cooperates for our 2 days drive and then it can snow all it wants. We are hoping to get a ski day in at Bridger Bowl as well. So if everything goes as planned this will be the ski schedule:

Saturday - Bridger Bowl
Sunday - Moonlight Basin
Monday - Big Sky
Tuesday - Big Sky
Wednesday - Moonlight Basin
Thursday - Big Sky

Then we will start home on Friday... Booooooo

I just have a few things left to do and then I am ready to roll.

I think I am going to get one more run down to Welch in before we leave. I have Monday off so I think I am going to go down in the morning and ski the fabled Welch Back Bowl till it is ski out and then head home and finish packing for Montana...

I am going to try to blog dialy while I am out there so check back if you are interested.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting Ready

Well once again it is that time of year when I start to think, "Head west young man" I am now 14 days away from leaving for my ski vacation. So much to do so little time. I have to put a nice fresh coat of wax on our powder skis. Decide which out of my 10 skis jackets I want to bring. Clean my goggles. Pack up my ski pack with the essentials, Tibetan prayer flags, my picture of his holiness the Dalai Lama, my avy shovel and probe, lifesavers candies, Advil, bandaids and Cliff bars. Busy busy... But mostly my mind is starting to drift to the powder stashes on Lone Mountain and the awesome vibe that ones gets skiing in Montana. This needless to say is my favorite time of year. I have goals once again for this year as I do every year I head west, This year I want to ski Marx bowl and ski in the Dakota Territory. Those will be 2 new areas for me. I can't wait to get out there. Big Sky is getting snow and a lot of it. I am hoping Ullr will be kind to us once again this year.

Life is quiet, which I think is good. My head is always thinking of new things to do and new things to try. Work has been busy these last few days, so my brain is focused on the soft Montana powder and getting there. The time is going fast, I started my vacation countdown at 142 days and now I am down to 14... I know I am a dork, but that is how I roll.

Even though I am not religious this is pretty damn awesome:

Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
When we ponder the splendor of the mountains
and the glaciers sparkling with snow,
Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
When we ski, filled with joy,
in brilliantly white powder,
Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
When, through the cold blueness of dawn,
we track the snow-covered slopes,
Upon our skis, Lord, You bless us.
Lord, protect your friends the skiers and guide them
across the pistes and fields of snow
until the summit of our love resounds,
in praise and adoration.