Big Sky, Mont. (September 18, 2013) – Throughout the summer of 2013, Big Sky Resort continued their efforts to enhance the tree skiing experience and open up another 15 acres of previously un-skiable terrain. Removing constricting trees and improving the forest’s health through the removal of deadfall, standing dead trees, and leaving a diverse tree species and age structure are called glading. Big Sky’s efforts will improve the Explorer, Shedhorn, and Dakota areas for skiers and riders who like cruising the “glades”.
The glading crew’s largest concentration has been in the Shedhorn area off of Lower Sunlight and Larkspur. Not only does the glading project open more terrain, it balances out Big Sky’s offering of tree skiing, and creates a more healthy and balanced forest for all species. The enhancements around the Explorer area will help with the progression of skiers learning to tree ski, as the incline isn’t as steep and is more open with a shorter run. Additional improvements have been made to Todd’s Hole near the Challenger chair lift.
The focus of standing dead removal has been the White Bark Pine trees which grow in the northwest at certain elevations but is susceptible to beetle kill and blister rust. Since these trees are slow to mature, crews want to leave various aged White Bark Pine clumps to help protect the younger trees during their growth. By cleaning up forest of tangled dead fall, it not only opens up more skiable corridors, it also reduces fire hazards.
The addition of the 15 acres of gladed skiable terrain, the acres from Spanish Peak’s Spirit Mountain, Big Sky Resort boasts 4,050 acres of skiing and 4,350 in vertical ascent. Add in the Biggest Skiing in America ®, and guests can ski 5,750 acres with the iconic Lone Peak looming over it all at 11,166 feet.
The glading project has been ongoing since 2010.