Even expert skiers like Big Sky's Katie Grice can be taken down by the terrifying Snow Snake.
HALLOWEEN HAPPENS once a year, but you don’t have to wait to visit a haunted house each October to get your adrenaline pumping. Get your fear-fix all winter long on Big Sky’s scariest runs:
10) Wounded Knee: Dodging in and out of trees and over bumps, legend has it even Big Sky General Manager Taylor Middleton has stayed away from this run ever since the knee injury that prompted him to name the trail.
9) Bear’s Lair and Snake Pit: Did you hear that rustling in the conifers? It may just be Big Sky’s resident black bear waking up from his hibernation. Take one wrong turn and you might just end up in the middle of a hungry bear’s den. As for Snake Pit: Beware! The snow snakes on this one are truly killer.
8) Mad Wolf: Staring down at this never-ending field of moguls can get anyone’s heart racing, and it won’t stop as you pound bump after bump, getting one of the biggest ski workouts of your life. Proceed with caution, as these moguls run top to bottom without a break.
7) The Shack of Dirtbags Past: On frosty winter days it’s said that a small cabin or shack may appear before you on the trail – it’s the haunted shack of dirtbags past, often hidden from view in a cloud of mysterious vapors.
6) Huntley Hollow: The ghost of newscaster and Big Sky founder Chet Huntley is rumored to dwell on this spooky trail. On gusty days you may just hear the faint voice of Chet reciting old newscasts as the wind whips through the trees.
5) Lenin and Marx: These steep runs off the tram aren’t named after brutal dictators for nothing. By the end of Lenin and Marx you’ll be swearing your American patriotism and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
4) A-Z Chutes: No matter which of these scary cutes you choose, it’s the hike that makes these runs some of the more terrifying at Big Sky. Skis over your shoulder, a sheer wall to your left, and cliff to your right, you’ll be relieved to click back in and start making turns.
3) Little Couloir: Don’t let the “Little” part fool you – this run is one of the biggest fright-factors for local skiers. Open only a few times a year when the conditions are right, there are still serious consequences for one wrong move on this terrifying run.
2) Big Couloir: The classic hardcore run at Big Sky, you’ll need to bring your avalanche gear and sign out with ski patrol to hit this slope, which reaches over 50 degrees at its steepest point. The secret is to make it past the no-fall zone to the Dog’s Leg, where you wait for your ski partner to drop in. But the most bloodcurdling part of our number two scariest run isn’t even the terrain – it’s the eyes that are watching you from the tram as it passes above, and the pressure to perform can be more frightening than anything.
1) Natural Half-Pipe: Green circle it may be, but this run might just also be a secret deathly ski-trap. Exhibit A: the neck brace I had to wear after coming in contact with a tree there in the winter of 09/10, one of the worst ski accidents on the mountain that year. Don’t let the grooming and easy grade deceive you – the trees on this run will jump out of nowhere, and I’m convinced this is the scariest run at Big Sky.
Check out gnarly ski footage from winter's past at youtube.com/bigskyresort
Skiing on these scary runs can make Frankenstein's monster out of anyone - this one is a result of the secretly scary Natural Half Pipe.