Big Sky Resort Powder Dreams

This winter we made our 14th annual trip to Big Sky Resort. This year we connected with two Big Sky locals – Brad Biolo and Dan K. Over two storm days we toured all over Big Sky Resort finding deep powder and hidden lines that seemed to go on for miles. While we hoped for some sunshine we got nothing but blower powder. If its not going to be sunny it better be snowing. It snowed for almost 30 days strait at Big Sky and we were there during the middle of it! We wish we had more time to explore the largest skiing in America during our time at Big Sky. Enjoy the images and keep your eyes open, a few of these may pop up in some tourism and skiing related media. Thanks Dan, Brad, Big Sky Resort, 810 Mtn Crew, Mystery Ranch, Montana Ski Company and GlacierWorld.com photography.

Brad playing in the Big Sky Resort powder.

Brad playing in the Big Sky Resort powder.

Powder was the name of the game at Big Sky Resort.

Powder was the name of the game at Big Sky Resort.

Brad dropping in the forest on a powder day.

Brad dropping in the forest on a powder day.

Brad booting up from one of the tree forts around Big Sky Resort.

Brad booting up from one of the tree forts around Big Sky Resort.

The Big Sky Resort Mountain Mall got a face lift and looks even better with a fresh coating of white.

The Big Sky Resort Mountain Mall got a face lift and looks even better with a fresh coating of white.

The Big Sky Resort village is the starting place for all things fun at Big Sky.

The Big Sky Resort village is the starting place for all things fun at Big Sky.

A new breakfast and lunch spot on the resort above Rice Bowl.

A new breakfast and lunch spot on the resort above Rice Bowl.

Dan loving this powder day.

Dan loving this powder day.

Dan in the old forest near Dakota Lift.

Dan in the old forest near Dakota Lift.

Dan charging down the lower section of Lone Peak.

Dan charging down the lower section of Lone Peak.

Brad airing out a cliff near Lone Pine on the Moonlight side of Lone Peak.

Brad airing out a cliff near Lone Pine on the Moonlight side of Lone Peak.

Brad cruising down Three Forks Chute on the Moonlight side of Lone Peak.

Brad cruising down Three Forks Chute on the Moonlight side of Lone Peak.

Brad enjoying the powder on Bone Crusher with Challenger lift in the background.

Brad enjoying the powder on Bone Crusher with Challenger lift in the background.

Canyon Creek Avalanche Photos Before and After

I wanted to share these images of mine from skiing the past five days in the Canyon Creek area near Whitefish, Montana. They show the Skook Chutes before and after the avalanche on 2/25/2014. On Sunday 2/23/14 our group skinned up to the Skookoleel Peak and dug a pit in the first opening. Here are our ops from that Sunday.

We skied Banana Chute a few days before this avalanche and got the third shot shown below before the slide. Then today 2/26/2014 we skied Banana Chute a day after this slide to photograph the crown, run out and damage.

Please have all your gear, travel safe, dig a pit and read the avalanche report - http://www.flatheadavalanche.org

 

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Lookers left of Skook Chutes from Banana Chute.

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Looking direct at Skook Chutes from middle Banana Chute.

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Looking direct at Skook Chutes from upper Banana Chute on Feb. 21, 2014 – 4 days before the slide seen in the above photo.

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Debris pile and broken 9″ tree section. Deposit depth 6-10 feet wide spread. A groomer has been through since the slide

Storm Cycles in Montana

We got the call from TJ David saying he was going to be back in Montana for a few days via the train. We connected for two great days in the backcountry with friends David Steele & Greg Fortin of Glacier Adventure Guides. TJ and his Storm Cycles crew are rolling Amtrak from Chicago to Whistler, BC and hitting some ski spots along the way. This year’s crew was TJ David, Hayden Price, Whit Boucher, Thayne Rich, Caleb Brown and Trent Bona.

We made new friends and shooting was smooth – all the powder and pillows we could ask for. Keep following them on their adventures at http://amtrakseason.tumblr.com

David stomps a back flip as TJ films from below.

David stomps a back flip as TJ films from below.

Thayne tapping the snowghost.

Thayne tapping the snowghost.

Hayden skiing in the burn.

Hayden skiing in the burn.

Thayne in the burn.

Thayne in the burn.

Whit skiing the burn.

Whit skiing the burn.

Hayden popping off some pillows.

Hayden popping off some pillows.

Thayne in main pillows.

Thayne in main pillows.

Caleb doing some tree limbing while in the air.

Caleb doing some tree limbing while in the air.

Caleb stoked.

Caleb stoked.

TJ on the main pillows line.

TJ on the main pillows line.

Hayden getting some air.

Hayden getting some air.

Caleb popping into some pillows.

Caleb popping into some pillows.

Whit rolling over.

Whit rolling over.

Caleb blasting through some pow glades.

Caleb blasting through some pow glades.

Hayden playing on a natural feature.

Hayden playing on a natural feature.

Thanye and Hayden checking the iphone footage.

