Safety at Big Sky Resort

Safety is number one at Big Sky Resort. With more than 5800 acres of Big Mountain skiing spread across multiple mountain aspects, combined with an average of 400 inches of snowfall per season, safety risks exist.

Skiers and snowboarders must observe the Skier Responsibility Code to ensure their safety. See below to learn more about our codes, view instructional safety videos, and more. Our ski patrol is among the finest in the country, and available to assist with any on-mountain emergencies. If you are in need of assistance on-mountain, please call (406) 995-5880 or visit any lift terminal to call Patrol. For any other emergencies, please dial 911.

  • Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas, you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross country, and other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by disabled or other skiers. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing experience.

    •  Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid people or objects.
    •  People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.
    •  Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.
    •  Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.
    •  You must prevent runaway equipment.
    •  Read and obey all signs, warnings, and hazard markings.
    •  Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
    •  You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.
    •  Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
    •  If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

    Skiers and riders should be advised that a green circle, blue square, or black diamond trail at one area is not necessarily the same as a similarly rated trail at another area. The system is a relative system that is only valid at this area. Skiers and riders should work their way up, beginning with the easiest trails no matter what their ability level may be, until they are familiar with the trails at the area.

    This is only a partial list. Be safety conscious. Officially endorsed by the National Ski Areas Association

    Lift Safety
    Be advised that you cannot board a lift unless you have sufficient physical dexterity, ability, and knowledge to negotiate or to use such lift safely, or until you have asked for and received information sufficient to enable you to load, ride and unload the lift safely. You may not use a lift or any ski trail when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Remove backpacks before boarding lifts. Check for loose straps and clothing.

    For your children's safety, skiing/riding with children in backpacks is also prohibited.

    Snowcats, snowmobiles, and snowmaking may be encountered at any time.

    Slow Zones
    Certain areas (highlighted on the map) are designated as SLOW ZONES. Please observe posted slow zone areas by maintaining a speed no faster than the general flow of traffic. Fast and aggressive skiing and riding may result in loss of lift ticket.

    Helmet Use
    Helmets are a smart idea. Big Sky Resort encourages you to educate yourself on the benefits and limitations of helmets. If you choose to wear one, please ski or ride as if you are not wearing one. Every winter sport participant shares the responsibility for his or her safety and of others using the ski facilities.

    Backcountry Riding
    Backcountry Exit Gates - use extreme caution! You are leaving the ski area and subjecting yourself entirely to all the dangers and responsibilities the backcountry presents. The ski area assumes no responsibility for skiers or riders going beyond the ski area boundary. Areas beyond the ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained. Avalanches, unmarked obstacles, and other natural hazards exist. Rescue in the backcountry, if available, will be costly and may take time.

    Freestyle Terrain
    Helmets are recommended. Freestyle terrain may include jumps, hits, ramps, banks, fun boxes, jibs, rails, half pipes, quarter pipes, snowcross, bump terrain, and other constructed or natural terrain features. PRIOR to using freestyle terrain, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with freestyle terrain and obeying all instructions, warnings, and signs. Freestyle skills require maintaining control on the ground and in the air. Freestyle Terrain has designations for size. Start small and work your way up. Designations are relative to this ski area.

    Look Before You Leap
    You are responsible for inspecting freestyle terrain before initial use and throughout the day. The features vary in size and change constantly due to snow conditions, weather, usage, grooming, and time of day. Do not jump blindly. Use a spotter when necessary.

    Easy Style It
    Always ride or ski in control and within your ability level. Do not attempt freestyle terrain unless you have sufficient ability and experience to do so safely. You control the degree of difficulty you will encounter in using freestyle terrain, both on the ground and in the air.

    Respect Gets Respect
    Respect freestyle terrain and others. Only one person on a feature at a time. Wait your turn and call your start. Always clear the landing area quickly. Respect all signs and do not enter freestyle terrain or use features when closed.

