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Top Ten Ski Resort Mountains With Steep Chutes

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Black diamond We ranked our favorite mountains for steep chutes and extreme terrain. These are the best advanced ski mountains where the double black diamonds point down with a steep incline. Here are our picks of the best.
1) Crested Butte Colorado (US)
Crested Butte CO The Peak at Crested Butte is a well known ass kicker. Butte is famous for very steep chutes: try Banana Chute. It is their forte and pride. They officially claim 23% beginner, 57 % intermediate and 20% advanced. Not sure who did this accounting but I couldn't dissagree more. Perhaps they don't want to scare people. The vast majority of the upper mountain is double black diamond steep chutes. You won't get to it all in one day. I LOVE IT! See: color terrain contour image of Crested Butte

See our review of Crested Butte CO for more information.

2) Big Sky Montana (US)
Steep Terrain "Big Couloir" is a 42 degree, 1,400 plus vertical foot, rock lined chute on the peak of "Lone Mountain". One at a time, please. To get there take the Lone Peak Tram. "The Gullies" is also available from the same tram. If that doesn't do it for you, look for the 50 degree "Castro's Shoulder" also on the same peak. It's all steep off this peak. See: color terrain contour image of Big Sky

3) Taos New Mexico (US)
Taos Great terrain, great town, great time! They are fully dedicated and committed to the advanced skier. Steep tree runs, steep faces, steep chutes off of the upper ridge line, steep mogul runs, ... they do steep here! See: color terrain contour image of Taos

Taos is the host of the 2007 Salomon Extreme Freeride Championships.

4) Silverton Colorado (US)
Silverton It has only one, two seater chair lift installed in 2002 and requires traversing or hiking to reach many of the runs. While much of Silverton Mountain resembles back country skiing and is ungroomed, it is avalanche controlled. This is NOT a luxury resort and hosts a wood stove heated portable tent/building structure as its "lodge". You can rent the required avalanche beacon, shovel, avalanche probe and knapsack. Heliskiing was introduced in 2008, and for for $150.00 per drop, its a deal. This sure beats the long hikes to fresh powder. Open Thursday through Sunday.

See our review of Silverton Mountain CO for more information on the chutes and the rest of Silverton.

5) Mammoth Mountain California (US)
Mammoth Mountain CA Ski "Drop Out" under lift 23 or "Avalanche Chutes" off of lift 22 for a variety of steep chutes. "Avalanche Chutes" are sure to give you a rush. If that's not enough, try or Philippes. While not technically chutes, the runs at the top of the mountain (top of gondola) are also steep and challenging. See: color terrain contour image of Mammoth Mountain

See our review of Mammoth Mountain CA for more information as well as our coverage of the Avi Chutes and Upper Double Black Terrain at Mammoth Mountain.

6) Aspen Highlands Colorado (US)
Aspen Highlands A great town and the third home to many of the very rich and famous. See: color terrain contour image of Aspen Highlands

Host to Winter X-Games 11 and 12.

7) Telluride Colorado (US)
Telluride CO This mountain has copious quantities of challenging terrain for the advanced skier. The lifts near town are the quickest way there. The traditional steep chutes can be found on runs such as "Dihedral Chute" on "Black Iron Bowl" off of lift 12 (Prospect Lift) plus a hike. See: color terrain contour image of Telluride

8) Breckenridge Colorado (US)
Breckenridge CO A variety of terrain. "Lake Chutes" and "Snow White" are upper bowls off of Imperial Express lift (lift opens late and closes early), the highest lift in North America (their claim). See: color terrain contour image of Lake Chutes

See our review of Breckenridge CO for more information.

9) Arapahoe Basin Colorado (US)
Arapahoe Check out the "Upper East Wall" (hike required). The milder and lift accessible Pallavichini is a good double black warm-up for the wall. See: color terrain contour image of Arapahoe Basin

See our review of Arapahoe Basin CO or our coverage of the Upper East Wall for more information.

10) Blackcomb (Whistler) (Canada)
Whistler I prefer the Blackcomb side for advanced terrain. See: color terrain contour image of Whistler Blackcomb

See our review of Whistler Blackcomb BC and Whistler tree runs for more information.

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