4th Annual Art Auction and VIP Reception

Posted on March 30, 2018 by calliep

On March 21 and 22, Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty sponsored the Arts Council of Big Sky's VIP Artist Reception and 4th Annual Art Auction. For the second year in a row, the auction raised tens of thousands of dollars to support the arts throughout Big Sky, including the Music in the Mountains summer concert series, the winter season of Warren Miller Performing Arts Center programs, programs connected to the local school, and much more.

This year's artist reception featured painter Carol Hagan, and we are fortunate to enjoy a number of her paintings hanging within our office, courtesy of Carol and Creighton Block Gallery in Big Sky. We had 60-70 people in and out of the office on Wednesday afternoon, chatting with Carol, enjoying wine poured by Colleen Helm, certified sommelier and owner of Bozeman's Vino Per Tutti; and featuring tasty hors d'houevres by Lindsie Hurlbut. What a great opportunity to talk with Carol about her art and inspirations!


The following evening was the highlight of the two days with the Art Auction at the Moonlight Basin Lodge featuring over 30 artists contributing art to the silent and live auctions. Live auction artists included well-known painters Kevin Red Star, Tom Gilleon, John Potter, Harry Koyama and Carol Spielman to name a few, and they performed a quick finish session, allowing us to catch a glimpse of what goes into completing one of their masterpieces. In addition to the outstanding paintings, several sculptures were included in the offerings as well.


New this year, the silent auction was modernized by using a digital online platform opening the bidding up remotely to those not able to attend the event. It brought a new level of sophistication to the overall event, and allowed the auction to expand. In addition, the live auction items were included in the online platform allowing everyone to preview the items featured in the live auction in advance. It was a treat to be able to feature so many more artists from near and far, including many Big Sky local favorites like Lorri Lagerbloom, Ryan Turner, Shelly Bermont, Megan Buecking, Heather Rapp, and many more.

This year's event was a sellout, and next year's planning is already underway. If you missed out on attending the 2018 event and want to make sure you have tickets for next year, contact your Big Sky Sotheby's agent, or our main office at info@bigskysir.com, so we include you in our Save The Date notification for 2019.


Whether it’s riding or guiding in the backcountry on horseback, floating one of the three surrounding valleys catching a trout on a fly rod, downhill skiing, or her newest passion, skijoring, Justa Adams, Sales Associate, Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty makes the most of everything Big Sky country has to offer.

Skijoring is a winter sport  that involves a skier being pulled by a horse through a course with jumps and gates in the fastest time possible and  Justa  is a  founding member of the Big Sky Skijoring Association (BSSA), which recently held its inaugural “Best in the West” showdown on March 17th-18th right in Big Sky’s Town Center. Her background in  fundraising and event planning, combined with the hard work and dedication of her BSSA co-founders and the tremendous support of the Big Sky community, proved invaluable in getting this family-friendly event off the ground.  All ages attended -  with the youngest skier at 4 years old and the oldest rider at 65 years old, the Best in the West Showdown really is an event for all ages whether you’re a spectator, competitor, or volunteer. Eighty-two teams competed in numerous divisions with the total payout pot being just over $10k for all competitors and divisions combined, in addition to custom belt buckles awarded to the winning rider and skier for the novice, sport, and open divisions. With the incredible success of BSSA’s first competition, Justa can hardly wait until next year!


Waxless XC Skis for a Busy World

Posted on March 22, 2018 by calliep

Waxless Skis for a Busy World

Although in many parts of the world spring is in the air, that isn't the case in Big Sky where we've had one of the best winters in decades. The cross country trails are still in full operation and being groomed regularly, and with changing snow conditions at different elevations, considering waxless skis may make your life easier.

If you watched any Nordic skiing events at this year’s winter Olympics, you may have heard how often color commentators and coaches talk about wax. It’s a big deal in the Nordic skiing world, particularly for classic skiers. The perfect wax job can mean the difference between running up hills and going nowhere. The difference between world cup skiers and you? They have a team of professional wax technicians to do the heavy scraping for them while you have three kids and a full-time job. So unless you have a friend who is considering becoming your personal wax technician, waxless skis are worth perusing. Think old-school fish-scales, only with strips of modern mohair skin under the skier’s foot rather than scale. World Cup races are being won on these “skin skis”, and they require less waxing than your pair of skate skis.

