Sorry in advance for the long post- I'm just beginning to plan a kickass trip out to Bozeman, MT for March 2012. It looks like we're thinking of hitting up Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. Possibly Moonlight too. Trip will consist of 3 days of riding.
Group Info/Background/Ability level info- The 3 others that have committed to the trip thus far will be skiers. One skier is definitely advanced level, one is a high level intermediate, and I've got no idea what to expect out of the 3rd one. I'm a pretty advanced rider when it comes to freeriding, but keep in mind that I live in the midwest (MN) so I don't have any true "big mountain backcountry" experience. I have been to (and really enjoyed) Mt Bohemia in MI though, which definitely has some fun glades/backcountry, and I've also conquered everything MN locations have to offer.
So, I've got a few questions for those that have experience w/the Bozeman area:
#1- Does anyone know if it's generally better, conditions/snow/crowd-wise, to go in earlier March or mid/late March? Does it even matter? We have some flexibility in our schedule. I know you can't predict the weather, but I thought it'd be worth checking to see if anyone has an informed/experienced opinion. Does it usually get too heavy/slushy/warm by mid/late March?
#2- Any opinions on which location is better than another- Bridger, Big Sky, Moonlight, or someplace else that we haven't considered? A really general question I know, but I'm curious what you think the strengths/weaknesses of each place might be relative to each other. Put it this way- if YOU were in Bozeman for 3 days of riding, which location(s) would you ride and why? Which would you avoid and why?
#3- Any special tips or secret spots to check out? Places/runs/etc to avoid? I know the advanced skier and I will probably want to take a few runs into some fluffy stuff/glades/backcountry/crazyness at some point. I'm not dumb enough to think that anyone would give up their secrets to a total stranger on the web or anything (of course it'd be awesome if you would tho
), but if there's a particular spot that you really like and you'd be willing to share I'd love to hear about it.
#4- Do you have to be totally out of your effing mind to go down the stuff on Lone Peak
? I It looks SUPER awesome, but as I said I haven't done any riding quite like THAT before. Where can I gain some solid experience so I can get a feel for the mountain and figure out whether I'm able to work my way up to Lone Peak?
Any/all advice is welcome. Happy shredding!