By Sheila Chapman Big Sky Resort Public Relations Manager

Powder was the word for the 2013-14 season!

Surpassing Big Sky’s 400 inches of average annual snowfall, it was all grins on the slopes. There were some amazing happenings at the resort this year, but at the top is the merger of Moonlight Basin and Spanish Peak’s terrain into Big Sky Resort, making us truly “better together” with 5,750 skiable acres.

Big Sky celebrated its 40th anniversary this season, and as Lone Peak Brewery’s Retro Red Ale beer can says, “Back in 1973, Big Sky Resort founder Chet Huntley had no idea his dream would become the Biggest Skiing in America.” Yet here we are, and finishing the season with some record numbers.

We made a huge jump in Ski Magazine’s reader survey, ranking 12th overall for best resort in the west, and garnished several top 10 ratings for terrain and snowfall on various industry websites.

Turkey for a Ticket on Dec. 13 was a major success, bringing in a record single-day donation of 73,000 pounds of canned food and turkeys. The resort was proud to sponsor Olympian freestyle skier Heather McPhie, and honored to have her as Big Sky Resort’s 2013-14 Athlete Ambassador.

The fun continued above the slopes when the resort opened the Adventure Zipline Tour for its first winter as zipliners whizzed high above skiers on 5,000 feet of cables between four towers. Big Sky Resort hosted some great ski clinics for racing, steeps and big mountain skiing with notable teachers Martin Bell and Dan Egan, as well as Keely and Brenna Kelleher.

The resort experience wouldn’t be the same without the amazing après music throughout the winter. The four-day Big Sky Big Grass Festival brought some of the biggest talents in the bluegrass scene, as well as the five nights of music during the holidays and the inaugural March Music Mayhem series. And the snow just kept coming!

Big competitions at the resort this year included the Headwaters Spring Runoff, the Ace of Hearts slopestyle competition, the Freeride World Qualifier of the Subaru Freeride Series, and the Montana State University Invitational NCAA Division I FIS-University Race. The resort is home to the Big Sky Ski Education Foundation teams, and the Youth Ski League team took first place at the YSL Championships on March 16 at Bridger Bowl.

The annual Dummy Jump had a record number of entries all vying for the first place $500 prize and this stellar season ended with the annual Pond Skim event on April 19th.

As I wind down my first season at Big Sky Resort, there’s one thing about Lone Mountain I happily can’t get over: If it isn’t snowing, it’s sunny!

I’m already dreaming of next season.