Check these options out:

 Atomic Redster C9 Skintec Hard

Billed as Atomic’s first skin ski that’s race-ready, the Redster is aimed at hobby racers or higher-end amateurs who want a dependable ski to train on without the fuss of a waxable ski. The Redster has a Nomex Featherlight core and is built with a carbon laminate, making it super light yet stable. The kick patch area of the ski is slightly wider, giving skiers a reliable base to step into and unlike competing models, the Redster’s kick patch is one large piece of skin material, rather than two strips.

Fisher Twin Skin Pro

Fischer describes their mid-range skin ski as “athletic”, and “ideal in hard or icy conditions”. Indeed, icy unpredictable conditions are really where skin skis start to stand out. The Twin Skin Pro features two offset strips of Mohair skin under each foot that are set at various depths into the ski’s base giving the skier a natural, nearly-waxed feel to their stride.

Salomon S/Race Skin

Billed as the ultimate solution for all day events in changing conditions, the Salomon S/Race skin ski is spendy, but worth it. At 1040 grams, the S/Race features a traditional racing sidecut (44 mm at the tip, waist and tail), interchangeable Pomoca skin inserts, and a super fast low-profile camber that optimizes snow contact. The Solomon S/Race is the fastest ski ever made by Salomon.

Whether you consider trying these skis, or sticking with the old favorites, get out there and enjoy the trails at Lone Mountain Ranch!


Springtime Garden Essentials

Posted on March 22, 2018 by calliep

Three New Garden Essentials for your Big Sky Property

If you are ambitious enough to try to have a garden in Big Sky (it can be done!), you need to start with the best tools. The tools behind a healthy, beautiful lawn and garden are becoming more advanced and useful every year. And as any gardener knows, half the allure of maintaining a beautiful backyard landscape and garden is the opportunity to play with some cool, specialized tools. So here are three hot new garden products to keep your Big Sky property looking fresh.

Blossom Lawn Irrigation Controller ($149)

The Blossom Lawn Irrigation Controller is part of a new wave of analytic technology targeted at reducing excessive municipal water use. The beautiful green lawn has been a staple of the American residential dream for generations, but unfortunately, the beauty comes at a cost. Studies show a staggering amount of water wasted over the course of a year spent watering a single American family home. The Blossom Is here to help. Simply remove your old irrigation system controller, install the Blossom and control your irrigation profile from the Blossom app on your phone or tablet. The Blossom adjusts its schedule based on precipitation and is wirelessly connected to a number of local weather sources to configure the most efficient and waste-free watering schedule possible.

Jackson Thermoformed Poly Wheelbarrow ($139.97) 

This surely isn't your daddy’s old wheelbarrow. The 5.75 cubic foot Thermoformed Poly Wheelbarrow from Jackson is a gold standard in yard carts, and no serious mulching job should be attempted without one. This wheelbarrow’s thermoformed poly construction and stabilizer feet increase its lifetime spent in your backyard. Perhaps most importantly though, the Jackson Thermoformed Poly Wheelbarrow has a 16” tubed tire that allows users to adjust inflation in accordance with different surface types and loads.

Ames 26" Dual Tine Rake ($24.97)

The phrase “Innovative new rake design” might sound a whole hell of a lot like “reinventing the wheel”, but the 26" Dual Tine Rake from Ames really is something of a watershed moment for raking. Featuring two rows of offset teeth to prevent leaf clogging, the Ames rake cuts down on the more frustrating aspects of raking while keeping your lawn leaf-free. Oh, and a slick comfort handle keeps your hands blister-free, too.

Make sure to check out Big Sky Landscaping's Garden Center for all of your flower and vegetable starter plants. If they don't also have the tools you need, Ace Hardware is sure to have the rest! 

