Shedhorn 4 – Big Sky, MT

In 2018, the Ramcharger quad moved to Shedhorn to replace a Heron-Poma double. The new lift has new low voltage controls from Doppelmayr.
View down the lift line before chairs were put on for the first time.
A new #13 tower head and combo assemblies.
Terminal under skin and breakover towers.
Drive station overview.
Unloading area and operator house. A new UNI G enclosure was added to the top of the 1990s terminal.
View down from the summit.
Middle section of the line.
Upper lift line.
View up toward Lone Peak.
Another shot of the middle part of the line.
Towers 1 and 2.
The return terminal and tower 1.
Side view of the upgraded Uni station at the bottom.
View up from the bottom.
Tower 1 with steep climb out.
Small maintenance rail and loading area.
Riding up the first part of the line.
View down the steepest part of the lift.
Arriving at the drive.
Side view of the breakover.
Middle lift line view.
EJ chair taco and DS grip.
Nearing the top station.
View back down the lift line towards the Yellowstone Club.
Towers 16, 17 and 18 up top.
Another view of the top station.
Side view of the drive terminal.

55 thoughts on “Shedhorn 4 – Big Sky, MT

  1. MavRat December 29, 2018 / 10:51 pm

    …so is that forklift stuck up there until spring meltoff now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doppelmayr FTW December 30, 2018 / 5:11 pm

      yes, it is made of concrete, it has a skin on it to make it look better.


  2. alex December 30, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    What is the new capacity? It appears that there is a lot of chair spacing on the line.


      • GreatEight February 11, 2019 / 10:28 pm

        Is that why there are extra chairs on the maintenance rail at the bottom?
        why is capacity so low when the old Ramcharger was 2400pph?


        • Doppelmayr FTW February 11, 2019 / 11:22 pm

          Shedhorn has higher vertical than ramcharger so the drive can’t push as much weight. The chairs at the bottom have worn grips which trip the grip pressure alarm so they won’t be used this season.

          Liked by 1 person

        • GreatEight February 12, 2019 / 8:22 am

          So capacity is going to increase next year when they add those chairs?


        • Doppelmayr FTW February 12, 2019 / 1:25 pm

          not materially, its only 2 chairs on the lower rail

          Liked by 1 person

  3. AvocadoAndy January 15, 2019 / 11:46 am

    What is really the mechanism for the DS grips? I don’t really understand the double position mechanism going from the lever to the grip jaw.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RT February 21, 2020 / 7:39 pm

      Could you be more specific? “Double position mechanism”?

      Seeing as it’s been a year and no one has taken a swing, I’ll have a go.

      The DS grip jaw is comprised of both a fixed (the larger on the right) and a movable component, the smaller one on the left.

      When the push down wheel and arm is depressed (the one on the top of the housing) a series of levers pulls the movable jaw component away from the rope.

      You may see a downward hanging tusk which is a part of the moveable jaw. If the pushdown arm fails to open the grip upon entering the station (usually due to ice or occasionally catastrophic failure of the pushdown wheel) the grip will encounter a rail which will force this tusk upwards, opening the moveable jaw.

      It appears that this grip has been forced open by that rail a few times before!

      It’s been 9 years since my lift mechanic days, if I’m off on this feel free to set me straight!


      • pbropetech January 24, 2022 / 4:29 pm

        You’re correct, although the ‘tusk’ as you call it is used in normal operation as well- that’s what pops the mobile jaw into the over-centre position, locking the grip open. All of the DS grips will show a bit of wear on that part.


    • Donald Reif December 22, 2020 / 9:18 pm


  4. GreatEight January 16, 2019 / 11:02 am

    Are the towers and sheaves new or reused from Ramcharger?


  5. Donald M. Reif February 6, 2019 / 12:04 am

    It looks like they reused most of the towers from the old double chairlift, which were Doppelmayr built when the lift was relocated from Andesite Mountain, with extensions for the Heron-Poma crossarms (reminds me of the current Avanti Express at Vail), meaning it was just a matter of directly placing a Doppelmayr crossarm on the existing tube.


    • Doppelmayr FTW February 6, 2019 / 8:50 am

      they used the towers from Ramcharger and a couple new ones, the Shedhorn ones while Doppelmayr tubes did not have proper swing clearance for those chairs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Skier January 31, 2022 / 9:27 pm

        Did they galvanize the towers when the lift was relocated because they were painted when they were Ramcharger


        • Doppelmayr FTW January 31, 2022 / 10:22 pm

          Yes they were galvanized before reinstallation. Same for Seven Brothers, some of the newly Galvanized tubes are already back at Loon.


