Begin day two at Big Sky! What a day it was! We didn’t have any new snow today which was totally fine. We again woke up early to get to the mountain at a reasonable time, and this time, I got coffee at a different place. It’s called Mazevo Coffee Roasters & Espresso Bar and it’s located on the main road, U.S. Highway 91, out of Bozeman (see my Google review of Mazevo Coffee here). I ordered a latte with sprinkled cinnamon on top and it was absolutely phenomenal! I wish I’d taken some photos of the interior or of downtown Bozeman. It was such a cute little town! I guess I’ll have to head back there and grab some shots.
We decided to start our day over in the Madison Base area of Big Sky, which was on the opposite side of the mountain, and home to a six-pack chair called Six Shooter. This yielded some awesome photos, including the photo above. This peak was absolutely gorgeous! It was sitting alone, sprouting out over the valley, and peaking out from behind the ridgeline. As I descended further on the run, the valley opened up and granted me this gorgeous view of the peak below.
What I love most about where this mountain sits is where it appears on the run. Above is what your viewpoint would look like from the run, roughly. However, below is what really captivates me. This gorgeous evergreen forest leads right to the base of the mountain, and it shoots out of the ground, high into the air, and is covered in snow. It’s just unbelievably beautiful! I’m happy I came to this side of the resort and skied this particular run. I’d overheard from some skiers that this run was known for it’s scenic views, and they were totally correct!
I eventually skied over to a more familiar area of Big Sky and my eyes caught another peak. See, the day prior, we had some decent cloud cover, and the emphasis was more on skiing anyway since we’d never been up to Big Sky. Today, I got to take my day at my own pace and ski what I wanted to ski and take lots of photos. So, I’d never been down this run, and boy am I glad I did! I got a beautiful shot of this mountain, and a completely unobstructed view of Lone Mountain.
The summit of Big Sky Resort, Lone Mountain, holds some of the best skiing available in Montana. There are only two ways to get up – the summit tram, which is an add-on for your ski pass (typically $70-$100 per day, depending on conditions and day of the week), and a long, long, long boot pack. If you plan in advance, you can get the tram add-on for cheaper, which I would definitely recommend. Of the three days we were there, it was $80 on Friday, $100 on Saturday, and closed Sunday for avalanche mitigation (sneak peek of the next blog whaaaat??)
In the same scene, this stunning peak emerged from the clouds. I went around to the other back side of Big Sky to grab a better look of the peak. Heading over to the Shedhorn and Dakota chairlifts was the way to go! A long flat cat track from the top of Swifty lift gets you over to Shedhorn, and Dakota if you choose. The top of Dakota yields an unbelievable view of this peak, which appears to be unnamed. Looking at a textured map on All Trails, it looks to be the east side of a horseshoe-shaped mountain, with one of the back peaks called Cedar Mountain.
Regardless of the name (I nicknamed this mountain the “Timp of Montana”, in honor of Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Range), the skiing on this side was fun and tough. It was lower elevation than the rest of the resort and was really slushy. I ended up going back much earlier than my friend, which was a good thing because it took me 45 minutes from the time I left to get back to the car! I had to drive the car over to the main base area because there’s no way my friend would’ve made it there – I only got there with about 10 minutes to spare until 4pm, when the lifts stopped turning!
All in all, it was a pretty good ski day with some excellent visibility and great photography! We drove back to Bozeman that night and had dinner at Mackenzie River Pizza Co. It was delicious! I got a pasta dish, and my friend got a meat pizza. We were both totally stuffed! You can read my Google review here if you’d like to learn more. The environment in the pizza parlor was so beautiful. It was built out of logged wood and felt like a mountain home. Panoramic photos of Montana lined the walls and made me yearn to get back here as soon as possible.
Montana truly is the treasure state!
Next blog: Part three of my Big Sky trip. If you missed my first blog, you can find part one right here.