And don't worry, our flowers and vegetables learn to be pretty hardy around here :)

Moonlight Basin - July 2016



This Land Belongs to You and Me

Posted on March 21, 2018 by amyg

By Kali Gillete

Preserving this land is an awesome responsibility in every sense of the word. Maintaining open spaces protects our economy, whether it’s through farming and ranching, tourism and recreation, or conservation. Just as important, is keeping our backyard playground free for everyone to enjoy.

Fortunately, there are means to ensure our land is protected, and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of one interest over another. Two of the most successful methods are designated Wilderness Areas, and conservation easements. These protections are vastly different, yet work in conjunction to keep our both our heritage and our land intact.

Wilderness Areas are undeveloped, wild areas of public land protected by the American people for hiking, horsepacking, hunting, fishing, skiing, rafting and many other outdoor activities. Conservation easements are voluntary, private agreements that ensure the land is preserved for perpetuity. Understanding what each of these programs are and how they work is crucial to maintaining our rich land, our economic vitality and our uniquely precious lifestyle.


Certain lands are so pristine and amazing the government determined they should always remain as they are. As such, on September 3, 1964, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act creating the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Scott Brennan, Montana State Director of The Wilderness Society explains, “All of these lands are federal public lands owned by Americans. This is what the world was like before development. These are the last remaining places you can go and see America as it was centuries ago, before the natural world was largely dominated by people and our technology and mostly left to its own devices.”

He goes on to say, “We are really fortunate in Montana to have places like the Lee Metcalf, the Bob Marshall and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Areas. It’s easy to take these areas for granted, but we shouldn’t. The fact is, these places still look like they did hundreds of years ago. They are really special and not just for the beauty and recreation, they are good for business and also great for nearby real estate investments in communities like Big Sky.”

In order to understand the importance of a Wilderness designation, it’s important to understand the difference between designated Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas.

In Montana, about 5% of the land has been designated Wilderness Areas by Congress. Another 5-6% of the land looks and feels wild. There is no mining, development, gas or oil drilling. However, these lands are in limbo; they are not officially protected and not yet developed. Congress temporarily protected some of these areas to conduct studies before granting an official designation. Today, the studies have been completed and it’s up to Congress to decide what areas should be permanently protected.

Obviously, there are opinions on both sides of the issue. “There’s a right way to get this done,” Brennan says. “You get diverse interests to come to the table and come up with a resolution. It’s not all or nothing, it’s not win or lose. The wilderness guy is not going to get everything, and neither is the snowmobiler but people have to work together to take care of these places.”


A great example of this is the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act which seeks to add 79,000 acres of wilderness designation to the Bob Marshall, Mission Mountain and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas, promote forest restoration and designate new mountain bike and snowmobile areas. Working together, representatives from lumber, recreation, out tters and conservation interests are working toward a sustainable plan for all. The project champions a sustainable timber industry with a focus on restoration of sh and wildlife habitat. It supports tourism, the fastest growing sector in Montana’s economy, and it protects high-quality wildlife habitat, clean water and recreational opportunities.

For this, and other projects in the works, support from Congress is needed for an official Wilderness designation.


America loses more than an acre of farmland every minute. In Montana, we lose 1,500 acres of open space to development each month. However, unlike designated Wilderness Areas, conservation easements are privately held and are the only conservation tool to permanently protect private land. Other than generous income and estate and tax incentives, there is no government involvement. These land easements are voluntarily put into place by landowners to maintain the integrity of their land in perpetuity. From an agricultural perspective, the most essential part of Montana’s economy, these easements protect not only our economic interests, but are vital to food supply.

Kathryn Kelly, Greater Yellowstone Manager of The Montana Land Reliance explains, “Between all land trusts, 2.5 million acres to date have been protected across Montana. But there is much more opportunity, much more land deserving of protection.” There is no other place where this example is more obvious and direct than in the Gallatin Valley. “Due to tremendous development pressure, rich agricultural lands, open space and wildlife habitat are being converted into subdivisions and commercial development at a rapid pace,” Kelly says, “fortunately, there are generous landowners willing to protect their lands and a number of current easement projects in the works in Gallatin, Park and Madison counties.”

