Dave Stergar was first taught to ski on a little rope tow called Wraith Hill in Anaconda, Montana, by his uncle Dutch on a pair of hand-me-down leather boots and wooden skis. Luckily, he stuck around skiing Big Sky long enough to put more modern-day equipment to use, and the experience has kept him here ever since his first winter ski-bumming after college. A powerful skier, Dave managed to ski 26 laps off the Lone Peak Tram when the triple below was on wind hold, and has worked as a mountain ski ambassador and mountain guide. Although he’s matured quite a bit since college and now works as a seventh-grade public school science teacher, Dave still believes that “…deep down, I am a ski bum.”
Here are a few of his favorite things about Big Sky:
Dutch would be proud. Dave Sterger in the trees at Big Sky.
Place to ski on a powder day: Itdepends; Big Sky is BIG. Anywhere off the Lone Peak Tram is going to be incredible, sometimes it takes some time to open due to avalanche control work, but it is worth the wait. Don’t want to wait? Challenger is your next best bet.
Place to get snacks for the powder day backpack: C&P Grocery in the Mountain Mall. They have it all.
Place to ski on a spring day: Head up the Ramcharger quad and ski the southern faces off Andesite Mountain–Big Horn and Elk Park Ridge are sure bets. Southern Comfort quad (also on Andesite Mountain) has easy cruising long green runs.
Teacher, mountain ambassador… and most important: ski bum.
Place to take the family skiing: It is a must to at least take the Lone Peak Tram to take in the vistas (make sure it is a blue bird day though). If you’re not feeling up to the double blacks off the summit, download the tram and take Upper and Lower Morning Star back to the base. Head to Andesite, which is serviced only by high-speed quads. It has a great mix of blue and green runs; there are also a few great blacks if Dad or Mom wants to cut off and ski something a bit steeper but can still catch up with the family for the lift ride back up.
Place for Dinner: I like the Lotus Pad; it’s pretty authentic Thai. It’s in the Meadow Village and you will need reservations. On the mountain, if you like simple (burgers and tater tots), head to Scissorbills. Like a little bit higher end? Andiamo’s Italian Restaurant located in the Plaza.
Place for Apres: You have to start with a cocktail on the Plaza, then it’s Scissorbills. It’s just like going to Cheers.