Montana’s Great Divide announced on Friday plans to construct new chairlifts in 2020 and 2022. The first one, dubbed Summit Shuttle, will load at the bottom of the Hiballer run and unload above the Mt. Belmont double‘s top terminal. This will extend Great Divide’s vertical from the true summit of 7,330’. The reasons for Summit Shuttle are four fold: allow skiers to lap the upper mountain without having to return to the base area, add lift capacity for peak days, provide maintenance redundancy and quicken access to Way Out West trails.
In three years, the mountain plans to add a second new lift in terrain known as Tall Timbers south of Rawhide Gulch. Part of this zone will open this winter and it will eventually encompass more than 150 acres. Egress to the base area will be via the existing Rawhide Gulch double. Components for both new lifts are already on site with engineering underway. Great Divide operates a quirky mix of entirely used Mueller and Riblet lifts from other mountains and these are likely to be similar.
In this era of consolidating ownership, it’s fantastic to see a family run, community ski area like Great Divide flourishing and expanding. The 1,600 acre mountain offered the longest season in Montana last year and a walk-up, peak period lift tickets cost $48.