  6. Teddy's Lift World February 6, 2019 / 9:29 am

    I do really like how Big Sky gave an old lift some love. The first generation UNI systems are a whole lot better than the CLD-260s that the UNI replaced. It was a lot more compact, reliable, and less expensive in the long run. At the same time that Doppelmayr had the UNI, Poma was still making the Competition terminal which was still first generation technology. I think that Big Sky knew that Ramcharger still had a lot of life left in it and decided to keep the lift and only give it some minor upgrades. When I first saw the pictures of the new Shedhorn 4 I thought that Big Sky had replaced the terminals with UNI-G terminals when it turns out that they actually just installed a UNI-G terminal skins over the existing UNI terminals. This was probably to resolve the one major flaw with the original UNIs, the maintenance accessibility to workers. The UNI-G skins provide much more space to work on the lift than before, plus another benefit is the UNI-G terminal skin really makes the lift look like a brand new lift to skiers.

    Liked by 4 people

    • atc1701 February 6, 2019 / 11:33 am

      Even when it comes to their first-gen CLD-260, a lot of that technology is still operating in Quebec – notably, the Quicksilver Express from Breckenridge is still operating at Owl’s Head (QC), along with the old Forerunner Express. I’ve rarely seen a POMA of the same age relocated – most are scrapped. Doppelmayr was and still is the king of reliability in the 80s and early 90s.

      The first-gen UNI enclosure is particularly difficult for maintenance, especially on the return terminal (which had a different enclosure than the more spacious drive). I’m glad Doppelmayr rectified that with the second iteration, which had the same enclosures on both terminals. The old Ramcharger clearly had the first iteration enclosure, which means replacing it with a UNI-G cover was smart and aesthetic.


      • Collin Parsons February 6, 2019 / 1:24 pm

        I think Poma’s fixed grips held up better than Doppelmayr’s if we’re talking about the 1980’s. For detachables, I’d say Doppelmayr was better. However, once Poma got to the Challenger I think they took the lead. Tremblant’s Duncan Express is a first gen UNI and is not very reliable at all, but I suspect it’s one bad apple in the bunch.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Teddy's Lift World February 6, 2019 / 1:35 pm

          Considering how much downtime Super Bravo at Sugarbush has, I would think that the later Poma detachables are better. Although consider this, North Ridge can barely make it a week without having some sort of mechanical issue. I have NEVER heard of GMX breaking down.


      • Donald M. Reif February 8, 2019 / 7:50 pm

        You can see what Ramcharger’s return station used to look like with the upper terminal of Thunder Wolf on Andesite Mountain. (Incidentally, Thunder Wolf has a second generation UNI for the bottom drive at the loading area)

        Liked by 1 person

        • atc1701 February 9, 2019 / 9:13 am

          That’s strange! The return is first generation but the drive is second generation. I’ve never seen that before for a doppelmayr UNI built in 1993/94.


        • Max Hart February 9, 2019 / 9:20 am

          The return on Thunderwolf is also a second gen Uni, but it is just the more compact version (I often call it the Tunnel version instead of the fully enclosed terminal). Mechanically it is the same as all of the other Uni returns, but the full enclosure was omitted. Boyne installed 5 of these early Unis at its mountains, all of which have fully enclosed drives and compact returns regardless of when they were built.


        • pbropetech January 24, 2022 / 4:32 pm

          ATC- Max is correct. There were enclosed and exposed terminals but they were all UNIs, and all of the same ‘generation’. Our ’94 would have had tunnels only on the ends, but you can see from inside where they (or we?) added roof supports and made them more conventional terminals.


    • The Skier May 23, 2023 / 12:32 pm

      Ben Eminger gave an interesting perspective on the decision to relocate Ramcharger. In the Jordan Express @ Sunday River thread, he stated:

      “Shedhorn had a tumultuous first few seasons here, while it’s one heck of a lot better than it was before, it’s still a 32 year old lift that ran summers and winters it’s whole life in addition to nights from about 2007 onward with Everett’s 8800 doing nighttime dinners. Yes it has a modern electrical system and drivetrain, but everything else is rebuilt old equipment. Personally, I think the money spent on it would have been better spent on a new HSQ than relocating an at the time 27 year old high hourage lift, though now with the bugs worked out it’s proving to be a very useful & effective way to utilize an old lift, so I guess there’s two sides to the spectrum.”


      • The Skier May 23, 2023 / 12:34 pm

        Does anyone have more info on the issues from these first few seasons?


  7. Maxwell Uguccioni March 21, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    Why do the sticker numbers say Doppelmayr CTEC?


    • pbropetech January 24, 2022 / 4:35 pm

      Somebody found a package in the warehouse.


  8. Collin Parsons March 21, 2019 / 11:10 pm

    I recorded this lift back on Monday. Some things have changed since these pictures were taken. The chairs with worn grips have either been placed back on the line or removed from the maintenance rail. The rest of the terminal skins have been added to the top terminal and the fork lift has been removed. I think the Doppelmayr CTEC stickers were on the chairs when the lift was Ramcharger.


