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