The Headwaters terrain at Moonlight Basin is not for weak-kneed skiers. Steep chutes, cliffs, gullies, and vertical snow aprons flank the slopes of Lone Peak — routes that only expert skiers and snowboarders dare try. This spring, the Montana resort located at Big Sky hosts several events that showcase the Headwaters.
First, the Moonlight Basin 2013 Freeride World Qualifier takes place this coming weekend, March 14-18, in the Headwaters. The event, which is part of the Subaru Freeride World Tour, gives unknowns a chance to qualify for next year’s top tour events. This year’s event is the second time for the challenging Headwaters terrain to serve as qualifying ground.
For spectators, Headwaters offers great viewing locations from the finish line in Stillwater Bowl. From the ridge at the top of Headwaters, about 2,000 feet of stomach clenching pitches plummet into Stillwater Bowl. Line difficulty, control, fluidity, and jumping add points to the scoring while crashing subtracts points.
Qualifying runs are scheduled for Friday, March 15 with finals on Saturday, March 16. March 17-18 are backup competition days in case of weather postponements.
You can get a sneak peak of Headwaters terrain and competitors in this video:
Moonlight Basin also hosts its eighth annual Headwaters Spring Runoff near the season’s end. The event is so popular that organizers have already cut off registration for the junior division, and they split the IFSA-sanctioned competition into two days.
On March 30, junior girls and boys ages 11-18 will hit Headwaters for skiing and snowboarding. The junior venue stretches from Coldspring to Hellroaring, minus the Hell’s Half Acre terrain.
On April 6, adults tackle the even steeper slopes from Coldspring to Class Six on alpine or telemark skis and snowboards. The competition includes men’s and women’s divisions broken into skiing and snowboarding disciplines.
Many of the Headwaters routes can be accessed only by hiking from the top of the Headwaters lift.