Transfer 1: Otter Way to North Road to Morning Star. A flowy singletrack climb, followed by a steady service road section, finishing with a short but challenging hike. +1100ft.
Stage 1: Cairns Way to Rabbit Run. The upper trail is a fast singletrack descent with sweeping corners, tight switchbacks, and some rocky rutted sections. The lower half is fast flow trail with high speed berms, rollers, and a few flat pedal sections to put down the power. Highlights: Fast berms on Rabbit Run. Watch out For: Loose corners on the upper section. -1100ft Stage open 930 AM-1100 AM.
Transfer 2: Swiftcurrent Lift. Enjoy the lift ride and the view!
Stage 2: Lobo to Elbow. A classic Big Sky descent. An all-gravity plunge through the trees with plenty of rocks and numerous small root drops. Highlights: Steep technical corners Watch out for: Root drops, loose conditions, and sidehill exposure. -1200ft Stage open 1015 AM-1145 AM.
Transfer 3: South Road to Andesite. The easiest climb of the day, mostly on moderate service road with a few steeper sections. +700ft. (Note: Juniors proceed directly to stage 4 at top)
Stage 3: Blue Room to Coolridge. Starts with a natural shale section off the actual summit of Andesite Mountain. Enjoy the next section of new flow trail in the trees. From here the trail gets progressively steeper with some rocky chutes, shallow bermed turns and some root drops. Once on Coolridge the trail becomes much more primitive with tight switchbacks and short but difficult climb. Highlights: A summit start and almost every trail type imaginable. Watch out for: A short awkward wooden bridge, surprise switchbacks near the bottom. -1500’ Stage open 1100 AM – 1245 PM.
Transfer 4: Coolridge to Andesite. A character building climb. The first half is on enjoyable singletrack, but finishes with a burly hike-a-bike. +1500ft
Stage 4: Revenge. After another Andesite summit start and a short natural section across a ski run, the course enters the infamous Revenge trail. Sections in the trees are steep with dark soil, and sections in the open are fast and rough. Highlights: The exhilarating “waterfall” section. Watch out for: The initial drop-in when entering the trees is one the more intimidating features of the day. An optional rock drop on the upper section should only be attempted by expert riders (there is a B line). Many steep, tight, and loose sections. The “waterfall” is a super steep section that can be smoothly rolled down (do not air it!) but there is a B line option. -1200’ Stage open 1130 AM to 245 PM.
Transfer 5: Swiftcurrent Lift. Take advantage of the lift ride to rest tired legs (and hands) and get stoked for the final stage.
Stage 5: Hollywood to Buffalo Jump to Soul Hole. Relentlessly steep and raw natural trail upper section. After a short but very steep climb the trail becomes wider and faster with more flow but still plenty of rocks and roots. Highlights: The corners of Lower Soul Hole. Watch out for: The upper section is steep and narrow. Arm pump. -1500’ Open 1215 PM to 330 PM.
Transfer 6: Short coast down South Road back to the base area.
Big Sky Resort. 50 Big Sky Resort Rd, Big Sky, MT 59716.
Racers will meet in the Swiftcurrent Lift Base Area.
Directions from Highway 191 to parking:
- Head west on MT-64/Lone Mountain Trail Road for 8.7 miles
- Turn left at Big Sky Resort Rd, then head right at the tee
- Turn right on Sitting Bull Rd, just before Huntley Lodge
- Park in Free Skier Parking Lot (dirt) along Sitting Bull Rd.
- From Free Skier Parking Lot walk South past tennis courts and through mountain mall
- Swiftcurrent Lift base and registration/check-in tents will be on the right
On-site registration will be available (see schedule) if spots are still available. Field is limited to 100 riders. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the waitlist!
All riders must check-in at the event headquarters (Swiftcurrent Lift base area) to sign waivers and get a race number, timing chip, and lift pass.
The terrain at Big Sky is steep, rocky, and technical. The special stages will feature a mix of roots, rock gardens, high speed singletrack, switchbacks, berms, tight twisty sections, steeps, and natural terrain. The descents will range in difficulty from “blue square” to “double black diamond”. There will be no large mandatory airs on the trails, but expect numerous small root and rock drops up to ~18”. The most technical or hazardous sections will be marked with caution signs. A few sections may require dismount for all but the most skilled riders. The liaison stages will vary from low angle pedaling to mandatory hike-a- bike. Elevations will range from ~7,000’ to ~10,000’. This is a full on alpine environment complete with the associated hazards and unpredictable weather. Wildlife encounters are a real possibility. The course may be changed or shortened at the organizer’s discretion due to dangerous weather or other factors. The course map will be released on Wednesday, August 3rd.
IMPORTANT EQUIPMENT NOTES:
Full face helmets and body armor are highly recommended. Race trails will be steep, fast and technical. The terrain is rocky and very unforgiving in the event of a crash. Dual ply casing tires are highly recommended due to the fast and rocky terrain.
Carrying a water and windproof jacket is highly recommended. Summer weather is unpredictable in the alpine and thunderstorms form quickly with little warning around Lone Peak.
Water will be available to racers at the base area and at one point out on the course. Riders will need to be able to carry enough water and calories to be self-sufficient between stops, which could be up to several hours.
Food and beverages for riders will be served at the Swiftcurrent lift base area starting at ~2:00PM. Awards will take place starting at ~4:00PM. The top 3 riders of each category should be present for the podium.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY:
Note that the mountain generally has excellent cell coverage. Carrying a phone is highly recommended.
In Base area: 911
On Mountain Emergencies: (406) 995-5000
Race Director: (406) 599-8453
http://bigskyresort.com/plan-a-trip/lodging-in-big-sky-montana. Be sure to ask for rates for the event!
Prepare for a solid day on the bike in some of the most rugged and scenic alpine terrain you will find in a mountain bike enduro this side of the Alps. We’ve linked together a grand tour of Big Sky’s most exciting trails, ranging from steep and raw to fast and flowy. Vertical descent will be maximized thanks to big terrain and lift assist (along with a healthy amount of human-powered climbing). Along the way your skills, fitness, strategy, equipment, and endurance will all be put to the test.
As in any enduro race, while there will be timing and results, the real focus is to have fun, be challenged, and share the experience with your fellow riders. Ride cleanly and consistently and you will have a successful day; push it too far and the terrain will be unforgiving… Be smooth, be safe, enjoy the views, and have fun!