Often times, these private lands are adjacent to public land. Easements on these properties can bridge the gap between wildlife corridors, reducing the conflict between humans and animals, maintaining critical migration paths. “If you think about it in a practical sense, animals don’t make a distinction between private and public land. These easements enhance and benefit both public and private lands. They also maintain our riparian zones and ensure clean water, one of the most precious resources in Montana,” Kelly says.

A great example of this is the land behind Moonlight Basin which connects two areas of the 260,000 acre Lee Metcalf Wilderness through a conservation easement. The owners of Moonlight sold 17,000 acres to conservation buyers who put 15,500 into easements, protecting a critical wildlife migration corridor. This area is surrounded by 3 million acres of National Forest, and ultimately joins with the 20-million-acre Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

To permanently protect their land, landowners work in partnership with a land trust, which are not-for-profit organizations, to create a conservation easement; a voluntary agreement that limits the uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values in perpetuity. Under a conservation easement, the owner retains the title and continues to make the day to day management decisions related to the property. For example, a family owned farm will still operate as such. The owner can opt to sell the property, but the easement runs with the title, ensuring the land is preserved as intended.

“Like anything, you run the gamut of opinions in every direction,” Kelly says. There are people who believe that conservation easements are one of the most valuable tools to protect open space and wildlife habitat. Others are philosophically opposed to the concept.They feel that one person shouldn’t have the right to permanently dictate how land might be used. Sometimes it’s in the context of ‘Why would I tie my children’s hands by putting an easement in place?’ Whereas someone else might say, ‘I’m doing it for the benefit of my family and children’.”

In turn, there are attractive financial incentives for an owner to put land into an easement. Deductions are in place for income, estate and gift taxes. To underline the importance of this, in 2015 Congress made enhanced income tax benefits for conservation easement donations permanent.

To determine the value of the conservation easement, a qualified appraiser measures the difference between the value of the property before and after the easement restrictions are put in place. The difference between the two values is the amount that can be donated to the land trust and taken by the landowner as a charitable donation on their tax return. In the year the conservation easement transaction is completed, a landowner can deduct up to 50% of their adjusted gross income and for an additional 15 years thereafter until the charitable contribution value is used up. Landowners who are considered qualified farmers and ranchers can deduct 100% of the annual adjusted gross income, also for up to 16 years in total.


Without Congressional or private protection our wilderness, farming and ranching land is vulnerable to mining, clear cutting and development. As Brennan puts it, “Once it’s done, you can’t go back. It’s one thing if the land is disrupted by a forest fire, in 100 years it will return to it’s natural state. But you can’t just ‘make more’ of these really special, natural areas once they have been developed.”

Categories: Southwest Montana

Sotheby's Agent Networking Event in Big Sky

Posted on February 20, 2018 by calliep

Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty - Ski NE 

Late last month, Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty hosted approximately 100 Sotheby's agents from across the country for what has been branded the "Ski NE"; a Sotheby's agent networking event. Agents came from as far away as Maine, clear across to Southern California to experience what Big Sky has to offer, and connect with other agents. We spent several days skiing and dining together, enjoying a day of speakers talking about their business and inspirations, social events hosted by sponsors, and making connections in order to better serve our clients around the world. The idea first came to fruition in 2016 with the first annual event hosted by Sierra Sotheby's in the Lake Tahoe area. It was such a successful event that they held the event a second time in 2017 before passing the torch to Big Sky. 

Agents networking

It was the perfect opportunity to introduce agents to the wonder of Montana, and Big Sky in particular. The secret is getting out that Big Sky is an up and coming ski resort town in the midst of incredible growth, and Buyers from around the world are interested in real estate in Big Sky. The allure of Big Sky is that when compared to other well-developed resort towns like Aspen, Park City, Lake Tahoe and Vail, there is so much "value". Although property prices are deemed high when compared to many primary home markets, it's still comparatively inexpensive for a year-round resort town.

