For the past nine years, Shane Stalling has lived and breathed Big Sky Resort. The avid snowboarder spends his time exploring the vast, varied terrain of Montana’s largest ski resort, and never tires of taking in the expansive views while riding to the top on the Lone Peak Tram.
Big Sky is coined as the “Biggest Skiing in America,” as it boasts over 5,532 skiable acres, and each season Shane finds new areas to ride on the massive mountain.
Here are a few of his favorite things about Big Sky:
Aspect of Big Sky: I get frustrated when I have to wait more than two minutes to get on a chairlift when most people are used to thirty minute lift lines. Most days you have the whole resort to yourself. I like the wide variety of terrain that Big Sky has to offer–the place is huge.
Big Sky secret: Although the locals will give me hell for saying this–because it clogs up the tram line–if it is a clear day be sure to take a ride up the Lone Peak Tram. Even if your ability level isn’t up to par, you can just take a scenic ride. The views from up top (over 11,000 ft.) are incredible, and on a good day you can see the Tetons along with around 10 other mountain ranges. Clear days mid-winter are rare, so be sure to take advantage if you have one.
Place to shred on a pow day and a spring day: On a pow day start off with a tram lap down to the top of the Shedhorn lift. From there, slash and backflip your way through the Windlip run. Then lap Shedhorn till your legs are toast and get a beer at The Shedhorn Grill. Spring days are fun everywhere on the mountain–it has so many aspects that you can find any condition of snow you’re looking for.
Apres scene: Scissorbills is a pretty hot spot after a good day. There are lots of happy locals drinking tall cans after a pow day, and you can snowboard right to the back door.
Place to grab a bite: Definitely hit up Lone Peak Brewery down in the meadow village. There is lots of great beer that is all made in the brewery right behind the bar, and they have a full lunch and dinner menu. They have Shuffleboard and Skee-Ball in the back room as well. For casual fine dining, the Lotus Pad has authentic Thai food with giant portions. Also, they have the best looking waitresses. Make a reservation as it fills up fast.
Why is Big Sky special to you?
Big Sky has been my home mountain since 2003. The friends I have made here and memories made are all incredible. Even after nine years here I still am finding new parts of the mountain in and out of bounds that I never knew existed, which is why I keep coming back every season. Also, sometimes the Moose Mansion kids let me ride with them, and I think that is pretty neat.
Photos: Chad J. Jones/Big Sky Resort