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By Brad Ressler
Ski hills are major landforms, not just vertical playgrounds. New tools like Google Earth allow us to glimpse the entirety of the mountains on which ski resorts reside, and even zoom in, tilt, and twirl to experience the pitch and roll of these areas.
Big Sky, Montana
What began as a gleam in the eye of NBC News anchorman Chet Huntley morphed into Montana’s Big Sky, today the country’s largest ski resort, which, with the addition of Moonlight Basin in 2012, offers passholders a 360-degree, 4,000-foot-plus-vertical skiing experience. In this August 2012 photo, Big Sky’s Alto Ridge ramps to the 11,166-foot summit of Lone Mountain as the pistes spill towards the village, while the peak’s crenellated West Wall fans out to the northeast (the coveted Big Couloir is just out of view).