    • Collin Parsons March 21, 2019 / 11:12 pm


      • Donald M. Reif March 29, 2019 / 1:24 pm

        Your video of Thunder Wolf showed some Doppelmayr CTEC stickers on that lift as well.


  9. Donald M. Reif March 29, 2019 / 1:30 pm

    The new terminal skins look seamless enough that the only things making clear they are skins and not all-new terminals would be the exposed bullwheel at the bottom and the presence of DS grips.


  10. Donald Reif January 10, 2020 / 8:14 am

    There’s all new skin on the underside of the bottom terminal, hiding the bullwheel from view:

    Liked by 1 person

  11. alexmlee1994 February 5, 2021 / 4:13 pm

    How do they manage to get the exposed bullwheel design for this one? Man I miss that type of look for Doppelmayr high speed quads.


    • Donald Reif February 5, 2021 / 4:17 pm

      It was generally a resort choice as to whether to have an exposed bullwheel or not at both drive and return terminals.


      • Phoenix February 5, 2021 / 8:36 pm

        This is also an old lift with a new terminal skin as well; that’s probably why this particular lift has an exposed bullwheel. I didn’t know resorts could choose to have an exposed wheel on new installations; do you happen to know of resorts which chose that option? I’m curious what that looks like on a new lift.


        • Max Hart February 6, 2021 / 8:58 am

          The terminal enclosure has since been finished and now both terminals have a proper underskin (no more exposed bullwheel).

          Liked by 1 person

        • alexmlee1994 February 6, 2021 / 3:42 pm

          Oh ok…did the under skin treatment also happen to Roundhouse Express at Alpine Meadows, Storm Peak/Sundown express at Steamboat? Accelerator at Boreal? Anyone know?


        • Utah Powder Skier February 6, 2021 / 4:10 pm

          I’m pretty sure the lifts that you just listed aren’t the Uni terminal and DS series grip. Storm Peak and Sundown do have the exposed bullwheels, but the rest you listed all have DT grips and mid 90s Uni terminals commonly known as the Spacejet.


        • Donald Reif February 6, 2021 / 5:56 pm

          @Alex: All have exposed bullwheels at the bottom, but only Boreal’s has an underskin at the top.


        • alexmlee1994 February 6, 2021 / 8:29 pm

          Donald: I know they do last time I was skiing those places and riding those lifts in early 2020 before COVID shut down everything.

          The question is would anyone who has been to those lifts as of this year(early 2021) or late 2020 know if it’s still the case with the exposed bullwheel?


      • pbropetech January 24, 2022 / 4:39 pm

        As in, sometimes it’s just a royal pain to have to drop the underskin when you need to drop anything from the terminal, and they didn’t want to put it back on after removing it the first time. Highly educated guess of course.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Donald Reif February 6, 2021 / 3:51 pm

    See Peter’s pages for those lifts.


  13. Big Mountain October 30, 2021 / 10:50 am

    Is Boyne installing a UNI-G skin over the Jordan lift when it is moved to Barker?


  14. The Skier January 24, 2022 / 12:27 pm

    Why didn’t Big Sky go with a bubble lift here?


    • skier January 24, 2022 / 3:08 pm

      Because it’s a relocation of the old Ramcharger lift who’s chairs didn’t have bubbles.


      • The Skier January 26, 2022 / 2:31 pm

        I know that but I’m wondering why Big Sky relocated Ramcharger instead of spending the money on something new. Big Sky is trying to build a brand on high end lifts


        • pbropetech January 26, 2022 / 3:06 pm

          Ramcharger likely had no mechanical reason to get replaced, just that Boyne wanted to put a marquee lift there. No reason to scrap a perfectly good lift when it could be used elsewhere.


  15. Doppelmayr FTW January 26, 2022 / 4:53 pm

    A big reason Ramcharger was replaced before Swifty is it allowed Big Sky to hit two birds with one stone so to speak. R8 and Shedhorn have very similar profiles which made the move relatively straight forward. Shedhorn/Dakota is not a very high traffic area and the terrain it serves is very “rugged” IMO just going highspeed was plenty for that area.


  16. julestheshiba February 15, 2023 / 11:57 am

    I wonder if the old Crest chair over at Brighton will get this treatment considering its the same age as this one is and they are also owned by Boyne


    • OttawaSkier February 15, 2023 / 2:47 pm

      Crest is being replaced with an HSS this year, according to the 2023 Lifts page.


      • julestheshiba February 15, 2023 / 4:09 pm

        no I know that but I was wondering if the old lift would get relocated like this. I doubt it considering its age, but Boyne seems to be relocating a lot of their old UNI chairs

        Liked by 1 person

        • OttawaSkier February 15, 2023 / 6:27 pm

          My bad!
          I heard a rumour on AlpineZone that they would reuse Crest for expansion terrain off Great Western. Though it uses CTEC rather than Doppelmayr technology, so I don’t know how much refurbishment they’d need.


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