Big Sky Resort Replacing Challenger and Lone Peak Chairs

It’s official; in the wake of the incident two weeks ago, Big Sky Resort will remove and replace the Challenger double chair this summer rather than repair it. General Manager Taylor Middleton announced, “After exhaustive efforts to make Challenger operational for the rest of the season, we have determined that the best course of action is to replace it with a completely new lift. Skiers will continue to access the Challenger terrain via the Headwaters Lift for the rest of this season.”  The new lift will be built by Doppelmayr but there’s no word yet on model and capacity.

In addition, a letter to passholders announced the Lone Peak triple chair – a 1973 Heron-Poma – will also be replaced this summer in some form.  Big Sky has struggled for years with aging lifts needing replacement.  The mountain’s gondola had a multi-tower de-ropement in February 2008 and never ran again.  Big Sky has been looking to build a new, longer gondola from the base of the mountain to the Lone Peak Tram that would span more than two miles.  With a mid-station, such a gondola could replace the original Gondola One, Lone Peak triple and Explorer beginner double in one alignment.  Elsewhere on the mountain, the Shedhorn double needs more capacity and Big Sky has floated an idea of a lift up Liberty Bowl.

If you include Moonlight Basin and Spanish Peaks, what is now Big Sky Resort built an amazing 13 new lifts in six years between 2002 and 2007 (with 7 more going in at the Yellowstone Club.)  The 2008 recession literally stopped the construction boom in its tracks, with the Stagecoach lift at Moonlight left half-finished and abandoned when owner Lehman Brothers went bankrupt.  I’ve heard SkyTrac will be finishing that lift this summer.  It’s going to be a busy one on Lone Peak.


14 thoughts on “Big Sky Resort Replacing Challenger and Lone Peak Chairs

  1. ah February 18, 2016 / 7:57 am

    What is the alignment of the Stagecoach lift?


    • Peter Landsman February 18, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      It’s pretty boring from a skier’s perspective. Goes from Jack Creek Rd. next to Ulreys Lake and over the snowmaking pond to a point just high enough to ski down to Six Shooter. Purely lodging access like so many of the lifts at Big Sky.


  2. Taylor Middlefinger February 18, 2016 / 9:26 am

    When they fly the towers for these lifts I will believe it. Until then talk is cheap.


    • Doppelmayr FTW! December 10, 2016 / 8:05 pm

      got anything to say now?


  3. Skircher5 March 1, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I heard that they were going to put a six pack in place of the lone peak triple


      • Skircher5 March 1, 2016 / 1:35 pm

        No but I know him and ski at big sky frequently I have heard many rumors but I believe it will be a six place. Possibly bubbles


      • Peter Landsman March 1, 2016 / 9:29 pm

        That would be a big upgrade. If BS wants bubbles maybe they should relocate Lewis & Clark instead. It’s about the right length and totally underutilized.


      • Skircher5 March 1, 2016 / 9:51 pm

        That is a good idea for now. But when that 20 story hotel at SP is finished, they’d regret it


  4. Jason Hougak December 10, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    I’m looking for a ski lift chair to buy.


      • Jason Hougak April 5, 2017 / 9:25 pm

        I was wanting to buy the old ski lift chair


        • Peter Landsman April 5, 2017 / 9:26 pm

          Bridger Bowl might be selling Virginia City chairs very soon.


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