Posts Tagged ‘Big Sky

14
Jan
10

Steel Wine Dinner: Rosy Cheeks and Happy Stomachs

When I arrived at Buck’s T-4 on Sunday evening for the Steele wine dinner I found the dining room already brimming with guests sipping on the night’s first wines. One of the first wines was an Aligoté—a varietal I’d never even heard of. I found the delicate and clean flavor of this grape to be a wonderful surprise, why don’t we drink more of this grape? Apparently, the Aligoté variety has a long history of under representation as Jed Steele, founder of Steele wineries, shared with us. The Aligoté was originally considered fit only for servants to drink in long ago French history.

Buck’s executive chef, Todd Christensen, definitely outdid himself with the hors d’oeuvres creation and presentation. Just looking at my pictures makes my mouth water as I remember savoring the butter poached oysters with wild mushrooms, pancetta and reggiano. And as if those weren’t enough by themselves, Japanese salad wonton cups and duck confit fried rice accompanied the delicious oysters.

This winter’s wine dinner not only showcased culinary talent but was also designed as a metaphorical representation of Todd’s personal journey as a chef.  In Japanese culture this is called a kaiseki ryori. Each course stood for a different chapter in both his life and career, from growing up to heritage. Todd called upon his Japanese mother’s memory to remind him about the foods and dishes that captured his attention in his younger years; he really did love those wonton salad cups as a child.

We were fortunate enough to be in the company of not one but two Steele winemakers, with Jed’s son Quincy also in attendance. Quincy shared his experiences collaborating with his father on the Writer’s Block label. Like Quincy himself, it seems to be the more adventurous and quirky of all of the Steele labels. Interestingly, each of the eight wines crafted for this label feature unique writing from different authors on the bottles. The Roussane we drank that evening featured Mahinder Kalids Lapland’s work.

Throughout the eating and drinking, laughing and talking, I did my best to accurately capture all aspects of the evening on film. (Okay, I’ll admit that I really used an SD card but that doesn’t have the same sound to it, now does it?) Standing at the back of the room at one point with my camera it was a pleasure to see how good food and wine work a special magic to fill a room with a sense of merriment. Tasty wine made for rosy cheeks and delicious Rocky Mountain Elk and dessert sushi made for happy stomachs.

Too, the night was a reminder of how appreciative Big Sky is to have Mike Scholz, Chuck Schommer and Dave O’Connor back at the helm of Buck’s T-4. Together they have put countless years into making Buck’s what it is. Mike even got a little bit choked up when he was thanking all the guests for making Buck’s possible. I am from LA, and we just don’t have restaurants like Buck’s there, and we definitely don’t have people like Mike, Chuck and Dave running them.

The evening was a huge success. I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you weren’t able to attend this winter’s wine dinner I bet you won’t miss the next one.

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09
Jan
10

New at Buck’s T-4: Live Music featuring Cyrus Kimbrell

Tonight, Buck’s kicks off the beginning in a series of live music performances taking place all January long. Buck’s has a history of providing Big Sky with some of the best in musical talent. Most recently, Mission Mountain Wood Band returned for their traditional New Year’s Eve performance and excited fans with their energy and enthusiasm like times past. Tonight’s performance will be a different setting and style, with Cyrus Kimbrell making Buck’s pub his stage and the selection of tunes showcasing his unique versatility and ability as a singer and songwriter.

When asked what sort of music the audience can expect from him Cyrus  half laughed and said, “I will play anything from old Irish ballads to ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ depending on the audience.” And from what I’ve seen I believe him. That isn’t to say that Cyrus isn’t capable of serious, he just has a certain rustic charm capable of drawing a laugh from any audience.

His comedic prowess was proven in our brief photo shoot Wednesday as I spent most of the time laughing at his antics. His prop selection included his Taylor guitar, his dog Jackie Chan, a samurai sword and a skull shaped shot glass. However, beneath his humor was a mild unease at being the focus of my lens.  It’s evident that Cyrus isn’t interested in limelight or attention, he just wants to play his music.  Really, I don’t think he knows how not to play. That intensity and love of music are apparent the moment he picks up his guitar.  For those of you like me, with out any natural musical inclination, it’s a source of envy watching someone like Cyrus, who manages to humbly harness both talent and passion.

