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Old 11-10-2011, 11:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bozeman, MT Trip 2012

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!
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine37 View Post
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!

You don't ride at Afton do you? Were part of the original first tracks crew that always had the RV at the bottom of 9 partying. Were part of the great western migration out of Minnesota behind 5 other crew members that moved to Big Sky\Boseman Montana, Summit Colorado, Park City Utah and were heading to Sandy Utah.

Were doing a 2 week road trip in Feb up through Ogden Utah(PowMow) and then Wyoming so we can hit Grant Targhee and J-Hole eventually ending up at BigSky and Moonlight basin where one of previous crew members is now an instructor the other a resort bus driver and the other a lifty.

So are you driving strait from Minnesota to Montana or flying or what?
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Old 11-11-2011, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks a TON for the great info Snowolf. I'll be sure to talk to some experienced locals and/or guides before doing any real backcountry riding. I am confident in my abilities, but I am also really big on safety (this is exactly why I asked!). I have a lot of respect for the mountain, and I know where my limits are...so I'll be doing my best to make sure I don't end up a statistic. I'm sure it's easy to get into all kinds of ultra-dangerous situations out in real backcountry.

Hikeswithdogs, I have ridden Afton many times. Usually I end up there a couple times every season. And you are correct about the Bozeman trip- we're planning on road trippin' it. We still aren't sure if we'll drive straight through yet- we might break up the drive into an evening plus a full day. We are also planning on using Saturday as a travel day, and then riding Sunday-Tuesday.

Thanks again for the input guys!
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have an Aunt and Uncle that live in Bozeman and a couple of years ago I went out there 3 times to ride. Bridger was my least favorite of the 3. I did have 3 stitches in my ankle from a hockey accident so I couldn't ride to hard. Bridger was steeper and the runs didn't seem very long. Big Sky I only went to for one day. Had some awesome tree runs and really enjoyed it. Was same trip I did bridger and was crippled with the ankle for that day of riding too. I did 4-5 days at Moonlight. Really like that place though. Quite a bit cheaper than big sky and was very enjoyable.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default cool big sky review

Saw your post, and I had stumbled across this review of big sky, some nice info in here that I think you would like. I have been to big sky and this seems fairly accurate.
Here is the link:
Big Sky Resort Snowboarding Review
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