Earn Your Turns
With lift capacity limited, Big Sky is offering a new Lone Peak bootpack to access the summit sans the Lone Peak Tram. Starting at the top of the Dakota chair, the bootpack climbs roughly 1,200 vertical feet up the right side of Liberty Bowl to the Yeti Traverse, where skiers and riders can access much of the terrain offered on Big Sky’s iconic Lone Peak. Expect the bootpack to open when weather and conditions permit. Meanwhile, lower down on the hill, Big Sky is also opening a new morning uphill access route from the base area: Uphill skiers and splitboarders equipped with climbing skins can head up Andesite Mountain’s Hangman’s starting at 6:00 a.m. when weather and conditions allow. When you top out at the patrol outpost, ski back down Hangman’s to the base by 8:00 a.m.
Big Adventures, Safe Environment
Work has begun on BASE, the $20 million Big Sky Community Center in Big Sky Town Center. An acronym for Big Adventures, Safe Environment, the center will include spaces for meetings, fitness classes, youth programs, a full-sized gym, and an arts wing. An adjacent outdoor ice rink will be open this winter. Up next? Look for a stage for summer events and paths that connect to the Big Sky trail system. For more information, visit bscomt.org.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Established to support a wide range of community needs, the Big Sky Relief Fund has been busy during the pandemic. Supported by a partnership of the Big Sky Resort Area District, Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, Moonlight Community Foundation, and Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, the fund has strengthened relief efforts and consolidated information crucial to the community’s Covid response. Find out how you can help at bigskyrelief.org.
The Show Goes On
The state-of-the-art Warren Miller Performing Arts Center at Ophir School is adapting to the times while still offering the innovative theater, music, and dance it’s been known for since 2013. This year’s hybrid season will include unlimited tickets to virtual performances as well as limited in-person viewing. Look for an outdoor piano concert, standup comedy, a performance by Minneapolis’ James Sewell Ballet company, and more. The center will sell just 25 percent of its seats to allow for a socially distanced in-person experience. To learn more go to: warrenmillerpac.org.
Protecting the Backcountry
The U.S. Forest Service is putting the final touches on a Custer Gallatin Forest Land Management Plan for the area, the first since 1986 when the Custer and Gallatin National Forests were managed separately. One change that’s sparked local interest is a proposed “backcountry” designation for Cowboy Heaven—the area separating Bear Trap Canyon and the Spanish Peaks just northwest of Big Sky in the Madison Range. Some groups have asked that the area be designated as Wilderness. The less stringent backcountry designation would maintain primitive characteristics with some historic recreational uses permitted. The final version of the plan will likely go into effect in the spring of 2021.
Ski Like Bode
Olympic champion Bode Miller will one day hand down lessons he learned as an elite ski racer at a proposed winter sports academy in Big Sky. Initially set to operate as an online school for ski racers, snowboarders, cross-country skiers, and other winter sports enthusiasts, Miller hopes to expand the program to a physical school in Big Sky, Montana. Until then, Miller has partnered with the Institute for Civic Leadership Academy for an online learning program designed for students in grades 7–12. Future plans include developing the next generation of world-class skiers in Big Sky by allowing students to get a first-class education while learning to manage their time and the demands of practice and competition.