Cyrus will be playing all January at Buck’s T-4 pub starting tomorrow, Saturday, January 9th. Shows start at 10pm and admission is free. The bar is open until late and I’ve been pretty impressed by the cocktails created by Buck’s bartenders. I recommend arriving earlier to try out Buck’s new pub menu, they definitely have some of the best dishes in town. Try the fried chicken–the recipe is straight from Helen Knight’s kitchen–and I promise you will come back and order it again. And don’t forget to ask for some fried pickles no matter what you order.

Further performances will be held on Saturday, January 16th and Friday, January 22nd and 29th. If you’ve read this far you have to see Cyrus play at least once this January. He’s even made mention of a special guest performance by “Mankoon Buckstaff.” Apparently, or so I’ve been told, the only way to find out what that means is to show up and watch.  I’ll be there just to see just who or what the elusive Mr. “Buckstaff “is.

For more information please call 406.996.4111.

27
Dec
09

Buck’s T-4 Annual Christmas Party

Recently, Buck’s T-4 helped celebrate the holidays with our annual community Christmas party. Like years past the event was a big hit. It was a good chance for Buck’s kitchen to showcase some of their delicious and mouthwatering creations. Guests were able to sample some of the delectable treats off Buck’s  newly launched pub menu, like the Cajun Pork Chop Sammie. Those were a quick favorite and disappeared straight away. And the house made bison and pork sausages that came fresh off the grill were quick to follow suit.

Here is just a taste of the other bites offered at the party, I caution those with an empty stomach to not read on:  Oysters Rockerfeller, freshly carved roast beef served on warm pita bread with sheep dip, in house smoked salmon served with marinated cucumber on five spice flat bread, fried Szechwan mushroom wontons, roast vegetable pizza, a sampling of fine cheeses and much much more. For those with a sweet tooth we had trays of  creamy chocolate mint brownies, lemon curd tarts, eggnog custard tarts (my favorite), pecan tarts  and a selection of everyone’s favorite Christmas cookies.

And no event at Buck’s T-4 would be complete with out a taste of our award winning wine list and selection of local beers. The Christmas party was no exception with a variety of reds, white and a rose all available to be sampled as well as Lone Peak Brewery’s Nordic Blond and Steep N Deep Winter Ale draft beers.

The night was a good indicator of the busy winter season that lies ahead. All of us at Buck’s T-4 are really looking forward to having you join us in our dining rooms or lodging this winter. If you haven’t made it down to Buck’s for dinner yet or are still thinking about where to vacation this winter, come and see us. You won’ be disappointed!

And from all of us at Buck’s T-4 have a very merry Christmas!!!

09
Jun
09

Buck’s T-4 Open for Summer!

As warmer weather settles into the mountains, snow has been melting, the river is roaring and the first signs of summer have begun to appear. Spring is a transitional time in Big Sky where one can find themselves skiing and sun bathing on the same day. Once the ski lifts close, many retreat to the backcountry to hike and earn their last turns of the year. Spring is typically a safer environment regarding avalanche danger. It is also a beautiful time to hike with the sun warming your back and you ascend ridges in virtual solitude and make fresh tracks, even if it is on corn snow until the white disappears from the hillsides.

Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally when the Beartooth Pass opens along the Beartooth Highway which is South of Columbus, MT and near Red Lodge Mountain. Backcountry skiers flood the area from all surrounding areas of Montana to get one last chance to shred world class terrain before enjoying the Rocky Mountain summer’s treasures. Big Sky ski bums were no exception. We packed our cars, trucks and campers full of brats, ski boots, tents and beer and then headed out to the Rock Creek campground at the base of the pass. It was a joyous occasion and a bit of a reunion for many of us who had not seen each other since the chair lifts closed at Big Sky and Moonlight ski resorts. There were a few large camp-sites filled with Big Sky skiers, our campsite had about twenty of us. We spent the first night partying around the warm campfire, excited to get back on the snow the next day and excited to see each other again. Saturday morning we rose, filled ourselves with coffee and food, and then headed up the pass. The Beartooth Pass ascends to 10,947 feet and resembles somewhat of a large plateau, but is surrounded by 20 peaks, which reach over 12,000 feet.  Glaciers are abundant in the Beartooth Mountains. From Red Lodge we ascended over 4,000 feet in 15 miles. The Beartooths are breathtaking and are filled with lakes, forests and of course abundant wildlife.

We began our day at a turnout which was filled with skiers, many we recognized. We left a few vehicles at the turnout and shuttled up toward the Rock Creek headwall. I jumped into the back of my friend’s pickup truck filled with skis in my t-shirt and enjoyed the scenic ride to the top. There was a small hike ahead of us and then we descended to a fabulous chute on the Rock Creek headwall. The corn snow is very different to ski; it is difficult to carve a perfect turn because the edges of the skis slide on the round snow. But I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying the first few steep turns into the narrow entrance and down around the cliff walls. The views were incredible as I peered down this incredibly long and dynamic run. The Rock Creek Headwall was so much fun; we had to it twice that day. Other great places to ski in the Beartooths include Gardiner Headwall, 57 Chevy and Hidden Couloir.

Skier, friend and all around wonderful guy; Eric Hansen was definitely not missed at the Beartooths. Eric is the owner and creative remodeler of the Powder Bandit Ski Bus. The Powder Bandit is a mid-size school bus once used for a school sports team. Eric bought the bus and remodeled the interior to be an ideal mobile ski condo for him and his girlfriend Allison. A kitchen, dining area, two beds and ample storage space fill the interior while the exterior houses ski racks and a lockable storage compartment. Eric truly holds a genuinely positive and inviting outlook. Eric shuttled skiers up the pass Saturday and Sunday so that many could enjoy the skiing. A true public servant, Eric Hansen deserved much more than the bottle of wine I gifted to him as a ‘thank you’ for shuttling.

Spring is also the most exciting time to raft the whitewater. As the snow melts from the surrounding mountains it drains into the Gallatin River creating wild whitewater. The water is so high that often the raft companies do not take commercial trips through the notorious “Mad Mile” section of the Gallatin River. However there are plenty of whitewater thrills to be had in the upper section of the river. The staff at Buck’s T-4 is looking forward to rafting the upper section next week!

As one drives on 191 in the scenic canyon between Big Sky and Bozeman, one will see many kayakers running and playing in the rapids as well as commercial and private rafting boats. The river comes alive in June and the canyon is filled with whitewater enthusiasts. If you have some space in your vehicle and you don’t mind company, be sure to pull over and give one of these guys a lift. Montana may be the last place on Earth where hitchhiking is still common practice and a fine opportunity for friendly conversation and meeting new neighbors. Kayakers and rafters often must hitchhike in order to get back up or down the river to their vehicle.

The last of the spring showers is moving through Big Sky now and summer season has officially begun at Buck’s T-4. This summer Buck’s is offering unbeatable value with activity packages. Choose a la carte from whitewater rafting, fly-fishing, horseback riding and Yellowstone Tours. You can plan your whole Montana vacation by staying at Buck’s T-4. Travelers will not find a better deal in town for hotel and activities than they will at Buck’s T-4.

Buck’s Pub offers $10 Steak Night every Wednesday. Hand cut steaks average about 10 oz. and are cooked to order and served with salad, baked potato and steamed vegetables. Buck’s Pub is serving a barbeque themed menu this summer.

Buck’s Main Dining Room continues its tradition of offering elegantly prepared wild game; hand cut prime grade steaks, delicacies and an award-winning wine list. If you are visiting Big Sky don’t miss this diamond in the rough. Buck’s Main Dining room has been acclaimed in publications such as Gourmet, Bon Appétit and Wine Spectator.

