The Lone Peak Tram makes a single leap up the summit cone of Lone Mountain, more than 1,400 vertical feet in half a mile or so, without a tower between the tram's base and summit stations. This gives you some idea of the terrain from the top, all double diamond or nearly so, and a somewhat different world than that at the base, 4,350 vertical feet below. Many will never survey the view from the 11,166-foot summit, but may nevertheless feel that it's just as impressive from below.
Lone Peak may be Big Sky's most visible asset, but it's by no means the only one. With 3,812 acres of terrain and 150 named runs, covered (on average) by 400" of snow a season, there's quite likely to be more than enough choices for all abilities. And the self-contained nature of Big Sky - a necessity considering its location - encourages a week of exploration.
While hard-core skiers and riders crow about the tough stuff, novices, beginners, and intermediates have plenty of excellent terrain to keep them happy. The Ramcharger and Swift Current high-speed quads, both rising from Mountain Village, access about two dozen trails, most of them blue, but with a few long greens thrown in, too. The Explorer Double and the Southern Comfort Triple (the latter over on the sunny side of Flat Iron Mountain) are devoted to beginners, with miles of well-groomed trails. There are even a couple of upper-mountain cruisers - Sunlight off the Shedhorn Double and Upper Morningstar off the Lone Peak Triple - that allow intermediates to experience the alpine aspects of the resort.
By the same token, you don't need to venture to the very summit for challenging terrain. Weather or conditions might not allow it in any case, but there are plenty of black diamonds lower down (and four short double blacks off the Challenger chair), distributed among nine lifts. So if you can't play hero off the summit, you can play hero with your family and still find satisfying challenges.
For those who find challenge off the beaten path, book a day of cat skiing. The venue is 1,000 acres on the north side of Lone Mountain. Full and half day trips are available, with up to 10,000 feet of accumulated vertical.
Snowboarders will find a couple of natural half pipes around the mountain, and a groomed one and a terrain park off the Ramcharger Quad on Andesite.
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