Off to celebrate the New Year with friends living in Big Sky, Montana, Lookout Pass was a perfect stop to get out and stretch the legs.

After researching, we learned Lookout Pass Ski Resort offers a one-time lift pass for a whopping $8. Why wouldn’t we get first chair to start our backcountry tour?

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Taking the chair to the the top of the mountain, we skied down to the ridge, found some trees and stuck the skins to the bottom of our skis and started to climb up the ridge. Navigating until we found a distinct trail to follow and then the obvious sign−a skin track.

Lookout Pass touring

We followed the ridge to sweeping, snow-covered trees as we jumped state borders throughout the tour. I was itching to rip skins and ski the light, fluffy snow. It didn’t hit 30 degrees, but I was down to my baselayer as we climbed.

Lookout Pass backcountry

We got to a point that looked good to transition from skinning mode to ski mode. It was a good vantage view to scope our line. The trees thinned out in a few parts and we found the way down.

Andy skiing at Lookout Pass

Fresh pow.

We skied, traversed and skied some more. The route funnels into the valley. We tried not to go too low. We found snowmobile tracks and used them to continue our momentum. After all the shooting and shuffling, it was time to transition to climb out of the valley and back to the parking lot. We followed a cat track back to the parking lot.

Trip Date: December 30, 2015