Call 1-800-822-4484 or (406) 995-4111 to plan your Montana experience and get the best value in Big Sky.

Hopefully I will see you in Big Sky enjoying all of Montana’s fabulous treasures.

Sunny days and best wishes,

Erin

15
Apr
09

Ski Season Ends in Big Sky

 

 
 

 

It’s sad to say, but the 08/09 ski season has come to an end. As I sat in the free skier parking lot Saturday night, huddled around a campfire, surrounded by campers, a white ski bus and tons of fellow skier friends I chatted on camera about the passing season. “Overall it was a great year; it started out strong with snowfall, we experienced a couple deep freezes, spring-like conditions and then charged back into winter full speed at the end. We ended strong with great coverage and undeniably great skiing.” Everybody agreed, this season was yet another magnificent memory in Big Sky, Montana.

The end of ski season brings costumes, parties and events at every ski area. Saturday Big Sky featured its annual pond skim, which was the best yet. Ski legend Glenn Plake even showed up to show off a little of his mastery through the ponds with a clever Lincoln loop. After the pond skim, the crowd retreated to the plaza to hear “The Lobbyists” a popular local Big Sky band.

Closing day was quieter, but even more beautiful than the day before. It was a perfect blue-bird day with warm conditions and ideal spring skiing. Friends, Scott Smith, Amy Knollenberg, Blaine Ballard and I retreated to the Lost (Lone) Lakes Cirque on the back side of Lone Mountain. This area is backcountry and is accessible through a backcountry gate at the peak of Lone Mountain on Moonlight Basin’s property. The cirque is a collection of chutes, many with mandatory air, tight constrictions and exigent lines that make even the most accomplished skiers think twice. We chose one of the less demanding chutes and made first tracks. Once at the bottom, we looked out in amazement at the stunning view set against the deep blue backdrop. We hiked up and over the forest service wall that borders the backcountry and Moonlight Basin’s North Summit Snowfield run-out. After several photos, ooh’s and ahh’s we headed straight to the Timbers for their famous Nachos and $2 beer specials. We sat on the deck in the warm sun and listened to Scott play N.W.A’s classic “Straight Outta Compton” softly on an acoustic guitar while singing the lyrics in a mellow tone. There was no better way to spend Easter Sunday than worshipping the great outdoors in the great sanctuary called Lost Lakes, and listening to fine hymns such as “Straight Outta Compton”.

Although I am greatly saddened to see winter come to an end, as it is my “raison d’être”, I can be comforted by such things as; greatly reduced prices on ski equipment (I have a pair of 183 Volkl Katanas on the way), backcountry skiing (it’s dumping snow as I write this) and vacation time (I haven’t been home to see my family in Michigan for over 2 years). And although I am a dedicated worshipper of Ullr, I do like summer. In a couple of months we will be barbequing on the back deck, hiking, rafting in high water, mountain biking, climbing and camping.

Buck’s is an ideal place to spend the summer and I am lucky enough to work there. Buck’s is ideal for weddings, functions and events. We offer cuisine in our Main Dining Room which is beyond comparison, and the best deal in town on a Wednesday night in our Pub; $10 Steak Night. Buck’s is centrally located for all summer activities including whitewater rafting (Geyser Whitewater in on-site), hiking, golf and mountain biking. I am lucky enough to leave work and still have hours of daylight to enjoy many of the area’s treasures right out our back door here at Buck’s.

I invite all of you to spend some time with us this summer at Buck’s T-4. Buck’s offers affordable lodging. And all room rates include a hot breakfast buffet to get you started for the day. The activities are endless and the views are extraordinary. Buck’s is only 100 yards off the river where “A River Runs Through It” was filmed.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Montana is the last best place on earth. Come see us at Buck’s T-4, we’d love to meet you and show you some of our authentic Montana hospitality.

With love as pure as newly fallen snow (which is currently in progress as we experience a late winter storm here),

Erin

 

 

31
Mar
09

Keeping me in check!!!