During the few days we had together, we heard from a selection of inspiring and top producing agents like Jeff Wilson of TTR Sotheby's International Realty in the greater Washington D.C. area, and former Olympian snowboarder Chris Klug from Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty. We socialized at luncheons and cocktail parties hosted by some of our sponsors all the while making personal connections. And of course, there was plenty of skiing. This has been a banner ski season at Big Sky Resort with some of the deepest snowpack in the country, and we made sure everyone enjoyed it! On the final official day of the event, around 30 agents enjoyed a fun Pro-Am dual ski race, testing their time against 2002 bronze-medalist Chris Klug. Although Chris bravely competed on his freestyle board, he vowed to bring his race board next time to show us all how it's really done!

Agent Chris Klug

When Sotheby's agents get together, not only do we have a good time, but we make personal connections that allow us to help our clients with properties anywhere in the world. With 18,000 Sotheby's International Realty agents in 800 offices in 61 countries, you never have to search for an agent on your own again. Look no further than your local Sotheby's agent to help connect you with a Buyer or Seller agent anywhere in the world. Although the number of agents seems astounding, the ability to network and find a direct connection is unparalleled by any company. It's even better than the six degrees of separation - usually more like one or two to make a direct connection.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, from Arizona to Zanzibar, let us be your Global Real Estate Advisor!


Listening to speaker

Thank you to all of the sponsors that helped us put on such a successful event!

Natural Retreats Big Sky   Organic Return   InvitedHome   Jay Kipp, Realogics Sotheby's International Realty   Platinum Luxury Auctions

Agents socializing





Neighborhood Profile - Bridger Creek Subdivision, Bozeman

Posted on December 28, 2017 by calliep

Bozeman, Montana

Built along the Bridger Creek Golf Course, the Bridger Creek Subdivision offers a mix of single family homes, townhomes, and condominiums. Each winter, the 18-hole public golf course is turned into an extensive, groomed cross country ski trail - allowing for Nordic skiing right out your back door! Located only 20 minutes from the Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Bridger Creek is the perfect neighborhood for those who love to ski and golf.


The "M" Trail
Popular hiking and mountain biking trail located a little over three miles from the subdivision.

Story Hills Trail
Single-track mountain biking, running, and hiking trail located two miles away.

Sypes Canyon Trail
Hiking and mountain biking trail located four miles away. 


Average Sale Price: $388,850

Median Sale Price: $370,000

Average Days on Market: 32

Average Price per Square Foot: $170.80

Golf shot Bridger Creek


Montana Hot Springs

Posted on November 28, 2017 by calliep


Montana's Hot Spots

Mountains aren’t the only thing we have to thank Montana’s volcanic past for. Thanks to our region’s lava-filled geologic past, the Big Sky area is graced with a number of relaxing and unique hot springs. So if you find yourself in need of some rejuvenation, dip into one these regional warm-water meccas.

 Norris Hot Springs

Tucked into the scenic and arid Madison River Valley, Norris Hot Springs offers visitors a kitschy, new age soaking experience, as well as a full beer and wine menu and a unique artisanal menu made out of locally-sourced and home-grown ingredients. Camping and RV hookups are available for an additional fee. Visit norrishotsprings.com for a full chemical content catalog of the healing minerals found in the one and only Water of the Gods.

Directions from Bozeman:
Head west on Huffine through Four Corners, continuing west on highway 84 for 35 miles. Norris Hot Springs will be on your left just before entering the small town of Norris.

 Chico Hot Springs

Chico is the classic Montana hot springs resort experience. Located in Paradise Valley, Chico Hot Springs offers a full range of lodging accommodations as well as extremely good dining options. In addition to the luxurious full-size soaking spaces, Chico also offers a full range of services to satiate even the most adventurous vacationer. including lodging and several restaurants. Chico offers guided ski and snowshoe trips in and around Yellowstone National Park, so when you’re ready to go face the elements, you can explore Montana’s winter wonderland. In the spring, take advantage of Chico’s exclusive partnership with Paradise Adventure Company, a full-service rafting outfitter located in Paradise Valley. And don’t forget, Chico has a renowned spa, so after the rapids have settled, work out your sore muscles with a massage or some yoga.

