Big Sky, Big Drama: It's Not Easy Being Dude

by Jules Older

It was — as skiing trouble so often is — intended to be the last run of the day. But hey, the sun was still shining, the snow was still soft and our legs still felt strong. Dick and Bud and me, we were dudes. Eastern dudes, old dudes, groomer-hugging dudes, but dudes.

We were also a wee bit lost. But everything on Big Sky’s Andesite Mountain had been so mellow, why worry? Why even consult the trail map? Real dudes don’t read maps.


Trails Named after Distressed Animals

We started down something called Crazy Raven. Which led to Mad Wolf.

Here's some free advice. Don’t ski trails named after distressed animals. You wouldn’t ski Hydrophobic Raccoon, would you? Or a route named Cow with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease? The same applies to Crazy Ravens and Mad Wolves.

What led us astray — apart from the inherent stupidity of dudehood — was the approach.

Crazy Raven lures you in with a broad and gentle approach that — once turning back is no longer an option — suddenly and sadistically narrows, steepens and bumps up.

Which, at the end of the day means big, mean, rutted moguls frozen harder than Dick Cheney’s heart. By the fourth or fifth awkward stem turn, we were feeling considerably less dudical.

Halfway down, when the moguls were dwarfed by jagged rocks, we decided to bail. The only option was crossing through a narrow stretch of woods to Mad Wolf, which despite its unpromising name, had to be better than the bloody Raven.

Uh, no.

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