Big Sky Adventures: Both Outside and In

All photos by Chris Ebeling

Stretching a cavernous 1,500 feet from the top of Chet’s Knob to Tippy’s Tumble, Big Sky Resort’s Twin Zip spans their entire base area. But such sprawling magnitude isn’t the only Big Sky Twin Zipbennie of this new zipline—with two lines right next to each other, you can race your friends through the sky. Big Sky recently invited the O/B crew to check out their latest skyline traverse; after a short trek up the hill and a quick ride on the magic carpet, we were ready to zip.

As soon as the staff gave us the go-ahead, I leapt and rocketed through the sky, laughing and experimenting with different tucked positions trying to gain the lead against my competition, cheered on by hot-tub revelers below. Numerous head-to-head races followed, each getting more competitive. By the time we were done, mistakes had been made, luck had broken stalemates, and a hierarchy had been established… paving the way for much gloating and trash-talking throughout the rest of the evening.

Big Sky Twin ZipOn our way back to the lodge, Big Sky divulged their new 2011-12 season-pass prices: $789 for adults and an astonishingly low $589 for students. These prices only last until April 30, so you have to hurry to take advantage of this deal.

For dinner, we shot over to the new Fondue Stube nestled in Chet’s Bar and Grill. The description of “fondue served by singing German waiters in lederhosen” left us a little skeptical, but as soon as Yogi and Ahnold introduced themselves, we were sold.

As multiple bottles of wine began to circulate, our hosts explained that this would be more than just a meal. Each table received the most German-sounding team name possible (ours was Team Matterhorn) and points would be given to each team for participation: singing songs, performing tricks, and any other Fondue Stubeform of group interaction. Our table snagged a quick 100,000 points by teaching the restaurant how to fold their napkins into tiny t-shirts. Sadly, not enough wine had been enjoyed for anyone to try to wear their shirt/napkin.

For an appetizer, apples and bread dipped in cheese fondue did a perfect job of chasing off the chill from the zipline. After plates were cleared, our table erupted into an inspiring rendition of “”We Will Rock You” by Queen (complete with raucous stomping and clapping) which netted another several million points for Team Matterhorn.

The main course was more DIY but even more delicious. We enjoyed lean cuts of chicken, succulent elk, and tender veggies via traditional Swiss fondue bourguignonne cooked in boiling oil. It was here that we learned some of the subtleties of fondue: no double dipping, no poking neighbors with the fondue forks, and try to put a veggie behind the meat to keep everything on the fork. Just remember that if you lose any of your food in the fondue pot, Swiss tradition dictates you must kiss the person to your right (seat yourself accordingly).

For dessert, chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and angel food cake came out, and it would be hard to describe it as anything but heavenly. The entire restaurant sang alongside our waiters with a traditional skiing tune while the final points were being tallied, and, in the end, Team Matterhorn was victorious with several billion. Our trophy was a tiny man fashioned out of three potatoes and toothpicks. We’d never been so proud.

Fondue StubeIt was a truly unforgettable evening, andthe zipline plus Fondue Stube delivered a true “dinner and a show” unmatched by anything in Montana. We definitely recommend checking it out, so give them a call at 995-5784 for reservations to Fondue Stube or contact the Basecamp for zipline info at 995-5769.