Erin enjoys some turns in the trees Sunday.

Erin enjoys some turns in the trees Sunday.

As I sit here on this Monday in March and I try to recount all the highlights of last week only one thing comes to my mind. Powder. I almost feel guilty spending another Monday evening at my desk unfolding the days filled with first tram rides, epic powder days, face-shot turns and a the oodles of fun we had on the mountain all week. The 4th Annual Headwaters Spring Run-off Big Mountain competition at Moonlight was nothing less than extraordinary to watch. It snowed all week and every day brought legendary skiing. But I hesitate because eventually reading about this subject must become boring for some of you. So I sit debating on what to speak about when the past week has been one of the best skiing weeks all year, and Sunday must have been the deepest day of the year yet!

But just so I don’t make all of you flat-landers sneer in jealousy, non-belief or contempt; let me tell you a story about the trials and tribulations of a powder day.

Saturday night I dragged myself into bed and set my alarm knowing that it was going to be a big powder day Sunday, and that meant and early morning for me with aspirations of catching first chair at Big Sky. Let me preface this by saying, I have never been a morning person. I greatly admire all you early morning risers, who enjoy several cups of coffee, the newspaper and a healthy breakfast before work. I marvel at those who enjoy the sunrise. It is one of the most awe-inspiring sights, because I rarely ever see it. Even as a child my mother would sometimes have to drop cold water on me to invoke consciousness (generally around noon). My mornings usually consist of a painful awakening by my alarm just before 9 a.m., I fight myself rabidly applying every logical argument to rise, and my body fights back with extreme lethargy. Once risen, there are no showers (those are reserved for the night prior), there is also no breakfast, not even coffee. There is definitely no time for reading a newspaper. Instead I fumble through the clean clothes (or gently used pile) and find an outfit that I hope matches. But quite frankly at the un-godly hour of 10:00 a.m., who cares?

But when the snow falls my unadulterated excitement wakes me before the alarm which wakes me at 6:55 a.m. I leaped from my bed, dressed in my ski clothes and hurried out the door and caught the same friendly ski shop manager on his way to work. Once again I hitched a ride on his tailgate and was in line at 7:35 a.m. Goodness gracious I do love the early morning! Once I secured my place in line next to the other two early morning “regulars”. We chatted for the next hour and half until there was seventy people lined up behind us. We were deep into a discussion on Michael Jackson as the second hand moved steadily towards nine o’clock. I watched the lift operator like a hawk as he picked up the phone and spoke to somebody (presumably ski patrol) at the top of the lift. I could hear my own heartbeat. Slowly he lowered the phone to the receiver and looked slowly up to me. Eye contact was made. He blinked slowly and barely moved his head an inch. There was my sign! I dashed forward just as the chair came around and it blocked the other three men who were still debating the great artworks and bizarre atrocities of Michael Jackson. I looked back at their puzzled expressions and the lift operator chuckled at them. Yes, first chair on the biggest powder day of the year, had just been snaked from them by a girl. The quad scooped me up, and I had a leisurely ride up solo with three empty spaces. I laughed evilly to myself. “Whooo ha ha ha ha ha.”

Needless to say I won the race from the top of the Swift Current lift to the triple. I was very pleased with myself. I reveled quietly in my gratification. I gave myself several mental high-fives.

We loaded the triple a short while later, but this time I had the same two men with me that had met me at 7:35 a.m. As we unloaded we dashed in a tuck towards the tram. (Now, you must understand, there is no reason for me to even hurry at this point, I know I will be in first tram.) But the greed got to me. Suddenly a normally dormant streak of competitiveness rose in my blood as I stared at the back of my friend Ted. “I must get there first” I thought. My nose crinkled and my eyes became little slits of intensity. I lowered into a smaller tuck and gained speed, I started to pass him on his right side and just as I thought I was almost around him….

