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

Talisman

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Team Gathermeister
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Not as exciting as a new lift, but there is some brush and jack pine trimming going on on Flat Iron. In addition to the tracked mower the steeper pitches are being hand cut with chainsaws.

Trimmer on Bobcat.jpg Trimmer on Bobcat.jpg

Freshly cut Bobcat from above showing the brush and trees to be handcut.

Trimmed Bobcat.jpg
 
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skidrew

skidrew

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I think that's some brush I got hung up in a couple of years ago . . . will appreciate not having it there next time.
 

milkman

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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.
Everything you say is correct but having two lifts (pony express and iron horse) is a holdover from having two resorts. Time to unravel that old mistake. Dedicate one lift (pony express) for real estate access. Relocate iron horse to get folks off of the fire roads, across the mountain and to the top of six shooter quickly.
 
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skidrew

skidrew

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Everything you say is correct but having two lifts (pony express and iron horse) is a holdover from having two resorts. Time to unravel that old mistake. Dedicate one lift (pony express) for real estate access. Relocate iron horse to get folks off of the fire roads, across the mountain and to the top of six shooter quickly.

Aren't there two separate issues?

First is where Iron Horse offloads . . . as you say, if it went a bit further, to offload where Six Shooter does, it would be a great improvement for access. One lift could get you over to Lone Tree rather than two. Don't know how easy it would be to extend.

The other is where Iron Horse loads. Not clear to me why loading Iron Horse somewhere else is helpful, except to people in condos below the current load point. Even having it load somewhere else like closer to Challenger isn't worth the effort because all it would mean is avoiding the runout from Blue Moon that takes you over there now.
 

milkman

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Guess I'm just prejudiced against fire roads and trails. The current BRT/SA Road to Blue Moon with the Fastlane intersection is a leftover from the old days. There are numerous intersections with Expert runs above that morph into blue or green runs below the trail. Blue Moon is sometimes impossible for the average green run skier trying to get to Moonlight.
It's not confusing to locals but it's confusing and difficult to describe to guests and dangerous for all, including experts crossing the road.
My suggestion might not be practical but there's got to be a better way to move folks across our wonderful mountain than we have now.
 

milkman

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New questions.
Anyone hear any gossip on the Gondola / Learning center project?
Numerous hotel projects were announced for Moonlight. Anything on a hotel near the base of the proposed Gondola? Those two projects have always been discussed symbiotically.
 

DanoT

RVer-Skier
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Sun Peaks B.C. in winter, Victoria B.C. in summer
Not as exciting as a new lift, but there is some brush and jack pine trimming going on on Flat Iron. In addition to the tracked mower the steeper pitches are being hand cut with chainsaws.
More and more in the future summer grooming will become a major response at ski resorts to climate change. A Canadian university study showed that the greatest impact for Alberta and B.C. Interior ski resorts will be a shorter season with later starts and earlier closures.

Sun Peaks, which gets less snow than some other resorts, instituted an on going summer grooming program 30 years ago and along with a small amount of snow making, SP is usually the first to open in the B.C. Interior, 2 weeks ahead of most of the other resorts.

One summer they wanted to widen a double black diamond run and brought in a unique type of backhoe with a grapple and saw attachment. The unique part was the hoe was mounted not on cat tracks but multi jointed spider legs that allowed the cab and boom to be positioned level and thus swing safely and easily on a steep slope while cutting and leaving stumps cut very close to grade.
 
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skidrew

skidrew

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Guess I'm just prejudiced against fire roads and trails. The current BRT/SA Road to Blue Moon with the Fastlane intersection is a leftover from the old days. There are numerous intersections with Expert runs above that morph into blue or green runs below the trail. Blue Moon is sometimes impossible for the average green run skier trying to get to Moonlight.
It's not confusing to locals but it's confusing and difficult to describe to guests and dangerous for all, including experts crossing the road.
My suggestion might not be practical but there's got to be a better way to move folks across our wonderful mountain than we have now.

Ah - a point I didn't realize you were making. Agree the connections could be better even just with the trails and no added lifts. There isn't a Big Sky side connection to Iron Horse that's for beginners, and the bottom of Blue Moon is what's really the problem. Not sure how much they could push dirt around, but I would some sort of grading could help make at least part of Blue Moon more suited to beginners. And I sure would like a Fastlane runout that didn't dump you into the learning area and Explorer.

I have no idea if it would be remotely feasible (putting aside cost) but a gondola with two-way riding from Explorer base with a midpoint at Iron Horse load point and an uphill station at the top of Six Shooter might solve most of these problems.
 

Talisman

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Team Gathermeister
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Gallatin County
A view of the current status of the Swifty six.

The new base terminal with the Ram Charger in the distance

New Swifty Base.jpg

Looking up the lift line with some of the new towers in place. The smokey sky is evident in this view.

New Swifty Towers.jpg

The spool of new cable has been delivered.

New Swifty Cable Spool.jpg
 

milkman

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Great pics. I’m told everything is on site to complete construction on time.
There is also construction activity near the top of the Explorer chair.
A usually reliable source says the decision has been made to fully refurbish Old Swifty in SLC this winter and reinstall it on the Moonlight side next summer. It will run from near the base of Six Shooter to near the top of Lone Tree.
That should relieve one bottleneck and help access underutilized terrain.
 

Talisman

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Team Gathermeister
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There are a lot of various stories about where "old swifty" will end up and at least one should be true. My favorite is "old swifty" will be installed in BSS backyard and connect with the resort over near the new Montage Hotel.

It did snow above 9000 feet last night in Big Sky and a lot of the smoke cleared out.
 

BS Slarver

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It was tower flying day for the new SC6 !
Mountain Ops and DM getting r ready to roll for opening day.
Such delicate work with precision and speed

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Hands on the haul rope for scale

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The new base terminal feels every bit as big or bigger than Ram Charger 8 and now that it’s positioned, I think the base area will have much better flow

E149CE61-D9D7-4835-94C0-F6D1D66BD6E8.jpeg
 

milkman

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Great!
I agree the new terminal location should relieve some of the base area congestion.
I was confused by the alignment a few weeks ago. I looked at it several times and It didn’t look like the base was aligned in a straight line to the top. Was my eye off or did they reuse some of the old lower towers then add the new tapered towers after they crossed the creek?
 

Tiki

The Pirate’s Daughter
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I didn't make it out for my annual volunteering at The Rut where I would've seen the work up close, so I appreciate these photos. Most social media posts are focused on the top of the lift, so thank you @BS Slarver for the peeks. Any attempt to alleviate that now 4 year old infuriating chokehold is appreciated.
 

Lift Blog

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Jul 22, 2018
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Great!
I agree the new terminal location should relieve some of the base area congestion.
I was confused by the alignment a few weeks ago. I looked at it several times and It didn’t look like the base was aligned in a straight line to the top. Was my eye off or did they reuse some of the old lower towers then add the new tapered towers after they crossed the creek?
The old towers are still up in the old alignment. The top terminal moved quite a bit to the south.
 

milkman

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Liftblog.com has lots of pictures and good commentary.
Hope it solves most of the delay and congestion issues in the base area and on top.
90 degree unloading should help with unloading beginners and merging backside skiers into the traffic flow.
 
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