All Time: Dakota Bowl

When a surprise 15 inches fell in Big Sky, all bets were off

This photo by Ryan Turner originally ran in the December 2015 (44.4) issue of POWDER.

15″
Dakota Bowl, Big Sky, Montana 
March 25, 2015

“I was excited enough for the five or so inches that fell the day before the big dump. but when I woke up with the sunrise and checked the morning snow report to find an additional 15 inches plus of snow, all bets were off for the day.” —Big Sky Blog, Patrick Larson

Big Sky locals felt cheated—it had been months since they’d had a good storm. So when a March blizzard finally dumped more than two feet overnight, the region was rampantly afflicted with powder fever—time to cash in unused sick days. The end of the tramline to access Lone Peak stretched far up the hill. No one was going to miss this, least of all local photographer Ryan Turner and snowcat driver Andy Frykberg. “Every ski bum in the area was up that day,” said Turner. Knowing the South Face would be especially deep, the pair had one mission: take as many tram laps as possible. Frykberg, who brought along his cheese grater and a block of cheddar for comic relief, was ready to shred it—the snow and the cheese. “He shredded over the tramline! He shredded the powder! He shredded all day! We skied fresh pow until the bell,” said Turner. The morning sky was overcast, not great for shooting, but when the light squeezed itself through cracks of gray sky, Turner reached for his camera. Shot after shot, he captured Frykberg as he disappeared into a wave of white, only to reappear for air with each turn. “That was just one good turn out of a hundred amazing turns that day,” says Frykberg. “It was waist deep, blower cold smoke. Just amazing.”