Big Sky Life

News You Need To Know 2023

A Few Highlights in Big Sky

THIS WINTER, AFTER THE LIFTS CLOSE, the groomers will head straight to Andesite to buff out the snow for night skiers. Except it’s not the type of night skiing you might remember from childhood with splotchy stadium lights on one run and skiers flying at top speeds. Instead, groups up to seven can book a private guided session of—1,000 lumen headlamp skiing. Night skiers, says Stacie Mesuda, Big Sky’s public relations manager, will be spellbound by the otherworldliness. “The stars are super bright up here,” says Mesuda, who likens looking up from the heated Ramcharger 8 bubble lift to viewing the galaxy from the cockpit of a Star Wars ship. Unlike traditional night skiing, which can have a freeway vibe, headlamp skiing is also a more solitary affair—the experience fits with Big Sky’s wilderness ethos. If you go, bring extra layers, but if you get cold, Everett’s 8800, the restaurant at the top of Andesite Mountain, will be open to serve dinner, drinks, and hot chocolate.

THE GAMES ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE for the Big Sky School District as they move to Class B for volleyball, basketball, track & field, and tennis. (Soccer will remain Class A and football remains at Class C.) According to John Hannahs, Athletic Director for Big Sky School District, class distinctions often correlate with student enrollment. Since most schools in Montana have fewer than 100 students they are placed in Class C. That doesn’t mean it’s a lower level of play, just fewer players on the field. With football, schools need different enrollment numbers to change from 6 to 8 to 11 man teams. Big Sky currently fields an 8 man team. The jump to Class B is the result of growth. It kicked in when enrollment numbers moved to 126. Says Hannahs: “Anytime you go up in class size it helps to get our kids on the map a little more. There will be some difficult teams in our district. We’re still learning the landscape, but we’ll be able to compete.”

MEET EMILY BURKE: During a stint in Aspen, Colorado, Emily worked at a local thrift store and fell in love with philanthropy. Flash forward to 2022, and Emily, now a Big Sky local and working for Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, is the driving force behind Big Sky Thrift. “We’re trying to help everyone in the community from the person needing an affordable coat to the second homeowner looking to build friendships through volunteering,” says Emily. The all-volunteer nonprofit accepts donations of homegoods, gear, clothing, books, and toys to redistribute to the community. It’s not just a local affair, Big Sky Thrift will partner with River Elk Exchange, a mobile thrift store serving American Indian reservations in Montana, to upcycle donated items and help communities in need.

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