Directions from Bozeman:
Follow I90 E towards Livingston, then take 89 S to Mill Creek Road in Pray. Take a right onto Highway 540 towards Chico Road.

 Bozeman Hot Springs

Although decidedly less earthy, Bozeman Hot Springs is one of the oldest functioning hot springs in the region. Where Norris is a cultural experience, Bozeman Hot Springs is a workout facility, so if you’re in need of physical exercise and recuperation, this is your hot springs. After a devastating fire in 2008, Bozeman Hot Springs underwent a full renovation, transforming the old space into a beautiful, modern warm-water spa and gym. Bozeman hot springs now features live music, a full workout facility, and both indoor and outdoor pools and hot springs.

Directions from Bozeman:
Located just south of Four Corners on highway 191

Categories: Outdoor Activities

Neighborhood Highlight - Triple Tree Ranch

Posted on October 26, 2017 by calliep


Triple Tree is an exclusive community located in the Southside of Bozeman. With large one to three acre lots and expansive mountain views, the custom homes in this neighborhood are some of the most desirable in town. There is a focus on open space, evoking the feeling living on a ranch while only being minutes from Downtown. Bordering state land provides easy access to popular nordic, hiking and biking trail systems.



  • Triple Tree Trail: Hiking and mountain biking trail located within the subdivision.
  • Sourdough Trail: Hiking, mountain biking and groomed cross country ski trail located less than two miles away.
  • Main Street to the Mountains: Trail system linking over 80 miles of trails throughout town. Access point located less than two miles from Triple Tree.


2017 MARKET STATISTICSTriple Tree Ranch

Average Sale Price: $1,376,000

Median Sale Price: $1,470,000

Average Days on Market: 172

Average Price/Square Foot: $215.34



The Big Mountain Out Your Back Door

Posted on September 14, 2017 by calliep

The Big Mountain Out Your Backdoor

Even to a hardened alpinist, Big Sky Resort's Lone Peak is a stunning sight. Nestled in the heart of Montana’s rugged Madison Range, Lone Peak, home to Big Sky Resort, is solitary, hulking and gorgeous to behold throughout Montana’s distinct four seasons. But its unique beauty begs a lot of questions. Like, why is Lone Mountain so, well, lonely? And what makes it such a perfect venue for one the the country’s best ski resorts? The answers to these burning questions lie in the faults.

Our backyard, including Lone Peak and the Madison Range, is made up of 1.7 million year old deposits left over by the Yellowstone Caldera’s last explosion. As you drive north from Big Sky along the Gallatin River towards Bozeman, take note of the towering rock fins. Beloved by climbers and hikers alike, much of the exposed rock throughout Gallatin Canyon is some of the oldest on the face of the earth.

Lone Mountain itself is a volcano that never erupted. While we enjoy skiing, biking, golfing and fishing in Big Sky, our home was a volcanic battle one some 50 million years ago. The stunning scenery we love is the result of this chaotic geologic period in earth’s history. What was once a burning hot hell-scape is now a powder skiing mecca.

Much of Lone Mountain is made up of an igneous rock called Dacite. Dacite is crystalized magma that spread throughout the cone of Lone Mountain all those years ago, giving the peak its solid shape. The hard minerals and rocks in Lone Mountain survived weathering and erosion, unlike the soft sedimentary rock that once surrounded the peak, leaving our beloved ski resort standing tall.

Whether you’re skiing Big Sky as a visitor, or gazing at its flanks from inside a Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty represented home, understanding the geology at work inside Lone Mountain helps enhance our appreciation for our home.


