He lives in Vermont, and had not taken the four-minute ride to Lone Peak in a few years. As his visit approached, we both got excited. We made a plan to ski the tram.
At the last minute, my friend Zoe’s dad Chris Hallowell (visiting from New Hampshire) joined our group. They had met only a couple of times, but they are both physicians (a pediatrician and a family doctor) and now grandfathers. They had a lot to talk about, mostly skiing.
Upon arriving at the base area, my dad opted first for a warm-up lap on Andesite Mountain. Off we went to Elk Park Ridge, a long corduroy slope. Digging my edges in on the never-ending rollovers, I could see Wilson Peak in my periphery and my dad and Chris carving fast turns. This was going to be a good day.
Next, we followed Chris down the left side of Tippy’s Tumble where a skiff of fresh snow made the skiing silky smooth.
My pick: Never Sweat in the Bowl. The day just kept getting better.
The group felt warm. Our legs strong. We decided it was time to head to the tram.
My dad chose Liberty Bowl, a birthday challenge. The following day he would celebrate his 69th birthday. As he approached the runout at the bottom of the Bowl, we both cheered.
Next, we looped around Lone Mountain, stopping at the Black Kettle Soup Co. in the Bowl for a hot lunch, and then rode the Challenger Chairlift to find the powder stashes. If you know where to look, there is always good skiing on any given day. That day, Headwaters Bowl was wind-groomed, smoother than corduroy. Hooting, I took the line the center, then rolled off left all the way down to Stillwater Road.
Chris had never skied off the Lone Tree Chairlift, so we rocked a few laps on the steeps of Lone Tree Face and Upper Broken Heart, then cruised our hearts out on the actual corduroy of Lookout Ridge.
Not a bad day out with a couple of ripping grandfathers! I hope I can still ski the tram when I’m almost 70.
– Emily Stifler Wolfe
Emily Stifler Wolfe is a freelance writer based in Bozeman and a former ski patroller in Big Sky.