….I struck a thick, dense pile of snow and double ejected out of my skis into momentous forward somersaults. All the speed I had gained took me farther and farther away from my skis, which were still sitting uphill from me. I jumped off the ground and ran towards my skis; I grabbed the first one and then dug out the second. I set them in the snow and fumbled trying to put them on. The snow was too deep. My foot refused to click into the binding. Finally I realized I had to reset the binding. I vigorously picked up the ski as several other skiers passed. One after another, the tram line was filling and I was stupidly standing in the snow trying to fix my binding. I heard one skier yell as he passed “That is at least a one tram penalty.” It was actually a 2 tram penalty. When I finally entered the line the crowd cheered, partially because I had finally made it, and partially to revel in my defeat after being the only person on first chair that morning.

I re-learned a very important lesson; don’t get too greedy. This morning, I caught first chair for a great powder day, but I allowed the rest of the boys to come with me, I raced (and fell) but humbly and still made third triple chair and first tram…

I hope that you got some enjoyment out of this story, I promise not to gloat too much about the incredible skiing we experience here at Big Sky and Moonlight. You must promise to visit us out here, and experience it yourself. Looks like this upcoming week will be another great opportunity, check out the weather forecast below!

Respectfully yours,

Erin

Events for 3/31 – 4/6

Tuesday 3/31 – $3 bottled beers and $3 cocktails at Buck’s T-4.

Wednesday 4/1 – $10 Steak Night at Buck’s T-4. Don’t miss this weekly event; it is the best deal in town. 8 0z. Sirloin steak cooked to order, salad, steamed vegetables and a baked potato for only $10!

Saturday 4/4 – Ramcharger lift at Big Sky stays open until 5 p.m.

Saturday 4/4 & Sunday 4/5 – Military Appreciation and Educators Appreciation week at Big Sky Resort. Call (406) 995-5000 for details.

Monday 4/6 – The FREE ski week for Big Sky Frequent Sky card holders, mid-week pass holders and 15X pass holders begins!

Weather

Tues 3/31: Snow. (high 30)

Wed 4/1: Snow. (high 29)

Thurs 4/2: Snow. (high 35)

Fri 4/3: Snow. (high 29)

Sat 4/4: Snow. (high 31)

Sun 4/5: Partly Cloudy. (high 31)

Mon 4/6: Partly Cloudy. (high 37)

10
Mar
09

In like a Lamb, out like a Lion!

It’s March in Big Sky, which means snowstorms, parties, spring skiing, powder and tons of fun. The first week in March encompassed it all. The week started out warm and ended with two big powder days, and a rockin’ spring party.

My dad and brother came to visit, which allowed me some time to explore parts of the mountain that I rarely made it to. Sunday was blue sky, great visibility and warm weather. My dad and I headed to Mr. K a long gentle groomed run which is loved by beginners and experts alike. After our warm up we hit some of my dad’s old time favorites such as Crazy Horse, Upper Morning Star and Lobo. Although Dad has been skiing Big Sky since 1991, he still likes to stick to the same groomed cruisers he loved back then. Big Sky offers fantastic terrain for intermediate skiers. Sometimes we get carried away talking just about the Tram and all our expert terrain. But most skiers that come on vacation are intermediate skiers and they are looking to enjoy their ski vacation and not go home with any injuries. Big Sky and Moonlight have plenty to offer in that department.

Although my dad has skied Big Sky for almost 20 years, he had never been to Moonlight Basin, which definitely deserves a couple days of exploration. Moonlight Basin’s groomed trails are long and meander through gorgeous woods, and offer breath-taking views of Fan Mountain, Beehive Basin and the Spanish Peaks. We explored all the blue square runs off both the Six-Shooter lift and the Lone Tree lift. We laughed as we loaded the high speed 6-person lift at Moonlight alone. “It sure is nice to have this great amenity here, but we don’t even need it.” I said. “The trails at Moonlight are as private as you need, pristine beauty, great skiing and a taste of what Montana skiing is all about.” My dad and I laughed and remembered what Big Sky was like 15 years ago, a lot like Moonlight.

