Construction Underway on New Lifts at Big Sky

Challenger looks to be getting a Doppelmayr Tristar drive terminal.

Next winter is going to be huge at Big Sky with a bubble six-pack detachable opening in The Bowl and a new triple chair replacing the legendary Challenger double.  Doppelmayr is off to a solid start with terminal and tower footings going in for both lifts.  Big Sky is known for its crazy steeps and rocky terrain which makes both projects challenging.

Challenger Triple

New footing for Challenger tower #2.

From what I can tell approximately half the old Challenger tower bases from 1988 will be re-used on the new lift.  Dyer All Terrain Excavation was working on the upper section of Challenger with a spider hoe today.  The only way to the top of Challenger is scrambling on foot or riding the Headwaters chair from the Moonlight side.

One of the footings that will be re-used.

Kaiser S2 spider hoe on the move, right about where I got roped off the old Challenger when it broke in February.
Finished product after the spider moves to the next tower location.
A heli brought the new bullwheel to the top of Challenger last week.
Cage for new breakover towers waiting to be flown.
It looks like the operator house at the top station might get re-used in some form.
Challenger drive station legs.
This picture doesn’t do justice how steep the Challenger lift line is.

Lone Peak Six-Pack

Just south of Challenger a relatively short six-pack will connect the bottom of The Bowl with the Lone Peak Tram.  Big Sky still hasn’t said for sure, but apparently it will have bubble chairs with heated seats.  The bottom station is located uphill from the old triple chair base by the Black Kettle Soup Company.  The top station will be in a slightly different spot as well.

Lone Peak lower terminal work with towers 1 and 2.
Still digging up top to make enough room for a bigger Uni-G terminal.
View down from the top of the old triple chair.
Lone Peak tower cages waiting for their new homes.
First components for the new six-pack terminals.
New galvanized tower tubes.


Even before Challenger’s early retirement and the decision to replace the Lone Peak triple, Skytrac was contacted to work on finishing the Stagecoach chair at Moonlight Basin.  A relocated double chair from Beaver Creek, this lift was partially constructed before Moonlight and owner Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy in 2010.  The Big Sky real estate market is bouncing back and there is a lot of new home construction going on around Ulery’s Lake, between Six Shooter and Moonlight Lodge.  This new lift will provide the neighborhood with ski-in, ski-out access to America’s second largest resort.

No new work on Stagecoach yet.  The operator houses that used to be here have been removed.
The top terminal and last few towers were never installed back in 2010.

Edited to add: I’m told Stagecoach won’t be finished this season after all but it is still in the pipeline.


9 thoughts on “Construction Underway on New Lifts at Big Sky

  1. Matt Caron June 27, 2016 / 6:38 am

    GIven they are moving the new HSD Lone Peak lift base uphill, if it is in fact a six pack, is even a bigger waste. I had hoped they’d move the lower terminal base downhill a bit to make catching it from Challenger area easier. With the base higher uphill, that makes catching it from Challenger terrain even more limited. A six seater is overkill.


    • ah June 28, 2016 / 1:07 pm

      From the description, it doesn’t seem like the new base will be any harder to get to from Challenger – you either have to make your way over to Upper Morningstar either way, or somehow swim upstream from the top of lower morningstar, which is a slog either way (and I suspect not something BS wants to encourage).


  2. ah June 27, 2016 / 8:41 am

    Been waiting for this update – thanks!


  3. Milkman June 27, 2016 / 3:14 pm

    I think Moving the Lone Peak lift base uphill is to relieve congestion and increase safety by seperating higher speed skiers from those moving across the mountain from Swifty toward Mr. K. Unfortunately improving safety and connecting the Challenger terrain access are probably mutually exclusive objectives.


    • Doppelmayr FTW! June 27, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      they could build a cat track across country club to make it easier to make it to the lift


  4. Doppelmayr FTW! July 3, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    where are the tower and terminal parts on the mountain?


    • Peter Landsman July 3, 2016 / 1:48 pm

      In the parking lots by the Big Sky Apartments. The Doppelmayr trailer is there too.


  5. Doppelmayr FTW! July 6, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    what are the components for the new six pack? i.e what purpose do they serve?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s