Swift Current 6 – Big Sky, MT

This lift was the second D-Line and fourth bubble chair built at Big Sky Resort.
The alignment is quite long and at the time of opening, Swifty was the longest D-Line chairlift in the world.
View up the lift line.
Riding out of the base area.
All of the towers are conical and came from Wolfurt.
Arriving at the top terminal.
Upper station with 90 degree unloading.
Side view of the top station.
Upper part of the lift line.
View down at tower 19.
Middle part of the line.
Much of the lift line has a park underneath it.
Travelling over a large ravine.
Return terminal with tensioning.
The rear end of the bottom terminal houses a large LED display.
Six place chair with heated seats.
Riding up with a view of Lone Peak.
Custom chair with blue throughout.
Chairs with the Spanish Peaks in the background.
Support tower.
Looking up the line.
Upper part of the line seen from Andesite Mountain.
Loading area with gates and conveyor.
Lower station overview.
Direct drive located in the top terminal.
View inside the top terminal.
View from the top.
Dedicated bike carriers.
Automated parking rails.
Chairs parked inside the storage barn.
Unloading area.
Upper station overview.
Flat lower part of the line.
The chair parking building up top.
Most of the lift line seen from sister lift Ramcharger 8.
The bottom station seen from above.
This lift was originally slated to go in for 2020 but was postponed a year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Breakover towers 23 and 24.
View of Andesite from the summit.
Another view of the top two towers.
The top station seen from below.
Lift line overview.
There are 126 chairs total.
View toward the village.
Hold down tower.
Another section of the line.
A two section splice tower.
Lower station and tower 1.

25 thoughts on “Swift Current 6 – Big Sky, MT

    • Donald Reif January 9, 2022 / 7:52 am

      Considering the profile, part of me was kinda expecting this to be the first D-Line at a ski resort to have combi towers on it. But alas, that didn’t happen.

      I will say that the realignment of the lift line does make the profile a little less roller coaster-esque near the top. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Donald Reif January 9, 2022 / 8:55 am

      Should’ve clarified, “in the context of North American installations, the only D-Line with combis at this point is the Disney Skyliner. Jordan Bowl 8 and Silverlode 8 might have them given their profiles.”


  1. Todd January 10, 2022 / 11:51 am

    Really wish something could be done with the chair barn. Pretty ugly eye sore… *cough* *cough* roof top bar please. I suppose it wasn’t built with that in mind so one can only dream


    • Donald Reif January 17, 2022 / 9:47 am

      Honestly, it’s a bit more egregious of an eyesore even when compared with similar eyesores like, say, the barn at the top of the American Flyer.


      • BarkeeStone January 17, 2022 / 4:25 pm

        I mean, at least Doppelmayor made a modern slim building than a straight-up large barn.

        Liked by 1 person

        • V12Tommy January 17, 2022 / 4:46 pm

          I agree. I’ll take the Swift Current barn over the American Flyer barn. It isn’t my style, but I think the Doppelmayr one looks much more elegant. Curious about the flat roof though. I bet that thing holds a ton of snow, although the roof structure looks pretty beefy.


        • Donald Reif January 18, 2022 / 5:41 am

          Swift Current’s barn looks like one where they could do something useful and maybe put an observation deck on top (like the Arizona Gondola has).


        • Lucas G March 28, 2022 / 7:16 pm

          I wouldn’t be surprised the the swift current barn has a heated roof. A lot of resort building, even those with sloping roofs have heating to prevent snow from falling on guests. look closely for the iconic zig-zag cables on the edge. You can even see them on the upper edge of the flyer barn.


      • pbropetech February 15, 2022 / 12:42 pm

        Are you guys calling the BOB an eyesore? (I’m kidding, sort of)

        As for carrier storage barns, they’re enormous. Thus they cost a fair amount to build, so there’s rarely money left over to make them pretty. Case in point, I’m sitting in the BOB right now looking at unfinished drywall while taking a break from rebuilding a grip on the platform we had to design and build in-house, a season later, because the original budget did not include it.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Donald Reif January 10, 2022 / 1:01 pm

    Video of the lift:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marcus January 10, 2022 / 1:41 pm

    How do heated seats on these things work? Is there power transmission through the haul rope or is there some sort of capacitor that gets charged in each chair while in a terminal?


      • V12Tommy January 16, 2022 / 5:59 pm

        Vail’s Gondola One is an LPOA installation, but a similar setup. If you ride through the station, you can really feel the seat get toasty. It makes sense though. Heater keeps the snow off, and then once you are sitting there, your butt keeps it warm after that.


      • Somebody January 17, 2022 / 9:00 am

        Heating on these happens in both terminals generally.


      • Lucas G January 18, 2022 / 1:11 am

        What happens if the lift stops? Do the heaters turn off too? I assume they would because that might damage the chairs in the terminal.


        • pbropetech March 28, 2022 / 8:43 pm

          My educated guess is that the charging rails are wired through the master safeties relay, and thus turn off whenever a stop is hit, to avoid what you’re talking about.


    • pbropetech January 17, 2022 / 9:00 am

      You can’t run power through the haul rope. There are two electrodes attached to the grip that run in tracks parallel to the main grip transport rails. From what I’ve heard from folks who have these systems they can be a right pain. They do charge a capacitor (as far as I know) so you’re correct on that guess.


  4. Connor February 15, 2022 / 11:21 am

    The lift itself is fine, never been a big fan of D-Line compared to Uni-G. The problem comes at the top terminal and the chair parking facility. It is super ugly, gives me hospital vibes. I am surprised that it even made it through everyone. It’s such an eyesore and makes the scenery look bad. I much prefer a more rustic wooden building or lodge style, it maintains the mountain/ski chalet vibe and fits in around the mountain better.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robbie March 13, 2022 / 6:17 pm

    This lift stops frequently. This has hindered the uphill capacity greatly. There is a last second 90 degree turn at the offload. The person on the inside of the arc has to shuffle their feet to line up on the ramp. The person on the outside of the arc has to hop off with haste to avoid being hit in the rear and thrown into the person to their inside as the chair immediately makes the turn to head back down. This lift serves beginner/low intermediate terrain so there are a lot of newbies on this lift. This enhances the effect of the offload design flaw. I hope they re-engineer the offload this summer. Anyone have any knowledge on the situation?


    • Lucas G March 28, 2022 / 7:27 pm

      I actually realy like 90 degree unloading, especially on a bubble chair. It allows time for the bubble to open automatically, which can be useful if the wind makes it difficult to open manually. I think it’s also great for beginners because it gives them more time to unload after the deceleration, and directs traffic in one direction, preventing groups on a large chair like this from needing to cross paths as they unload.


      • Robbie March 29, 2022 / 7:43 am

        Totally agree! In the case of Swifty it doesn’t work as there is too sudden of a turn back down. If you ever go to BS you should watch the skiers getting off the lift. A real s**t show.


        • vons3 March 29, 2022 / 9:41 am

          As a former Lift supervisor I would suggest that they need to shorten the deck and move the breakover (the transition from flat to ramp) toward the barn 1.5-2 ft to resolve the chair turn issue. They should also move the Trail map and info signage farther away from the lift because I have noticed that on busy days it causes people who have already unloaded to congregate in the ski away, this makes it hard for novice riders to unload as they run into a pileup of bodies.


        • Everett March 29, 2022 / 11:39 am

          The ramp is being re-engineered this summer to address these issues, the signs also will be moved farther away to make more room for unloading.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s