3x3 Big Sky Montana

 

Where: Big Sky, Montana

Trip Dates: 1/11/2019-1/13/2019

Author: Matt Kownick

Trip Name: Blue Bird Brews with Views

Trip in 3(00ish words):

The Big Sky trip started with me taking a rental from Jackson Hole to Idaho Falls, ID. From there, I was picked up by some friends driving from Boise, and we headed north to Montana. I hadn’t been to Big Sky since I took a Lifestyles trip there back in school during my sophomore year. They’ve added quite a bit of investment into their infrastructure. The SuperCharger 8 is a massive lift. Pretty cool engineering feat.

Big Sky was Blue Bird, and both days the snow was excellent. We were able to do a lot of exploring. My favorite area was the Challenger Chair. As we kept skiing, I couldn’t help but think about how big this place is. Big Sky is HUGE. With the addition of Moonlight Basin, they became the biggest resort in America. We were only able to get to 1 run-in at Moonlight Basin, but the area seemed promising. Bummed we didn’t get to ski there more.

Top of Tram

 

Not a ton of pow, tons of views

Even though there wasn’t a ton of new snow, we decided to go up the tram and have a look around. The views were amazing. So clear that we were able to see the Tetons when looking south. Getting down is not for the faint of heart. After navigating some questionable rock groupings, we were able to rip the Liberty bowl and take a moment at the bottom to have a Brew with a View - Name credit to Alaina.

Matt sitting atop Big Sky with a brewsky

One of my new friends from the trip [Insert Alaina IG] asked us at the end of the day what our High, Low, and Buffalo was. I had never heard of this but loved the phrasing. I’ve grown up talking about best and worst moments but never had a catchy jingle to it. High: What was the best part of the day? Low: What was the biggest bummer? And Buffalo: What was something you learned today? It’s a great way to recap what happened, and everyone remembers the catchy wording.

Remember, when an old lady asks you to take your goggles off for a picture, you do it, no matter how bright it’s out.

Winding down at the base, yes, we all blinked *sigh*

 

20:20 Hindsight:

Understanding how boots break-in. Day 4 on my boots was the point where they finally broke in. Getting the right fit for your boots takes a few days of discomfort. Boots need to pack out slowly. If one custom molds them too wide at the start, your feet may seem snug, but once fully broken in, your feet will be sliding around. Not cool.

Calories:

There’s a soup place at the bottom of the Powder Seeker lift. Small, but excellent ski mountain vibes. Be sure to eat there before the afternoon, or else you’ll be in the shadows rather than working on the goggle tan.

Caught off guard: 

No fresh snow had fallen in over a week. This typically yields adverse ski conditions. Yes, there were a lot of low tides (loose rock and branches) on runs, but the snow was surprisingly soft. I think it’s the fact that a lot of the resort has runs on Northern facing slopes. There's excellent protection from the freeze-thaw cycles on the southern facing slopes.

 

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To find out more about Big Sky Montana and see it for yourself, start here!


Veital Designs 3x3 new year in kyoto, adventure, travel, japan

3X3: The New Year in Kyoto

Veital Designs 3x3 new year in kyoto, adventure, travel, japan

Our journey took us from our home at the time in Seoul, South Korea to Osaka, Japan and then by train to our final destination in Kyoto just outside of Fushimi Inari-Taisha during the last week of December, 2014.

Reminiscing the past

Even 4 years out from that trip, it’s hard to put into words how amazing this adventure was; and the impression that has stayed with us ever since. Most days were relatively warm for late December which made wandering all the more enjoyable. Each day we made our way from temple to temple, onto and off of trains, and through quiet narrow streets, taking in the architecture, culture, and harmony of the city.

Veital Designs New Year in Kyoto, Kyoto Wandering, Japan, Winter, Adventure, Adventure in Japan

Everyone we met were incredibly friendly and patient with our extremely limited Japanese vocabulary. We rang in the new year on a wooded hillside at Fushimi Inari-Taisha. We drank mini beers and a ton of super friendly folks.

Veital Designs New Year in Kyoto, Japan, Kirin Beer, Fushimi Inari New Year

New Year’s Day, we visited Heinan Shrine and it’s gigantic Torii gate just as the snow began to fall, continuing our exploration and ringing in of 2015. We found ourselves twisting and turning our way down snow covered walks in search of a place to warm up and eat. While this was a bit of a challenge due to many shops being closed through the holidays, it only gave us more of an excuse to keep walking to see what was around the next corner. We eventually ended that New Year’s day at Bar Dylan II (A Bob Dylan themed bar), warming ourselves over whiskeys and watching the snowfall on the hills to the east. Four years out, we’re still twisting and turning, trying to find our way, and see what is around the next corner.

Veital Designs, New Year in Kyoto, Kyoto Japan, Heian Shrine, Japan, Adventure

Caught Off Guard

The Kamo River. We did not get a chance to walk along it’s banks. Having another visit in spring would be a perfect time to walk amongst it’s flowering cherry blossoms.

 

Calories:

Kyoto Station has a ton of great restaurants so check out the lower level shops and restaurants. With that, the true MVP of this trip was Family Mart’s delicious premade sandwiches. Seriously, try the Egg Salad.

 

20:20 Hindsight:

More time to explore! We only had about 5 days all told to explore and a few things were closed through the holidays. More days on the ground another time of year might help us develop a deeper appreciation of all that Kyoto has to offer.

 

For more 3×3 stories and related content visit the trail book.