Photos: Dave Pecunies Media, LLC

Categories: Southwest Montana

Artist Kevin Red Star at Big Sky Sotheby's

Posted on April 11, 2017 by calliep

We are so honored to have hosted a VIP reception for acclaimed artist Kevin Red Star in our office on March 22. The reception preceded the Arts Council of Big Sky's 5th Annual Art Auction held at Moonlight Lodge, sponsored by Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty. Kevin mingled with our guests, and spoke to us about his background and inspirations. Together, we viewed Episode One of the Sotheby's HouseGuest video series in which he is featured. Kevin Red Star speaking to attendees

The following evening, our office hosted over 150 people at the Art Auction, a huge fundraiser for the Arts Council of Big Sky's cause. There were over a dozen artists in attendance who were finishing off pieces to be auctioned at the event. Artwork in the live auction included pieces from artists such as Kevin Red Star, Tom Gilleon, Carol Spielman and Harry Koyama. In addition, there were photographs, jewelry and paintings from local artists such as AriO Jewelry and Kira Fercho in the silent auction. Kevin - Book Signing

All of the proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the Arts Council's mission of providing residents, visitors and artists with premier events, education and creative opportunities in the arts.

We currently still have a number of his paintings featured in our office, so stop by anytime to enjoy them!


Cross Country Ski Waxing

Posted on March 9, 2017 by calliep

The town of Big Sky, and Big Sky country in general, is a mecca for Nordic skiing. Between Lone Mountain Ranch and the miles of groomed ski trails around the greater Gallatin County region, nordic skiing, and specifically skate skiing, is one of the best activities for getting into the woods and away from the crowds, fast. But unlike downhill skis, skate skis require more frequent waxing and at-home care, especially now as the weather changes from winter to spring-like conditions. This may sounds overwhelming, but don’t worry; waxing is one of the sublime pleasures of being a nordic skier. Here’s a quick primer on the basics of waxing skate skis:

What you’ll need:

1) Ski vice or clamps, homemade or store bought
2) Glide wax
3) Scraper
4) Waxing iron
5) Cork block

The Process:

Before being stowed away every spring, skate skis should receive a coat of “storage wax”, which needs to be removed every fall. After affixing your skis to your chose work surface, set your wax iron to medium heat and begin slowly heating the base of your ski. As the iron and the ski get hotter, the existing wax with turn ghostly white and stand out. Scrap off all the old wax to give yourself a new start.

After the ski is stripped and ready for wax, it’s time to give your skis their first coat of glide wax for the winter. Begin the waxing process by holding your wax block at a steep downward angle to the face of the iron, allowing hot wax to drip onto the ski.

Cover the ski with little blotches of wax from tip to tail. After the ski is fairly covered, begin spreading the wax around the ski’s base by running your iron in circular motions across the ski’s base. You will see the wax melt and spread. Continue this waxing motion until the ghostly white wax covers the ski base entirely. Because nordic skis have relatively soft bases, be careful to not melt the ski’s base.

Now it’s time to scrape. Hold your wax scraper at 45-degree angle to the ski as you pull the scraper towards yourself. You’ll see satisfying curls of excess wax pull from the ski. Once the excess is pulled from the ski, the bases should appear shiny and smooth. If you want to put some additional elbow grease into the work, buff the skis bases with a cork block to work the wax into the base.

Now get your skiing clothes on and get out the door!

Meadow Village ski trails


An Interview with Elevation 6000 Developer John Romney

Posted on February 2, 2017 by georgek

The Elevation 6000 condominiums, located in Big Sky’s thriving town center, mark a new second-home trend in the greater Big Sky area. Built by Big Sky Dream, LLC and Managing Partner John Romney, the Elevation 6000 condominiums are efficient, comfortable, customizable and part of the changing face of the Big Sky community.  For John Romney, the Elevation 6000 project is a labor of love in a place that he now calls home. Romney originally developed property in Big Sky in 2005 and became a full-time resident with his wife and three children in 2008. Since then, Romney has been active in the Big Sky building scene, helping to bring to life four separate mixed-use commercial and residential buildings, including the Lone Peak Cinema and Phase 2 of the Cottonwood Crossing residences. Elevation 6000 is his most recent creation. We sat down with John Romney to ask him about his new project, and what sets the Elevation 6000 condos apart from other housing options in Big Sky’s town center.

Elevation 6000 Exterior

BSS: How long have you been in the building industry?  JR: Since 2011.

BSS: What is your favorite part about building homes in Montana? 

