Yes you read that correctly! Ski turns in August, with a lift, in the northern hemisphere! Though I have more than a couple of friends still skiing in Colorado, hiking and earning their turns, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take the lift!
Mount Hood is the only place in North America that is opened year round (well almost). Depending on the snowfall they will only close for a few weeks before the next season begins. Timberline Resort at Mt. Hood is well known for there off season training camps for Olympic athletes and the like, but is now fully open to the public. After purchasing a ticket I unpacked the ski gear I had been hauling around. I thought there could be an opportunity to ski at some point, so everything came with.
Heading up the first chair
The day before I had been riding the bike park just a few miles down the road at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. Now I traded out the bike for skis. There was no snow at the bottom lift so you had to carry all your gear for the ride up. Once you hit the second chair and the snowline you could boot up and ski to the lift.
Yes, I admit, I took a selfie....but with due cause..
The snow was some serious spring mashed potatoes but skied great! It took a few runs to get my ski legs back . The weather was perfect (of course) a sunny 65 degrees or so, just a t shirt and a hat for the day. As the skiers and snowboarders where taking laps, the "scenic" chair lift riders and day hikers watched with wonderment. Many taking pictures and pointing at the spectacle of summer turns!
Getting back on the skis got me thinking about the winter season coming, where the snow will fall, and where I will land.
The term "Big" does not convey the type of riding you'll encounter at Big Sky Bike Park. The terrain in steep, loose, and unforgiving. For the majority of us gravity hungry riders, this is exactly what we're looking for. Within the first couple runs I burned up a pair of brake pads and the early season symptoms of hand pump had returned.
With fast laps that seem to bring you straight down the mountain you easily beat your chair down the hill(much to the amusement of the "scenic" chair lift patrons). It wasn't until my third day of riding that I actually felt completely dialed on the terrain. With moon dust on every corner and loose rocks the size of your fist biting at your tires, being on point was key.
This type of riding is how downhill was born. With steep technical descents and plenty of wooden features that bring these trails to another level. As of yet, Big Sky is the gnarliest, burliest bike park I have ridden. If you like tire dragging, white knuckle descents with serious freeride features, this is the place to go.
I put together a quick edit with some local rippers, check it out below!
With current work being performed by Terraflow Trail Systems, upgrades are well under way. There latest creation is a flow trail called Otter Slide. Perfect line if you need a brake from the big mountain riding. The freshly cut trail was just finishing up when I was here and is riding great. There are also more trails and current trail improvements planned which will only add to the appeal of this place. I put together a top to bottom GoPro video below.
If you want to see more reviews for this park or any of the 100+ bike parks in North America check out mtbparks.com!!
Alright, so I finally put a schedule together for the rest of the trip!! Once I actually put pen to paper it made me realize that it was time to get a move on!! With over 3,500 miles on this leg of the trip I have some serious ground to cover. Currently I'm on part C, and all I can say is The Tetons are awesome.
And if you see a pin near you, hit me up and we'll get some riding in, a cold beer, or both!!!
This summer I have been doing some trail reviews for mtbparks.com. They have a complete list of all lift served bike parks in North America, over 100 and counting!! I used their site to check operating hours and dates and based my schedule off of that. I also have a mtbparks.com pass which gives you a free or discounted pass to over 30 parks from coast to coast. The pass cost $129 bucks but It already paid for itself twice over. Check em out!
A. 7/15 - 7/17- Keystone, CO
B. 7/18-7/20 - Steamboat Springs, CO
C. 7/22-7/28 - Jackson Hole/Grand Targhee, WY
D. 7/29-7/31 - Big Sky, MT
E. 8/1-8/3 - Whitefish, MT
F. 8/4-8/7 - Silver Mountain, ID
G. 8/8-8/15 - Stevens Pass/Bellingham/Seattle, WA
H. 8/16-8/17 - Mt. Hood, OR
I. 8/18-8/25 - Bend/MT Bachelor, OR
J. 8/26-8/28 - Highway 1 coast drive, CA
K. 8/29-8/31 - Northstar, CA
L. 9/1-9/4 - Mammoth, CA
M. 9/5-9/7 - Snow Summit, CA
N. 9/8-9/15 - Interbike, Las Vegas, NV
O. 9/18-9/22 – Trent’s Bachelor Party, New Orleans (flying)
P. 9/23-9/30 - Red Bull Rampage, UT
Q. 9/30 - ????- find a job….???
For more day to day updates, follow me on Instagram!!
The Story Behind the Story
After a year living in my camper named "The Betty", I've decided to take those adventures and make it a lifestyle. From the first day of the journey to the launch of my business I've kept a journal here at "Miles in the Mirror".
If you want to go back to the beginning, click the link below and it'll bring you to day one.