All Time: Big Sky Backcountry, Montana

A whopper surprised Big Sky on Wednesday, May 11, with 30 inches of powder between spells of 70-degree weather

With nearly every ski area in North America closed for the 2015-16 season, it’s fair to think, heck even say, ’twas a great ski season. But in the venerable words of college football’s media mascot Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friends!”

On Wednesday, May 11, a crew of Big Sky locals headed out to the backcountry zone of Beehive Basin, just north of the ski area, and found 30-plus inches of fresh snow from a day and a half of storms. Bozeman and Big Sky each received a bit of wet snow, and any Montanan can tell you that July and August are the only months that are sure bets for consistent summer weather. But few could have predicted such a ferocious return of winter in the middle of May.

“I couldn’t believe it. It had just been about 80 degrees over the weekend and suddenly we had about three feet of light snow,” said filmer Chris Kamman of “Higher Love” fame. “I was expecting some creamy pow on our thinning snowpack, but it was full on blower. The forecast called for five to eight inches at high elevations, but we measured about 30 inches where we dug our pit midway up the ridge. It may have been the single biggest snowfall of the season in Big Sky. By the time I got back down to Big Sky’s Meadow Village, it was sunny, 60 degrees, and people were playing golf by 1 p.m.”