Ramcharger 8 – Big Sky, MT

Ramcharger 8 is the third lift to travel in the important alignment from Big Sky’s Mountain Village to the summit of Andesite Mountain.
The rear end of the bottom terminal has a large digital display.
View up the lift line at tower 6.
Tower 6.
Towers 1 and 2 at the bottom terminal.
Another look down the line.
Another view of tower 7.
Tower 9.
Inside the return station.
Bottom bullwheel with hydraulic tensioning.
The other side of the bottom bullwheel.
View down the first pitch of the lift.
Unloading area up top with the parking tunnel.
Chair parking rails.
The drive bullwheel and evac drive.
D-Line grip and chair charging rails.
Doppelmayr Direct Drive.
Outside operator controls.
Breakover towers near the summit.
Eight place chair with bubble.
Another view of the bottom terminal.
Looking down at tower 7.
Top terminal end.
Tower 10
Chairs with a view of Lone Peak.
Drive station overview.
Another look at tower 7.
Side view of the top station.
Downhill end of the top terminal.
Tower 13.
Overview of the lift line.
The bottom terminal with chairs parked inside.
An empty line.
Parked chairs in the turnaround.
Side view of the D-Line station.
Upper part of the line.
Lower station overview.
Tower 13 and the upper terminal.
Inside of a chair.
Riding up the line.
Breakover towers.
Giant 501 sheaves.

46 thoughts on “Ramcharger 8 – Big Sky, MT

  1. ropeway geek December 30, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    one question: are all sheaves (support and hold down) the same size?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GreatEight December 31, 2018 / 1:32 pm

    thanks for adding more pictures Peter!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Max Hart January 1, 2019 / 3:48 pm

      Peter, do you know what the different Doppelmayr sheave sizes are? I’ve only ever taken note of the usual size found on most lifts built in North America in the last 30+ years, and the slightly larger sheaves on Powder Seeker’s larger towers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Peter Landsman January 10, 2019 / 3:09 pm

        Sweetwater has three different sizes just on the towers. Not sure about the specific diameters.

        Liked by 3 people

      • pbropetech December 24, 2019 / 11:58 am

        For years Doppelmayr’s standard sheave was a 400mm. On bigger lifts lately, they’ve adopted a 500mm for bigger rope diameters (gondolas mostly, but probably this one as well). Terminal sheaves used to be a mix of 500s for PTO and 740mm monsters for deflection but they seem to have gone to just 500s in all terminal applications now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Collin Parsons March 1, 2019 / 8:19 pm

    From frequent checks of the webcam, I’m noticing that it’s difficult to find a time when this lift isn’t running. Between normal day operations, first tracks, Everett’s 8800, headlamp night skiing, summer operations, and there’s probably something I’m missing, this lift has to be getting almost as many hours as the Whistler Village Gondola. Once full night skiing is implemented, it will be running even more hours. Speaking of that I’m wondering when night skiing is scheduled to be implemented (with trail lights rather than headlamp tours).


    • Yo January 10, 2020 / 7:11 pm

      That’s a great question. I really hope night skiing happens soon. I know it keeps getting pushed back because all the new lifts being built but it is in the 2025 plan.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Teddy's Lift World January 10, 2020 / 8:16 pm

      Fun fact is that there actually used to be night skiing at Big Sky awhile back. There are still lights left on Bear Back’s towers. Hopefully, they can put lights on Ambush, although I feel like that would be too commercial for a mountain in Montana.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ramcharger_8 March 26, 2019 / 9:59 am

    Did you ask to go inside the terminal’s?


    • Will December 30, 2019 / 7:11 pm

      No, he wore a black wool ski mask and snuck up into them. :)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Paul Wanders April 16, 2019 / 7:29 pm

    Does Anyone Know On Ramcharger 8 How Much Hi Wind It Can Operate In. There Seems To Be Alot Of People On The East Coast Who Don’t Think Ramcharger 8 Would Be Able To Operate In. But If You Look Ar A Reg Open 6 Pack VS Ramcharger Bubble Lift It Seems To Be A No Brainer.


    • Kaden K May 7, 2019 / 11:32 am

      The bubbles probably cause the chairs to swing more, but the chairs are probably heavier. I doubt it can operate in too high wind, but decent.


    • AvocadoAndy August 30, 2019 / 11:55 pm

      All things considered if there were people leaving the bubbles open during high winds the amount of drag produced would be pretty insane. Though I suppose most people would put the bubbles down in the wind anyway just from a comfort standpoint, and the operators could follow special procedures to require the bubbles be put down in particular wind conditions. I’d say a bubble chair is probably less capable in the wind than a regular seat even with the bubble down, especially if they’re equipped with the slatted seats for additional wind resistance. Heavier chairs can help but aerodynamics are pretty key for that too. At the end of they day, I’d probably go with a slatted seat lift as opposed to a bubble if I’m going for wind resistance, even if it comes at the compromise of some comfort for riders.


    • Bob December 23, 2019 / 11:40 pm

      I was very impressed with the lift not shutting down in high wind last year. Maybe one or two time. The old ramcharger would shut down 10-20 time in a year because of wind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Myles Svec January 23, 2021 / 7:22 pm

        I wonder if the one who raves will come back when Swift Current 6 is in place.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Charlie May 7, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    I believe they can resist winds up to 60 to 70 mph


  7. V3 December 3, 2019 / 9:03 am

    Skied Big Sky sunday the carrier building at the top is still not finished. Big sky did install some mesh wraps printed with a ram this season mostlikly to keep the shrink wrap from tearing in the wind like it did last year but otherwise still no real skin on the building.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Phoenix February 8, 2020 / 3:39 pm

    Based on the live feeds, this lift also runs at night for night skiing (well, Big Sky’s version of night skiing which is “pay a bunch of money to ski with a guide using headlamps”)

    Live feed of base of this lift: https://youtu.be/YImAkvMlu8E
    Live feed of Everett summit with last part of lift line: https://youtu.be/mPy_tLqoVrc
    Live feed of snow stake with top terminal in background: https://youtu.be/5ATYt867bE8


  9. apf4 May 2, 2020 / 10:25 pm

    What model of grips on this lift? Is it a special model for D-Line? Looks like a separate model.