I persuaded my dad into the trees for a run. We took Whiskey down from the Lone Tree Lift, it’s a gentle slope with trees spaced out to allow plenty of turns. Moonlight has a collection of idyllic tree runs. They are not too steep, not too tight, they are just right. I suggest exploring Whiskey, White Bark, Single and Double Jack.

To end the day, my dad, brother and I headed to Buck’s T-4 for dinner. My brother fancies himself somewhat of a food connoisseur and was wildly impressed with the cuisine. “It’s crazy that there is such a magnificent gem of a restaurant all the way out here” exclaimed my dad. I ordered the Field and Stream special which consisted of a veal chop with a caper demi-glace and cherry foie gras duck confit ravioli. My dad went for the Catch of the Day special which was a seafood bouillabaisse with scallops, salmon, muscles, shrimp and crab. My brother ordered the extremely tender Bison Tenderloin. For appetizers we had Trout Cakes and Fried Oysters. The meal was fabulous, but to end it right we had a double-decker brownie with fudge and wrapped in filo dough and served with homemade vanilla ice cream. We also couldn’t pass up the huckleberry cookie and pear sorbet. Buck’s is a reataurant that shouldn’t be missed if you are visiting Big Sky. Best known for wild game, Buck’s also offers prime grade hand-cut steaks and features an award-winning wine list. There is also a hotel that offers affordable lodging. www.buckst4.com

After that dinner we were in need of some calorie burning. Luckily for us the next night it started to dump. The snow came with a vengeance. The storm was so intense driving was nearly impossible. However we were determined to make it down to the Lotus Pad, Big Sky’s only Thai restaurant, and often called “the best Thai I have eaten anywhere” by travelers. After a fantastic dinner with friends I made the journey back up to the Mountain Village and dropped the boys off. “I will never make fun of your driving again” stated my brother, who isn’t used to what a Montana snow-storm can bring in. “Thanks for getting us back to the hotel alive.”

It was an early morning indeed the next couple days. Big Sky was hit by a storm that eventually brought what seemed to be about 30 inches of snow over two days. My Dad taught me well as a kid “No friends on a Powder day.” I raced to the Swifty line early and secured my place in line for another early morning tram line filled with oceans of un-touched powder. It was divine. I can’t say enough about skiing powder, but I will restrain myself and point you to my last blog entry if you crave expansion on the subject.

After a hard day of skiing we were rewarded by going to the Yurt dinner at Big Sky. We were picked up from the Summit hotel in a snow-cat that sat 25 of us, in a cabin or on the roof. We headed up middle road to a Yurt, where we enjoyed sledding, a bonfire and a delicious filet mignon dinner accompanied by french-onion soup, mashed potatoes and vegetables. The meal was finished with chocolate fondue, and then we headed back down the mountain. If you are visiting Big Sky, don’t miss this backcountry dining experience. www.skimba.com

Saturday was Dirtbag day, our favorite holiday in Big Sky. I started my morning by visiting a punk band show at the Bambu Bar while I enjoyed breakfast and a Bloody Mary. Next, we gathered at the base of the Lone Peak Triple lift and lined up for the Dirtbag parade, where the Dirtbag King and Queen ski through a tunnel of ski poles and screaming Dirtbag ski bums, then we all headed down Crazy Horse. Next we rode back up the lifts to a stadium built from snow at the base of Crons. Powder 8 skiers, including myself hiking up Crons and lined up to see who could do the best powder 8’s. The snow had not been touched for a week and the wind had done some damage making it slab. Watching the pairs come down was riotously entertaining. After the awards ceremony at the Black Bear, we had a delicious home-cooked dinner and then dressed for the Dirtbag Ball, where all us ski bums partied until we were kicked out. The costumes all day consisted of neon ski gear, vintage clothing and the wildest, most outrageous attire one can find. The Dirty Shame played for us, and rocked the house.

The first week in March truly came in like a lamb and out like a lion.

Happy Dirtbag,

Erin




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