Winter sports are a relatively new activity for myself and family. Living in New York City, we have plenty of ski resorts within driving distance which is wonderful to have options close to home. Growing up in the South I certainly wasn’t near any mountains and therefore never learned to ski. In all honesty, I surprised even myself when I discovered the love of snow skiing. It’s a good reminder there’s no expiration date on having fun and trying something new!
There’s a saying if you learn to ski on the East Coast, you can ski anywhere! While I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as an advanced skier, I can get down the mountain and have fun doing so! My kids are also gaining confidence on the mountain and although we had a set back this year with lessons, we made up for it at the end of the season in Montana!
Two years ago I was lucky enough to head west with Momtrends to Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana. We had an incredible experience and even as a “newbie”, I instantly realized Big Sky Resort was a very special place! The mountain, village, restaurants and lodging were all amazing and I left the trip with a completely new perspective and of course an urge to visit one day with my own family.
With COVID now a reality, our lives have shifted in every way, but outdoor activities still seem the way to go. Visiting Big Sky Resort with my family suddenly became a reality and we packed up all of our gear and with much excitement headed out west! Luckily there are over 40 nonstop flights connecting more than 30 destinations making Big Sky the most connected mountain resort in the country. Traveling to the resort from the airport is a breeze and we easily located our local transportation provider.
After our scenic one hour drive to Big Sky we checked in at the beautiful lobby and headed to the SnowCrest Condos which were located steps away from everything including the chair lifts! There was plenty of room for our party of 6 and having a hot tub outside was so extra! My kids loved the loft feature and I personally loved having a kitchen to make us feel at home during our stay.
I mentioned previously we are a new ski family, so we don’t yet travel with our own gear. However, at Big Sky Resort this is no issue and their rental equipment is first class. We were sized up in a matter of minutes and checked our equipment for the next morning.
Our first morning we were ready to go! It was to our advantage still being in an east coast time zone, that’s for sure! Believe it or not our trip was in April, and although it was still cold, it wasn’t frigid. We really lucked out with the weather which is always a good thing when taking a ski trip! Our guides were waiting for us upon arrival and we took some time to get to know each other quickly before heading out in different directions.
There has to be some level of trust when letting your children go hundreds of feet in the air with an instructor. At Big Sky Resort, all instructors are extremely skilled, professional and were truly amazing with my three kids of different personalities. My youngest is still ramping up, and my older two are finally starting to get the hang of things! In all honestly, the mountain can still make me really nervous at times, and having them with a pro sets my mind at ease.
As I am still learning myself, having the wide open space at Big Sky Resort is HUGE! On the east coast, it can be extremely nerve wracking to have other boarders and skiers whizzing by you on the narrow trails. While there’s something scenic and picturesque about the trails on the east coast, I have never seen such vast and wide open terrain experienced in Big Sky. It’s honestly hard to explain and therefore best to experience for yourself!
My private ski instructor at Big Sky Resort was really helpful and immediately started working on my form and identifying problem areas. As with many things, there’s always room for improvement on the mountain. I’m not looking to break any records at this point in my life, but I certainly wouldn’t mind becoming more confident in my ability. Jim made sure I was challenged and even took me all the way up 11,166 feet above sea level to Lone Peak Mountain on the tram. On a clear day, you can view three states and two National Parks. We did not ski down Lone Peak which was way WAY too advanced, but I did have to ski down partially on a “black diamond” level to get down to the base…so hooray for me!
My son decided to become a “Boarder” two seasons ago and he really made some strides at Big Sky. His confidence level is way up and I’m really proud of him. Winter sports are such a great activity and a reason to get outdoors and take it all in! Even though he tried to play it cool being the tween that he is… I know my son was loving the larger than life mountains and space at Big Sky.
One thing you can’t help but notice around the resort is all the vast amount of construction and building everywhere! You can tell big things are coming and it’s no doubt this will be a world class ski destination in no time! There are already plenty of celebrities and athletes who call Big Sky a 2nd home, and there will be many more to come! It’s kind of one of those things in the “IF YOU KNOW YOU KNOW” category!
The Vista Food Hall was in the planning stages on my last visit and this time I was lucky enough to see the final product. This is not any ordinary hall with basic foods. You can order sushi, tacos, specialty salads, and more! The food was absolutely delicious and we loved every bite!
Dinner options in the village were also awesome! We had so much fun unwinding and talking about our adventures from the day. The waiters were so fun and the overall vibe was relaxed and family friendly. My kids, being the picky eaters they are had plenty of options to keep them happy.
There are so many new things happening at Big Sky Resort, including modern new room renovations for both the Summit Hotel and Huntley Lodge. Some of these renovations will not be ready until the 2022-23 ski season, but it’s just something to look forward to! You can’t ask for a better option than being slope side at Big Sky Resort.
One of the most exciting things currently happening at Big Sky is the newest chair lift – Swift Current 6. Below is a rendering of what it will look like. This will be the FASTEST chairlift in North America! Seating for six people, this will allow for comfort, warmth, speed and efficiency as guests ride up Lone Mountain. All construction in on track and currently set for opening day which is November 25th!
Visiting Big Sky Resort with my family was a trip we will always remember! Watching my 6 year old confidently take off and successfully get off the chair lift with her ski instructor was a huge milestone! The patience and professionalism of the staff at Big Sky is something to appreciate and be thankful for. I watched my kids grow so much in just the short time we were there and myself included!
When the ski day ended, you would think my kids would be ready to crash, but it was just the opporite. My kids were so happy to be rolling around in the snow or hanging out at our condo overlooking the mountain. Unwinding in the hot tub and being silly and having the ultimate snowball fight over our balcony was something we still laugh about!
On the last full day at Big Sky Resort, there was a photographer taking pictures on the mountain. If you have ever run a marathon or participated in other sports activities, you can understand how exciting it is to have those “action shots!”. Thank you to the amazing photographer at Big Sky who captured my time here. These photos were easily purchased at the base lodge and uploaded directly to my phone on the spot… so cool!
While there’s not much downtime during a ski vacation, there’s always moments of reflection whether in a chair lift or skiing down the mountain solo. The last morning before leaving for the airport, I had the chance to go down “first tracks” and I accepted the challenge. At the last minute our nephew decided not to go, but I was already mentally committed. I faced my fears since only one chair lift was running and went down a trail unfamiliar. It was a good reminder to always keep moving forward, face your fears, be safe, and know your limits. Thank you Big Sky Resort for allowing our family to have an epic experience full of learning, growing and having FUN on the mountain.
* OPENING DAY IS NOVEMBER 25th!