Northern Rockies/Alberta 2021-2022 Big Sky Resorts/Conditions/Meetups

skidrew

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Well, the lifts have stopped turning at Big Sky for the 2020-21 ski season, and we bid a fond farewell to SwiftCurrent (we hope) - a new 6-pack with bubble - "SC6" - will be installed over the summer and (everyone hopes) ready for opening day on Thanksgiving. Here's Big Sky's blog from last summer - hopefully we'll see updates soon on further progress - https://blog.bigskyresort.com/progress-on-swift-current-6/

ETA: Progress pages for SC6, including construction timelapse: https://bigskyresort.com/swift-current-6

Meanwhile, hope everyone got their last free tram laps in - next year most folks (except some season ticket holders) will have to pay extra for access, either with a prepaid package or a la carte. Argue about the merits of this approach here - https://www.SkiTalk.com/threads/big...-peak-for-ikon-pass-holders-and-others.23266/

Look forward to insider gossip from some of our Big Sky locals - @BS Slarver , @Talisman , @SShore, and @milkman (anyone else?) - including whispers of announcement of a new/replacement tram in the coming years.
 
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Tricia

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I was tempted to start a thread titled "That's a wrap!"

We aren't done skiing for the season but Mt Rose, which is where we do a bunch of our skiing called it for the season today.
I have to say... :yahoo: whoo hooo!
We had a ski season that wasn't shut down due to the density of the population ;)
Alpine Meadows also saw the last day of lift served skiing but Squaw and Mammoth still have some life left.
Edit to cross out Alpine Meadows closing. I was wrong, they're still open.
 
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SShore

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While I'm looking forward to the Swifty replacement, I'm not so much about the 6 person version of Ramcharger. I really dislike those new chairs. What is REALLY needed though is another lift from the base to the top, preferably to the area under Powder Seeker to make the traverse back to the Madison side a bit easier. On busy days that catwalk from the top of Swifty to the bottom of Powder Seeker can get a bit sporty. We also need the Six Shooter replaced and another lift from the Madison base (not down the hill where the Six Shooter is) to the top of Lone Tree.

As to next season, I retire at the end of January, so I plan on doing a lot of mid week skiing in February and Mid March before heading to southern Utah to mountain bike the spring away.
 
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skidrew

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What is REALLY needed though is another lift from the base to the top, preferably to the area under Powder Seeker to make the traverse back to the Madison side a bit easier. On busy days that catwalk from the top of Swifty to the bottom of Powder Seeker can get a bit sporty. We also need the Six Shooter replaced and another lift from the Madison base (not down the hill where the Six Shooter is) to the top of Lone Tree.

The plan is for a gondola from the base (near Explorer) that would land up near Powderseeker, with a midstation somewhere near where the Explorer offload is.. That was supposed to be installed before SC6, but I was told a couple of years ago that they hadn't settled on a routing for it, so opted to replace Swifty first.

Fully agree re a lift up to Lone Tree - sort of frustrating that it's pretty hard to lap that part of the mountain without two lift rides (though a lift from Madison Base would require a ride up Derringer, no?).
 

SShore

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Fully agree re a lift up to Lone Tree - sort of frustrating that it's pretty hard to lap that part of the mountain without two lift rides (though a lift from Madison Base would require a ride up Derringer, no?).
It would, no really easy answer for that issue, you have to get up that hill to get back to the base. As a Madison County resident coming up Jack Creek Road, IF they fixed the lifts on that side, I would be happy to see them bring back the Madison Pass at a greatly reduced rate and just ski that side of the mountain.
 

Andy Mink

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Alpine Meadows also saw the last day of lift served skiing but Squaw and Mammoth still have some life left.
Alpine is showing the main frontside lifts open today.:daffy:
 

amjgt

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It would, no really easy answer for that issue, you have to get up that hill to get back to the base. As a Madison County resident coming up Jack Creek Road, IF they fixed the lifts on that side, I would be happy to see them bring back the Madison Pass at a greatly reduced rate and just ski that side of the mountain.
Being forced to ride up Derringer (or Six Shooter) at the end of the day seems like a pretty minor quibble if a whole new lift was installed from the bottom of Six Shooter to the top of Lone Tree. One other thought, with RFID now fully entrenched would be to add a parking area down there. Not sure if it's still there, but google maps shows a parking area across the street.
 
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skidrew

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^ Yeah, any long lift up to me would make much more sense to start near where Six Shooter is. Folks using the Madison base have a short ski down to either lift, with a short ride back up Derringer to access that base area. Keep the Derringer lift running until 4:30 to give anyone on a last run some extra time.

Also:

 
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ejj

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^ Yeah, any long lift up to me would make much more sense to start near where Six Shooter is. Folks using the Madison base have a short ski down to either lift, with a short ride back up Derringer to access that base area. Keep the Derringer lift running until 4:30 to give anyone on a last run some extra time.