    Use of freestyle terrain exposes you to the risk of serious injury or death. Inverted aerials are not recommended. You assume the risk.

    Big Sky Resort is seriously concerned about the safety of its skiers/riders. The Ski Patrol will issue warnings or remove privileges without refund for those who are acting recklessly or are out of control.

    Only authorized recreational activities are allowed on Big Sky Resort premises. All other activities, including sledding and tubing, are strictly prohibited. For your children's safety, skiing/riding with children in backpacks is also prohibited.

    Duties of skier.

    1. A skier has the duty to ski at all times in a manner that avoids injury to the skier and others and to be aware of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing. 

    2. A skier: 
      1. shall know the range of the skier's ability and safely ski within the limits of that ability and the skier's equipment so as to negotiate any section of terrain or ski slope and trail safely and without injury or damage. A skier shall know that the skier's ability may vary because of ski slope and trail changes caused by weather, grooming changes, or skier use. 
      2. shall maintain control of speed and course so as to prevent injury to the skier or others; 
      3. shall abide by the requirements of the skier responsibility code that is published by the national ski areas association and that is posted as provided in 23-2-733
      4. shall obey all posted or other warnings and instructions of the ski area operator; and 
      5. shall read the ski area trail map and must be aware of its contents. 

    3. A person may not: 
      1. place an object in the ski area or on the uphill track of a passenger ropeway that may cause a passenger or skier to fall; 
      2. cross the track of a passenger ropeway except at a designated and approved point; or 
      3. if involved in a skiing accident, depart from the scene of the accident without: 
        1. leaving personal identification; or 
        2. notifying the proper authorities and obtaining assistance when the person knows that a person involved in the accident is in need of medical or other assistance. 

    4. A skier shall accept all legal responsibility for injury or damage of any kind to the extent that the injury or damage results from inherent dangers and risks of skiing. Nothing in this part may be construed to limit a skier's right to hold another skier legally accountable for damages caused by the other skier.
  • A tree well/ snow immersion suffocation accident can happen when a skier or snowboarder falls - usually headfirst - into a tree well or deep loose snow and becomes immobilized and trapped under the snow and suffocates.

    Deep Snow Safety

  • Uphill travel (touring) is accessible on specific trails only. View Alpine Touring, Uphill Ski Travel & Skinning Policies for more information.

    Hike-to routes provide access to specific areas of terrain on the mountain. These routes lead to expert terrain that might not be as frequently trafficked. If you are unfamiliar with the area, be sure to go with a guide or check in with Ski Patrol.

    Hike-to Routes:

    • Bone Crusher (access from Swift Current)
    • Headwaters/A-Z Chutes (access from Challenger or Headwaters)
    • Upper A-Z Chutes (access from Powder Seeker)
    • Horseshoe Bowl (access from Lone Tree)
    • Trident/Orbit (access from Horseshoe Bowl or Deepwater Bowl)
  • NSAA, as part of its on-going efforts to promote on-hill safety and responsible skiing and riding, has developed the #RideAnotherDay campaign, in partnership with Kelli and Chauncy Johnson. This campaign has both a print and a video component. You can see each below. Both are available for download using the links below each element.


  • For your children's safety, skiing/riding with children in backpacks is prohibited.

    Kids on Lifts

  • Find out how to choose the right helmet and fit for your child.

    Lids on Kids

  • The National Ski Areas Association and Burton Snowboards would like to welcome you to the "Park Smart" Terrain Park Safety initiative. Park Smart is the evolution of the original Smart Style program. A cooperative effort with the help of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) that emphasizes the proper use of terrain parks while delivering a unified message.

    Smart Style/Park Smart

  • In an effort to improve the terrain park experience for our guests Boyne Resorts offers this terrain park etiquette and education program, better known as PEEPs. PEEPs gives you the opportunity to check out and read up on the latest information available regarding terrain park safety. We are proud to offer this one of a kind educational terrain park program.