Thanye and Hayden checking the iphone footage.

Thanye thinking up his next trick.

Thanye thinking up his next trick.

Hayden loving life.

Hayden loving life.

Whit post pillows.

Whit post pillows.

The crew crossing over the railroad tracks.

The crew crossing over the railroad tracks.

Whit and Hayden in the no fall zone.

Whit and Hayden in the no fall zone.

Whit and Hayden heading back to the lodge for a beer.

Whit and Hayden heading back to the lodge for a beer.

The crew back at the trail head.

The crew back at the trail head.

Caleb, Hayden and Whit coming out of the backcountry.

Caleb, Hayden and Whit coming out of the backcountry.

Trent making some web teasers in the morning.

Trent making some web teasers in the morning.

Thayne skiing above Coal Creek.

Thayne skiing above Coal Creek.

Greg and the crew snacking.

Greg and the crew snacking.

David will some Lodge Pole ash war paint under his eyes.

David will some Lodge Pole ash war paint under his eyes.

Whit and Hayden finishing out the jump.

Whit and Hayden finishing out the jump.

Thayne and David building the  jump as TJ and Caleb make sure everything is safe.

Thayne and David building the jump as TJ and Caleb make sure everything is safe.

Hayden stepping out the jump.

Hayden stepping out the jump.

Whit coming off the wedge.

Whit coming off the wedge.

Magical Powvember in Whitefish

This blog we have Brad Biolo from Big Sky, Montana giving his thoughts on the Powvember that has taken place in Whitefish and a few new gear reviews. Enjoy Craig’s images and what Brad has to say below. 

Brad heading down a hallway in Langley Trees.

Brad heading down a hallway in Langley Trees.

It doesn’t happen every autumn, but sometimes the Whitefish range receives enough snow that we begin to experience “mid season” skiing conditions as soon as Thanksgiving. Let’s just say that 2013 was one of those falls. A mid November text I received from good friend and mountaineer Jason Keister sums up the stoke of the Flathead ski community, “skied powder today – so wonderful!” Oddly enough the resort doesn’t plan to spin their lifts til December 7th so only dedicated skiers and boarders with the motivation to hike the mountain were treated to these preseason powder days. After hearing tales of hero snow and that Glacier Park was good to go, I decided it was time for an extended vacation to my hometown of Whitefish. I connected with Glacierworld.com mastermind Craig Moore and the rest of the Whitefish Powder Ninjas for two weeks of hiking and and skiing, while Craig photo documented. We braved unseasonably frosty temps well below zero and broke in some new equipment from 810 Mountain CrewIcelantic SkisMontana Ski company, and The Wary avalanche pack.

Brad’s reviews

810 Mountian Crew Jacket and Pants:
Pants Lightweight comfortable fabric kept me warm in subzero hiking temps. For having a baggy cut in the legs, the adjustable waist belt kept the pants from sagging. They stayed on my hips while hiking and were never uncomfortable. Stylish cut, blaze orange color is a good time. Well placed vents on inner and outer thigh and roomy pockets. Solid blend of backcountry function and mainstream ski fashion.Jacket. This jacket is ready for powder. Bomber velcro/plastic wrist closures and waist drawstring are a step up from designs I’ve seen on other jackets. I’m usually not a fan of inner powder shirts but i am impressed how this design does not creep up my torso as I hike and ski. The collar is tall and snug to keep the snow off your face out of the jacket. Also equipped with an adjustable removable helmet compatible hood.

The Wary Avipack 33L Backpack:
This was my first experience wearing a backpack equipped with an inflatable airbag flotation system. I am impressed by how much i did not notice the system as I put the pack through the daily rigors of touring. The release cord tucks away inside a small zipper pouch on a shoulder strap so its not in the way when not in use. The pack fits well and had plenty of space. There is a handy detachable sling that secures a helmet to the top of the pack. The clips that attach skis to the pack were easy to use and held the gear snug. The exterior compartment is designed specifically to lodge shovel, probe, and snowsaw. The main compartment is accessible from either exterior full wrapping zippers or from a unique zipping padded back panel that comes in handy when helmet and skis are attached to the pack. A smaller top exterior pocket had copious space to stash food, compass, pocket knife, ski straps, and any other helpful touring trinkets. The buckles and zippers have the most durable design that I have seen on any backpack. My only nitpick is that the felt lined interior goggle pocket does not have enough volume to house large framed goggles, which are currently popular both as a fashion statement and because they interface well with ski helmets.