    • themav May 2, 2020 / 11:17 pm

      D-Line introduced new grips that are separate from the DT and Agamatic series.

      They are a double position grip like the DTs, but as you can tell there are some elements of the A-series grips in there too.


    • John May 3, 2020 / 6:44 am

      Compared to the Agamatic series, the length of the springs have decreased while the springs have gotten larger horizontally. There is a slack point in the grip which allows for the double position. Really cool that Doppelmayr has achieve double position with coil spring grips.


    • Doppelmayr FTW May 3, 2020 / 11:19 am

      The grip is the D-Line D5000 grip, the larger of the two D-Line grips. The other is the D3000. I presume that stands for the grip pressure in Kilograms.

      Liked by 1 person

      • apf4 May 3, 2020 / 10:00 pm

        Thanks for clarifying that for me!


      • pbropetech May 17, 2020 / 7:32 am

        I wrote somewhere else that it was merely a dual-position A grip. Now you’ve said this I’ll have to go back and clarify:) As for the numbering, could be. Doppelmayr always numbered their grips off the most common application- 104 for quads, 106 for sixes, et cetera, so this is new.


  10. pat May 15, 2020 / 11:17 am

    How does the direct drive work? It seems impossible without a gearbox.


    • theskiman50 May 15, 2020 / 5:51 pm

      Works like a ceiling fan, on a much larger scale.


    • chasehausman May 16, 2020 / 12:49 pm

      It’s a synchronous motor that spins at the same RPM as the bull wheel (approximately 13.5rpm at full speed), not an induction or DC motor. The motor and bull wheel are directly coupled.


      • Phoenix February 3, 2021 / 11:41 pm

        Are there any lifts which make use of the direct drive for regenerative braking?


        • LH February 4, 2021 / 12:24 am

          hopefully there isnt enough stops to make it worthwhile :)

          Liked by 1 person

        • pbropetech February 4, 2021 / 9:02 am

          As far as I know they do. We do have some large resistor banks in the drive vaults for both of ours but I don’t think that’s the sole means of braking.


        • Rob Withey February 4, 2021 / 12:26 pm

          I think the resistor banks are for braking if you are running on a generator. The drives will regen to the utility supply if available.

          Liked by 2 people

        • pbropetech February 8, 2021 / 10:26 am

          That makes sense, Rob. I vaguely recall the techs explaining that when we were building them. Something about the grid being able to absorb the regen load while the generator can’t?

          Liked by 1 person

        • chasehausman February 12, 2021 / 4:18 pm

          Correct. The grid/utility can “absorb” that power and use it elsewhere. With nothing but a big generator connected, there’s nowhere for that power to go as it regens. So the brake choppers (and big resistors) dissipate the additional energy in the form of heat.


  11. Myles Svec February 8, 2021 / 9:16 am

    Do the heated seats on this lift work well? I have seen people say they don’t work too well. Do you guys think they could be shut off?


    • Doppelmayr FTW February 8, 2021 / 9:26 am

      They change power level based on temperature so on warmer days you don’t really feel them. That could be why.


    • Utah Powder Skier February 8, 2021 / 9:36 am

      They turn the seat heaters off on the Orange Bubble lift at Canyons when it’s not needed, which is about all the time.


  12. Chris February 8, 2021 / 9:32 am

    On all lifts with heated seats I’ve seen the heating can be turned off, and usually is at warm enough temperatures.


  13. Noah February 16, 2021 / 8:51 pm

    What are the chrome/ish style panels on the lower/mid portion of tower 13? Are they solely cosmetic or do they serve a purpose?


    • julestheshiba February 16, 2021 / 8:57 pm

      those I believe protect the towers from warping due to the sun exposure and temperature changes.


      • Phoenix February 23, 2021 / 8:37 pm

        On Brooks Express at Stevens Pass, WA Peter describes them as “UV Guards” so sun protection makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Doppelmayr FTW February 23, 2021 / 10:01 pm

        That’s exactly right, tolerances for warping are much lower on the entrance to the terminal than the rest of the line. Not sure the exact reason some lifts need it and others don’t, I think it has to do with how much sun exposure and temperature swings the tower is exposed to. Shedhorn also has these reflective panels on it’s breakover.


  14. S. L. Skis March 11, 2021 / 7:26 pm

    I got to ride this lift. It’s like a modern roller-coaster amusement park ride. It’s so fancy.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. MICHAEL STAHLER March 17, 2021 / 8:10 pm

    Just rode this lift for the first time this past weekend. It is legit. Pretty fast, comfortable, and just impressive equipment. The seat heaters were nice though, as said, they are not really noticeable on a warm day. I heard from the locals that its maiden season was filled with problems and issues. I personally saw it stopped because of one bubble refusing to open, which stopped the lift for a few minutes. They offloaded the offending carrier at the top. But overall pretty impressive. Everyone is excited about Swifty.


  16. Counterskiier March 29, 2021 / 5:31 pm

    Yeah its capicty per hour is great


  17. Big Mountain April 16, 2021 / 12:24 pm

    Why didn’t Big Sky do Swift Current first? Isn’t that lift plagued with issues and has been nice Big Sky 2025.


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