Also:


Kinda looks like some Swifty chairs on the ground in front of Ramcharger.

I wont miss Swifty. Most important chair on the mountain and it kept having issues. Anyone that spent 15 minutes stopped mid-mountain on a windy cold day will celebrate it's rejuvenation.
 

milkman

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I think the best move for Moonlight is to add the second lift to top of Lone Tree and take the Iron Horse replacement over the hill to tie into Six Shooter.
I never understood the “obsession” with the gondola. Probably all marketing.
Would also suggest rerouting iron horse starting close to the bottom of challenger eliminating some of the cross mountain traffic.
 

Talisman

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I never understood the “obsession” with the gondola. Probably all marketing.
Personally I like base area gondolas when there are also chairs as people seem content to stand in a gondola line when the chairs are ski on. Gondola only base areas can be a mess though like Kicking Horse.
 

BS Slarver

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The two-stage gondola that is going in is multipurpose. First, it replaces the slow moving explorer which is the first aerial lift we have for beginners. The first stage will allow beginners to exit the cabin on foot, hopefully most have mastered skill rather than falling at the unloading area.
As far as the top unloading area goes it will be followed up by another lodge with dining and additional on hill food and beverage and most people after the sun goes down in Montana would rather ride a enclosed cabin.
The master plan has that new gondi top
out near the lodge along with the relocation of the base of the tram
 
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skidrew

skidrew

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The two-stage gondola that is going in is multipurpose. First, it replaces the slow moving explorer which is the first aerial lift we have for beginners. The first stage will allow beginners to exit the cabin on foot, hopefully most have mastered skill rather than falling at the unloading area.
As far as the top unloading area goes it will be followed up by another lodge with dining and additional on hill food and beverage and most people after the sun goes down in Montana would rather ride a enclosed cabin.
The master plan has that new gondi top
out near the lodge along with the relocation of the base of the tram

Makes sense especially if idea is to have learn to ski area up the hill - beginners could “walk” to the leaning area their first time.

any sense where the top station would be? More like up Upper Morningstar? Or would new tram be further down, like towards Powderseeker base?

would be sweet if they could make it a chondola or even switch out cabs and chairs depending on time of day.
 

BS Slarver

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Hey @skidrew - Is this big sky and beyond thread about things beyond big sky or beyond this year or both ?
It would be great to have a catchall thread for all things southern Montana and all things big sky rolled into one so we don’t have to re-up every year. Either way, it’s all good and thanks for kicking it off !
Gallatin River is a raging and full on rapids the last few days with all the snow melt. Dry suits and helmets a must. It’s going to be a bit before it’s a chill float day.

On the hill, work is progressing nicely on SC6. Not sure this photo does justice how big the new base terminal site is. These dumpers are being filled every few minutes and shuttling to a massive pile close by to simply get it out of the way of progress. You can see just how far forward the hole is of the old loading area, it was parallel to the electrical boxes.
Looks to be moving up hill significantly so RC8 and the new SC6 lines will not be so close together at peak times.

In the background the big C still looking good

36A055B9-557B-455D-B3F9-7BA0EE3CAC39.jpeg
 

amjgt

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I think the best move for Moonlight is to add the second lift to top of Lone Tree and take the Iron Horse replacement over the hill to tie into Six Shooter.
I never understood the “obsession” with the gondola. Probably all marketing.
Would also suggest rerouting iron horse starting close to the bottom of challenger eliminating some of the cross mountain traffic.
A majority of the usefulness of iron horse is that it serves moonlight basin and all its condos. Moving the base of iron horse closer to challenger eliminates that. In order to get to the main base from those condos, then you’d have to take Pony Express (not express) up. Ski down to Madison base. Take six shooter up, then cross the mountain.
 
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skidrew

skidrew

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Hey @skidrew - Is this big sky and beyond thread about things beyond big sky or beyond this year or both ?
It would be great to have a catchall thread for all things southern Montana and all things big sky rolled into one so we don’t have to re-up every year. Either way, it’s all good and thanks for kicking it off !

I put in the "and beyond" I think at your suggestion about making it not just an annual thread. Honestly I don't care how we do it - there can be an annual thread, or an ongoing thread. Advantage of the former is it starts fresh and doesn't get too long; advantage of the latter is everything is in one place.

As for southern Montana, my thought is better to keep it kind of limited to things one might do in or around Big Sky, though obviously that's a pretty big area. Not sure there's a Bridger Bowl thread - probably would make sense to keep that separate, though I suppose there's some overlap, like restaurants in Bozeman.

But really this isn't "my" thread - so whatever folks want. But in my view better not to have loads of separate Big Sky threads at once (where to eat, January; where to eat February, etc.)
 
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skidrew

skidrew

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BTW, re picture above I'm assuming that once they pour the foundation and whatever else for the bottom station they'll backfill a fair amount?

I have to say the hole they set Ramcharger into is unfortunate - kind of cut off some good lines for returning to the lifts.
 
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