Icelantic Skis Nomad RKR 181cm:
The Nomad has been my favorite board since I first rode them in 2008. Last winter Icelantic updated the model by adding subtle tip and tail rocker to compliment the camber stiffness and shape that allow the Nomad to ski fast and aggressive in all conditions. This was my first opportunity to put the new design to the test for myself and I had an incredible experience. Skis with rocker preform in powder, but it has been my experience that they tend chatter and struggle to hold and edge on firm snow. The Nomad has a reputation for versatility and I was skeptical that adding rocker would detract from this trait. This is a scenario where I am glad to be proved wrong. The Nomad is now more versatile then before with the ability to turn wind buff snow into surfy powder thanks to subtle rocker that keeps the tips floating in less then perfect snow. The tail rocker makes finishing one turn and beginning the next almost effortless. Critics of the Nomad who claim it takes a lot of work to stay on top of the the ski should give the RKR a second chance. I felt like the rocker was there when I needed it and unnoticeable when it was time to ski fast on hard pack. All untracked snow felt like powder and I never experienced tip chatter or tail wash out while skiing out Russ Street. The Nomad remains the most versatile ski in the game, a true quiver of one. Thank you Icelantic Skis Athlete Joe Turner for letting me borrow these skis. 

Montana Ski Company Canyon Creek 185cm:
On one of our afternoon tours up the hill we linked up with Montana Ski Company founder, Zak Anderson. I figured it would be a good opportunity to give that ski brand a try; so we adjusted the bindings on Craig’s custom built 185cm Canyon Creek model boards, dug some old skins out of the gear bin that almost fit, and headed for the mountain. It was my first time on a true custom built board and I can see why one would make the investment. This ski was just my style. It was incredibly stable in the turn, inspiring confidence to ski aggressively. To compliment to the powerful and responsive camber which is customary of boutique skis, subtle tip/tail rocker and moderate side cut enabled the boards to easily initiate turns at speed. Playful and stiff, I enjoyed how easily these skis could change from long radius to short radius turns without losing speed. We stayed out till sunset “product testing” in the soft snow nestled in the perfectly spaced old growth forest underneath Chair 4. 

I hope you enjoy Craig’s photos from the past early season outings.

"Opening skinng day" following the 2-3 feet that fell in late November in Whitefish.

November 17, 2013″Opening skinning day” following the 2-3 feet that fell in late November in Whitefish.

Zak stoked at the top of Chair 4.

Zak stoked at the top of Chair 4.

Zak in Powder Trap trees.

Zak in Powder Trap trees.

Brad in Powder Trap trees.

Brad in Powder Trap trees.

Brad booting over to Chair 4 after a little skin failure.

Brad booting over to Chair 4 after a little skin failure.

Brad making some big turns down Powder Bowl.

Brad making some big turns down Powder Bowl.

Brad skiing in the shadows of Chair 4.

Brad skiing in the shadows of Chair 4.

Jason tasting some powder on Langley Trees.

Jason tasting some powder on Langley Trees.

Brad getting the goods in North Bowl.

Brad getting the goods in North Bowl.

Brad coming down late East Rim.

Brad coming down late East Rim.

Amy make powder turns on Hellroaring Peak.

Amy making powder turns on Hellroaring Peak.

Kate surfing the powder on Hellroaring Peak.

Kate surfing the powder on Hellroaring Peak.

Brad skinning up Hellroaring Peak.

Brad skinning up Hellroaring Peak.

Brad making his first turns of the season.

Brad making his first turns of the season.

Alert doing some preseason touch and go around the resort.

Alert doing some preseason touch and go around the resort.

Some of the Whitefish Powder Ninjas skiing up for the goods.

Some of the Whitefish Powder Ninjas skinning up for the goods.

Brad skijoring with his husky Tuck and Craig's blue heeler Jet.

Brad skijoring with his husky Tuck and Craig’s blue heeler Jet.

Elk Mountain with StormCycles crew from Skiing Magazine

Got a call from TJ David & Brody Leven with Skiing Magazine saying they were going to be in Northwest Montana’s Glacier Country and wanted to ski some backcountry. So we connected with our local friend Greg Fortin with Glacier Adventure Guides for a day of skiing in Glacier National Park. Below are some of my images from that day, we had wind gust over 50 mph knocking us over as we skinned and some dramatic clouds over head.

Greg Fortin

Greg Fortin

Brody Leven

Brody Leven

Brody and Greg digging in the pit.

Brody and Greg digging in the pit.

TJ David

TJ David

Brody Leven

Brody Leven

TJ David crossing the tracks

TJ David crossing the tracks

Greg Fortin

Greg Fortin

Greg Fortin

Greg Fortin

TJ David

TJ David

TJ David rocking the Texas suitcase
TJ David rocking the Texas suitcase

 

 

Aspen meets Montana with Skiing Magazine

Last month we connected with TJ David and Greg Ernst from Aspen, CO during their visit to Whitefish while on a press trip for Skiing Magazine. The morning fog burned off and it turned out to be a nice day to check out the resort. Enjoy the images.

Photos are all (C) Craig Moore/GlacierWorld.com 2013 All Rights Reserved.

The day started with a wicked sunrise.

Sunrise with the Great Northern Mtn (left(

Sunrise from Whitefish Mountain Resort with the Great Northern Mtn (left)

 

 

One day at a time // All Images (c) GlacierWorld.com, Inc. All rights reserved.