Author Topic: The Epic Montana Gathering  (Read 350 times)

LivingProof

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The Epic Montana Gathering
« on: March 27, 2013, 07:03:20 am »
Greetings from Montana. Both High Angles and I are in Big Sky and had a great sunny day at Tuesday. But, let me start at the beginning.

Skied Fri and Sat at Jackson Hole. Friday was in fresh and broken powder with flat light. I had forgotten just how steep the blue trails are there, let alone the expert ones. Looking back at some of the pitches from below and after skiing them, wow, it's steep by my eastern standards...and they are the blue trails. Jackson shows the weakness of my skiing. I simply don't get to ski crud, bumps, trees, combined with flat light, my technique breaks down quickly. Mostly, it gets killed by lack of confidence. Still, it/s great to be there. Saturday was a bluebird and JH groomed the the front faces, so, it became a great cruiser day. Legs are feeling well spent by days end.

Monday, skied Bridger Bowl, which is just north ob Bozemon Mt. It's a great little gem of a western ski area. Great terrain for all levels and some really steep stuff for those interested ( read not for me!) The Epic gang seperates into smaller groups of like ability, fun to ski with. Not a cloud in the sky all day, never saw such a blue sky.

Tuesday is first of the Big Sky days. Warmed up on some magnificent cruisers covered with a dusting of new snow. The Epic group makes a couple of runs together and it was akin to the start of the Indy 500 auto race. 20 people ripping down 1500 feet of nonstop skiing. Finally getting my bump skiing worked out. All is good.....but

I'm having binding issues with my skis. One of the Marker adjustable toes is moving and releasing the forward tension. So, today, I'm borrowing skis from Philpug. It's clear to me now that this problem has existed since I mounted them on my new Rev 85's and one ski has issues. I will not ski them again until it's resolved.  But, when adjusted correctly, the Rev;s are great for what I want.

More later...off to start todays skiing at Moonlight Basin.


jim-ratliff

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Re: The Epic Montana Gathering
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 10:19:17 am »
Mike:
Keep posting - i know you're going to have a great time. Big Sky is a place I'm still wanting to go. 
I'm on my way to Hawaii for a week, so had to admit that my ski year is over with. Lynn has one last day on Thursday.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:18:50 am by jim-ratliff »
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Svend

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Re: The Epic Montana Gathering
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 05:30:40 pm »
Hey Mike, great to hear that your trip is going well and that you're getting to ski some awesome mountains and terrain.  JH is on my bucket list....one of these days I will get there.  I hear great things about the Montana resorts too -- a few friends go there frequently....White fish, Bridger, Big Sky....all faves of theirs.

Hope you get the bindings fixed on the Revs before the trip is done.  After all, that's why you bought those, just for this trip (and future ventures too, of course).

Keep us posted on what you're up to.  Always fun to read trip reports.

Cheers,
Svend

« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 01:26:14 pm by Svend »

Liam

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Re: The Epic Montana Gathering
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 12:51:28 pm »
Wow, Jackson, Big Sky and Bridger in one week of skiing--that is a wonderful trip!!!

Nice to hear you got snow at Jackson...late March can be dicey on the hill.  I've visited twice: 1. Once in a week of late january snow storms (ah...) and 2. Once in some later march Rain storms (and I mean some rain at 12,000 ft)-we had a little snow later in the week, but the lower mountain was crap and the upper mountain was, well, even more expert than usual for Jackson!  But getting snow while you are there is great!

Sounds like a great trip...I have a few friends out at Big Sky Right now.

Liam

LivingProof

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Re: The Epic Montana Gathering
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 09:34:31 pm »
Hi all,

I'm back in JH, will fly home tomorrow. The Gathering is a great experience, it's all about the skiing and the people I got to ski with. In the Epic crowd, I'm at the low end of skiing skills The Big Sky, Moonlight Basin and Bridger can be very intimidating. Riding the Big Sky tram, which is tiny compared to Jackson's is nerve wracking for someone who does not like heights.

Our snow was fine, no new at Big Sky area, with the exception of Thursday afternoon when spring slush was everywhere and the resulting refreeze this morning. It did start to snow in the late morning today and the last 3 hours were some of the best skiing we had. I'm getting the hang of bumps, but, I avoid very steep and deep runs. Finally, got a run in with High Angles today, he's a sweet skier. He skis with the Epic advanced group, I can't keep up. Some nice tree runs with bumps are on both mountains. If you've not been to Big Sky, put it in your bucket list. There is a ton of terrain for blue and green skiers.

Thanks to a local 50% sale at Moonlight, I had new Look bindings put on the Rev 85's. Due to hole locations, they had to mount the new bindings at +1 instead  of "on the line" and the performance suffers a little.  After a week, I am very pleased with their performance. On Wednesday, Philpug lent me a pair or "The One" skis and they were superb in soft snow and bumps.. I'll do a review in our review section for those skis when I have a minute.

So it was a great week. We had close to 25 skiers each day and local guide who would show us the area. Apre Ski was a blast and we did group dinners each night. Can't think of a better way to spend a ski week. Next year's spring trip will return to California to Mamouth. There will be  a mid-winter trip to Utah.

Golf league starts in 2 weeks. Time to hang em up, but, it will be done with a big smile on my face.

LivingProof

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Re: The Epic Montana Gathering
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2013, 09:08:40 am »
Wow, Jackson, Big Sky and Bridger in one week of skiing--that is a wonderful trip!!!

Nice to hear you got snow at Jackson...late March can be dicey on the hill.  I've visited twice: 1. Once in a week of late january snow storms (ah...) and 2. Once in some later march Rain storms (and I mean some rain at 12,000 ft)-we had a little snow later in the week, but the lower mountain was crap and the upper mountain was, well, even more expert than usual for Jackson!  But getting snow while you are there is great!

Sounds like a great trip...I have a few friends out at Big Sky Right now.

Liam

Liam,

I remember that last year, you also liked the Gatherings little Tahoe ski area...Mt. Rose. In many ways, Bridger Bowl is similar. If you like steeps, they have an area, Schlessman's, where to ride the lift you need a transceiver....not so much for avalanche, but, to find lost people. There is a lot of serious pucker power there. It's is very close to Bozeman airport and would be a great first or last day trip for anyone flying via Bozeman.

If I did not say this in the above, all of the areas we skied have some serious steeps. I get an uncomfortable feeling, while riding chairs, just looking at the lines and tracks skied by the few with skills and guts. OK, I'm at the point where survival is paramount, and, I've no need to attempt it, but, it is a strange feeling to be nervous just looking at that terrain. I admit that the adrenalin felt during those rides does impact my confidence when skiing tight lines. There is a huge amount of easy and moderate terrain at Big Sky and Moonlight....thankf ully.

HighAngles

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Re: The Epic Montana Gathering
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2013, 10:47:58 am »
I'm back home too now.  I managed to get sick over the later part of the week and now I'm dealing with a nasty sore throat.  It was great to see and ski with everyone - mostly the same crew, although there were some new faces that I met.

It's funny that I'll ski much more technical terrain with the Epic group than I normally would choose myself if skiing alone.  I've found though that all of the work I've put into learning both one-footed and two-footed releases has provided me with the confidence that I can ski any terrain that I can get an edge hold on.  Learning the OFR and TFR solves the problem of how to smoothly link turns together no matter the terrain or the conditions.  I believe that this lack of skill is what holds most skiers back and creates the fear.