The crown jewel of Big Sky.









3. Big Couloir, is a 40-50 degree pitch for over 1,000 feet of vertical this is one of the most intense in-bounds trails in America.

You need a beacon, probe, shovel and partner to ski this run.

At the top of the tram there is a sign out shack there you will check in with patrol, slots go every 15 minutes, wait for patrol to give you the go ahead.

Outside there is a gate skier’s left of the shack, go through and make sure to close it after.

Here you will be on the north face of the summit and there is a traverse which is more open than a traverse, but rocky, usually wind scoured and firm, no need to ski fast here these are your warm up turns for the “Big”.

You will see a sign which points the direction of the Snowfield or Big, stay above the rope line and follow it and it will take you to the Big.

Once you get to the Big entrance you have a couple options of where to drop in, whatever looks good for you go for it.

The top is the steepest pitch and usually most firm requires a couple hop turns and sometimes navigation around rocks, depending on the snow.

Ski this one at a time, you have 15 minutes on this run and you and your partner don’t have to worry about someone dropping in on you.

The first person to go will ski to the dog leg and then pull off to the side and wait for their partner, or if feeling good will ski it top to bottom without stopping.

If it is your first time skiing this run stop at the dog leg it is a great opportunity to catch your breath and marvel at the beautiful cliff walls around you and what you just skied.

Once at the bottom take another chance to look up, it is truly a spectacular run.

Note: If you want to ski this run consider getting a guide, they will be able to help coach you as well as tell you whether or not you are ready for it.

They also provide all of the avalanche gear if you don’t own any and don’t feel like spending the extra money to obtain it.