Big Sky Resort launch triple black diamond high consequence trails

If you ski or snowboard then you know that black diamond is the big kahuna of skiing and snowboarding. It’s what you quake in fear of when you’re skiing and boarding the greens and blues and it’s what you boast about once you’ve made it down your first black diamond run.

Once you’ve graduated to hard core then you’ll think nothing of jumping into double black diamond terrain, the kind reserved for experts and the those who love super steep technical aspects.

Well move over boasty mcboast faces, there’s a new kid in town and he’s about to school the pants off you and turn that grin to a grimace, so be warned. It’s the triple diamond, the new trail rating introduced at the mammoth Big Sky Resort in Montana, already known for steep, vast terrain and big mountain skiing. 

This season ski patrol at Big Sky will have their work cut out for them as they designate certain complex technical terrain as triple black diamond. This is no fall zone exposure terrain, with continuous steep pitches, complex routes and high consequences. You better know your stuff and have the experience.

Scared? You should be. These new trail ratings are all to increase guest education and awareness of the risks of skiing high alpine big exposure terrain. The triple black diamond trail rating is used as a communication tool to encourage conservative skiing with a focus on skiing in control.

The triple diamond threat

The dedicated triple blacks on Lone Peak

Check out the most updated Big Sky Resort trail maps for a comprehensive list of triple black diamond rated trails.

Managed access areas 

Big Sky Resort has three Managed Access areas: the Big Couloir, North Summit Snowfield, and Upper A-Z Chutes. They all require a sign out with Ski Patrol, skiers and boarders to carry avalanche beacons and that you ski/ride with a partner. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.