Going To The Bar Chute, Beehive Basin, Madison Range, MT

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Skiing The Going To The Bar Chute In Beehive Basin, Montana

Location: Beehive Basin, Big Sky, MT
Trailhead: Beehive Basin Parking Area – 7900 ft
Distance: +/- 4 miles round trip
Time: 1 to 2.5 hours
Top Elevation: 9350 ft
Vertical: 1400 ft
USGS Maps: Lone Mountain, Gallatin Peak

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No true ski bum has been enjoying the unseasonably warm winter. It’s not as bad here in Montana as other places, but it still doesn’t feel right. On the up side, at least I don’t have to ski the human hardened resort right now. And the backcountry has been a blast.

After a picture perfect blue bird day yesterday, I was keen to get into the mountains. I woke early to clouds and a bit of rain at my house. Determined, I picked up Chris Corona and we headed up to the Beehive Trailhead.

With loose plans to ski the Buttcrack Chute in Middle Basin, we hit the trail under greybird skies. By the time we reached the middle ridge, the wind was howling, it was snowing hard, and conditions were near whiteout. We crossed the alpine off our hit list. Instead, we followed the ridge to the Going To The Bar Chute. After approximately 1400 feet of vertical and just over an hour we were ready to ski.

Beehive Basin Skiing
Corona

The Going To The Bar Chute is located on the south saddle of the scour zone and drops back into Beehive – just up the ridge form the Going Home Chute. George Downing, Jeremy Wood, and I  skied it out after skiing the Itty Bitty Couloir earlier in the week. Almost every time I ski it, I’m heading home or to the bar, thus the name. It seems fitting. Does anyone else call it something different? Let me know. It’s a fun, west-facing planar line that offers decent snow and an easy out of Beehive.

Going To The Bar Chute
The Going To The Bar Chute

With a week’s worth of strong winds, we dug a quick pit in sub par weather. As we got ready to ski, the clouds burned off a bit and the weather improved. Then we dropped in and went skiing. The Going To The Bar Chute offered up some soft snow and and a nice fall line down to the floor of Beehive Basin and the massive meadow. It was about 750 feet of skiing.

The clearing weather encouraged us to continue our adventure. We transitioned back to skinning and quickly gained the west ridge of Beehive Basin. This ridge is flat and mellow and we cruised up to the top of a run that I call Trenchtown for a fun little link-up.

Beehive Basin Skiing
Corona Skinning
Beehive Basin Skiing
Looking Down Trenchtown

Before we dropped into the east facing Trenchtown, we soaked in the views of the the Beehive/Middle ridge and the ski lines dropping back into Beehive. The Iguana, aka The Gem, looked inviting. There were other unnamed lines that were more committing that I’m keen to ski.

Beehive Basin Skiing
The Iguana aka The Gem
Beehive Basin Skiing
Panoramic of the West Face of the East Ridge
Beehive Basin Skiing
I want to ski this.
SW MT Skiing
Fan Mountain

Finally it was time to ski. Trenchtown offered up the goods. Soft, trenchable snow in flat light. Sweet turns for an epic 300 feet of vertical. The weather was coming back in. Time to head home.

Beehive Basin Skiing
Skiing Trenchtown

Overall our flat light link up let us ski the Going To The Bar Chute and Trenchtown. We did it about 3.5 hours, covered 2100 feet, and about 5.3 miles. Good times.

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See route on Hillmap

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This line was skied on February 9, 2015.