The Biggest Skiing in America, Big Sky, will now feature The Russian president on its steeply pitched trail map. If you have skied Big Sky's venerable 11,166' summit, you know of the very steep and gnarly Dictator Chutes. The Dictators are double black diamond au natural steeps, deemed The Dictators by skiers for their demanding unforgiving descent on Big Sky's South Face. In 1995, the Lone Peak Tram was installed and Castro, Lenin and Marx made Big Sky's official map. Now Russia's fearless leader Vladimir gets his very own line - "Putin" is between Castro and Lenin. I have skied the Dictators, these seriously pitched runs are not for the timid, certainly not for indecisive politicians.
Putin's Chute is being inaugurated today, April 1. To celebrate the new Dictator run, Big Sky is hosting the first annual Putin Shirtless Ski Race appropriately on April Fool's Day, capturing Putin's passion for skiing and his show-off-y-ness (can that be a word please?). There is no Obama Dictator ski run to date, that would probably warrant a more passive green circle or perhaps renaming the Ski Patrol Clinic "Obama Care".