JR: I love seeing and being a part of the overall development of the Big Sky Community, and in particular, the Big Sky Town Center.  It’s great to be a part of the development of the entry corridor along Ousel Falls Road. I enjoy the mix of development from commercial buildings, to long-term rentals, to condominiums; all integrated with trail systems and recreational and entertainment options.  The Town Center development has been thoughtfully approached to provide a continuity and mixture of architecture while maintaining a pedestrian friendly, community environment.  I also love creating a “neighborhood” where different residents of the community interact.

BSS: What elements of Montana living, if any, do you incorporate into your residential projects?

JR: We do our best to incorporate the mountain views and outside space into our projects along with easy access to the trail systems.

BSS: What are some unique challenges that building in Big Sky presents?

 JR: The biggest current challenges are finding good subcontractors with the substantial construction demand throughout Big Sky.  We have been lucky to have worked with and maintained a great group of subcontractors continuously over the past several years.  Weather is obviously a factor so we have traditionally started all of our projects in the spring leaving only interior finish items for the winter.  We have learned from the experience of others and put a lot of extra work into our roofing and insulation systems.

BSS: What sets the Elevation 6000 project apart from other projects you’ve built?

JR: Elevation 6000 were built to sell to a primarily “second-home” market, so we are trying to “get into the hearts and heads” of potential buyers and build something they will love.  The challenge in not knowing the buyer up front. So we come up with a palette of materials, colors, and styles that can satisfy a majority of buyers, yet still allow the buyer to ultimately put their personal imprint on the condominium with their furnishings.

BSS: Is the Elevation 600 project unique in terms of its efficiency as a building? 

JR: The majority of our lighting is LED and we use high efficiency appliances and gas forced heating.  One area where we don’t skimp is insulation.  We use spray foam throughout the exterior walls was well as board and bat insulation which gives us an R rating much higher than what is required by code.  While these items cost extra money up front (and are not always done in Big Sky), in the long run it saves on the operating costs; and I believe the buyers can feel and appreciate the difference.

BSS: What elements of the home do you hope that the future owners appreciate?

JR: To me the condos just “feel good” when you are in them.  That is most important to me- that a place feels comfortable and has an overall warmth to it.  The stairwells, ceilings and hallways are light, spacious and airy, and I believe this is something that owners and guests will immediately notice.  In fact, we liked the units so much that we decided to keep one for ourselves as a place for our parents (or possibly more importantly our kids’ grandparents), and friends and family to stay when they visit Montana.

BSS: What’s your favorite design detail in this project?

JR: I can’t say I have a favorite.  I like the exterior palette, colors and roof lines; I like the richness, the warmth, and the space of the interiors; and I like the interface between the units and the open space in the back and the easy access to Town Center.

BSS: How does the Elevation 6000 project embody the work that you do as a builder in general?

JR: We try to build great, high quality units with quality materials at a reasonable price.  We are actively involved in all aspects of the project from day one, and are on-site continuously throughout the process.  I believe this helps keep costs down and quality up.  Frankly, I think to be able to build and offer new units of this quality at a price of under $300 per square foot in this current environment in Big Sky is a minor miracle. Ben Coleman, the agent listing the Elevation 6000 condos with Big Sky Sotheby’s says “I’ve been fortunate to work with several developers in my 17 years of Big Sky real estate and John has been a pleasure to work with.  He’s great to communicate with, very open minded and transparent.  John wants to find a way so that everyone wins.  I really enjoy that attitude


How to have a Merry "Green"mas, and safe holiday

Posted on December 25, 2016 by bigskysir

Though not everyone will be celebrating Christmas this week, it's safe to say that most will be spending time with family and friends. Check out these tips to help the environment, and keep you fire-safe, during the holidays.

  • 3 Ways To Have a Merry Greenmas

    You can make the holidays more eco-friendly by putting a green twist on Christmas traditions. Here are 3 smart ways to green up your holiday. Read

  • Holiday Fire Safety Tips

    The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for household fires, so take note of these tips to reduce your risk. Read

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Tips For The Holidays

Posted on November 29, 2016 by bigskysir


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