A new detachable quad will soon join the lift fleet at Whitefish Mountain Resort, although the exact timeline is uncertain. The Chair 4 Express (name TBD) will be the first detachable lift servicing the mountain’s new day lodge, where nearly 70 percent of Whitefish skiers now start their day. The big lift will replace Great Northern, a Stadeli triple which opened in 1978 but loads higher than the replacement. The top terminal will be very close to where the old Chair 5 unloaded.
The new lift will open a half hour earlier than the workhorse Big Mountain Express and relieve pressure from the Base Lodge and Bad Rock beginner lifts. Hourly capacity will be 2,200 skiers, more than double Chair 4 on the rare occasions it is open. A number of trails will be re-graded to converge at the new load point. “When people stand at the current carpet lift and look up the mountain when this project is done it will look very different from how it looks today,” says Whitefish.
The resort did not release a timeline or manufacturer although planning is well underway. Whitefish is already seeking Forest Service approval for its Hellroaring Basin improvement project, which includes two new lifts. If approved, all three new lifts will be well worth the wait on an already great Big Mountain.