Terrain Beta

In addition to the following routes, be sure to check out the local guidebook: Backcountry Skiing Bozeman and Big Sky.

 

Mt. Blackmore

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time: ~4-7 hrs.

Vertical Gained: 3,540′

Getting There: Leaving Bozeman, you will want to head south down 19th ave. There will be a big sweeping right turn. About 1/2 mile after this right turn will be a sign for Hyalite Canyon on your left. Turn left on this road and head up the canyon. Drive up the canyon for about 20 minutes. You will pass the Blackmore Trailhead (do not get sucked into this parking lot) instead continue past and park in the reservoir parking lot… the route description below starts from this parking lot.

Route Description: Taken from Powder Project “Park at Hyalite reservoir and make your way into the woods to follow the Mount Blackmore trail. Climb up and over the first ridge, then descend toward Blackmore Lake (no need to take off skins nor for splitboards to transition).

From the lake continue along the trail that follows Blackmore Creek as it steepens towards its headwaters. Climb uphill through trees until you come to the first plateau in the drainage. If you need water, there is a seep in this clearing immediate skiers-right of the trail.

Climb the remaining headwall to come to the wide open ski and snowboard wonderland that is Mount Blackmore and Elephant Mountain. Two up routes exist but this write-up is for the skiers-right access to the low shoulder that makes up the North Ridge of Mount Blackmore. Switchback through the trees located skiers-right of the obvious open powder fields to gain the ridge.

Once on the ridge powder hounds can opt to drop in immediately and lap the intermediate powder fields or continue upward to the summit proper. The summit can sometimes be gained by skinning, but conditions sometimes warrant a boot pack. Take in the views, maybe enjoy a cheeseburger, then gather your gear, check your partner and drop in.”

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 8.52.01 AM Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.01.34 AM

 

History Rock

Difficulty: Beginner

Time: ~1.5-3 hrs.

Vertical Gained: 1,973′

Getting There: Leaving Bozeman, you will want to head south down 19th ave. There will be a big sweeping right turn. About 1/2 mile after this right turn will be a sign for Hyalite Canyon on your left. Turn left on this road and head up the canyon. Drive up the canyon for about 20 minutes and take a right at the History Rock Trailhead and park.

Route Description: Taken from Powder Project “This is a quick loop and as such is very popular. It is not uncommon to see multiple cars at the trailhead before dawn. As such the skin track is pretty much always in but the three distinct powder fields that make up most common descent route can actually turn into mogul fields from overuse.

Park at the History Rock trailhead and follow the trail popular with backcountry skiers, nordic skiers, and snowshoe’ers. Head from the parking lot across the meadow, then into the woods, making a sharp left. Follow the singletrack uphill past “History Rock”, then through a few open meadows. The trail makes a slight right-hand turn and the real ascent begins. Follow the switchbacks uphill, then as it eases out you’ll follow the trail in a left sweeping direction following a gentle nose feature of the landscape. One last mellow climb reaches the “summit” of the zone where you can lap the main powder field ’til your heart’s content.”

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 11.32.58 AM

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.21.42 AM

Beehive Basin

Difficulty: Beginner-Advanced

Time: 1-8 hrs.

Vertical Gained:

Getting There: From Bozeman, head West on Main St. (Main turns into Huffine). You will come to a large intersection with 3 gas stations on 3 of the 4 street corners. Take a left onto Gallatin Rd. (US Highway 191). Follow US Highway 191 for about 35 miles until the turn-off for Big Sky. Take a right to Big Sky and continue past Big Sky Resort and past the entrance to Moonlight Basin as well. Shortly after you pass the entrance to Moonlight, you will take a right onto Beehive Basin Rd. From here you will wind through a residential area and then down a big hill, the trailhead parking lot will be on your left at the bottom of the hill.

Route Description: Taken from Powder Project “From the parking area at around 8,000 ft, a good skin track up Beehive Basin pretty much always exists. Follow the track (which mimics the summer trail) and head as deep into Beehive Basin as you wish to find ski lines.

Take care on the approach to minimize your exposure to the avalanche terrain that is located on the basin walls. The skin track follows the bottom of the drainage and is generally out of harm’s way, but as soon as you leave the track and opt to climb the ridges, avalanche mitigation needs to be a top priority.”

There will be an abundance of line choices throughout the basin, earlier in the tour, the better lines will be on your right. Later in the tour, the lines on the left will be better. At the very end of the basin is the crown jewel of Beehive Basin, the Fourth of July couloir. March could be a prime time to hit it.

Another option while in Beehive Basin is to hop over the ridge on your right and drop into either Middle Basin or Bear Basin. Both have some awesome riding.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 10.49.35 PM

Fairy Lake 

Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced

Time: 1-8 hrs.

Vertical Gained:

Getting There: From MAP Brewing. : follow Manley Rd. south, left on Griffin Dr., and then left at the light. This will turn into highway 86 (Bridger Canyon Rd.). You will follow this road for quite awhile. You will pass Bridger Bowl on your left, after that you will pass Bracket Creek Rd. (on your right), continue on past the Battle Ridge trailhead and to the top of a hill. You will then descend down the road with a forest service road cutting back sharply left towards the bottom of the hill. Take this road, and follow it for about .5-1 miles before hitting the parking lot. Park here and unload snowmobiles or start the 7 mile skin (it’s a pretty flat tour in). Follow the road for quite awhile until you hit a sign, it will arrow left for Fairy and right for Frazier. You want to head left here.

Route Description: Check with someone at the Splitfest for more beta.

Frazier Basin

Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced

Time: 1-8 hrs.

Vertical Gained:

Getting There: From MAP Brewing. : follow Manley Rd. south, left on Griffin Dr., and then left at the light. This will turn into highway 86 (Bridger Canyon Rd.). You will follow this road for quite awhile. You will pass Bridger Bowl on your left, after that you will pass Bracket Creek Rd. (on your right), continue on past the Battle Ridge trailhead and to the top of a hill. You will then descend down the road with a forest service road cutting back sharply left towards the bottom of the hill. Take this road, and follow it for about .5-1 miles before hitting the parking lot. Park here and unload snowmobiles or start the 7 mile skin (it’s a pretty flat tour in). Follow the road for quite awhile until you hit a sign, it will arrow left for Fairy and right for Frazier. You want to head right here.

Route Description: Check with someone at the Splitfest for more beta.