Swift Current – Big Sky, MT

Looking up the line from the base.
Approaching the top.
Top terminal and breakover towers.
Doppelmayr Uni top terminal.
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Looking up the line.
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Looking back towards Mountain Village.
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Top station.
big sky 2-18-07 085
Bottom drive terminal.
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Another view of the top.
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Looking down the middle part of the line.
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Bottom station and Lone Peak.

46 thoughts on “Swift Current – Big Sky, MT

  1. Teddy's Lift World February 9, 2019 / 10:33 am

    Big Sky really should have replaced Swift Current before they replaced Ramcharger. Since the gondola is gone Swift Current is now their main lift. It should be a D-Line 8 pack similar to Ramcharger.

    Liked by 2 people

    • skitheeast February 9, 2019 / 12:49 pm

      With Big Sky planning to install a two stage gondola from the base to the top of Explorer and onto the bowl during next offseason, this lift will have a lot less traffic. Regardless, they are planning on replacing this lift with a 6 or 8 person bubble lift in 3-6 years. They are considering relocating it to the Moonlight Basin area when this occurs, as they want to install a lift from the base of Six Shooter to the top of Lone Tree.

      Liked by 1 person

    • GreatEight February 11, 2019 / 10:16 pm

      I don’t think Big Sky will build another 8 pack. Ramcharger 8 was a marketing thing for both Big Sky and Doppelmayr. I heard Doppelmayr asked Big Sky to build this lift and gave them as discount as the first to build a D line 8 pack in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charlie February 12, 2019 / 10:19 am

        That would explain why they updated the plan from it being a six pack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jevone August 17, 2020 / 9:08 pm

        I disagree. Funny how no one else has stepped up on getting a 8 pack. Years later Boyne Resort Loom Mtn is getting a 8 Pack for the East Coast But Big Sky Still has set the Bar Extremely High for other resorts to try to follow but so far no one has even come close to challenge Big Sky Resort.

        Liked by 1 person

        • pbropetech March 15, 2021 / 8:25 am

          Funny how you seem to view this as a competition. There are many factors going into the selection and purchase of a new lift. Merely saying ‘We have the biggest/fastest/coolest new machine’ probably weighs into it a bit, but it’s not how resorts decide.

          Liked by 3 people

    • Phoenix May 3, 2020 / 9:10 pm

      I’m sure you’ve heard, but this lift is definitely being replaced by a new 6 person bubble lift from Dopplemayr. It was originally scheduled to be built this summer but it’s been pushed to 2021 because of the revenue loss Covid caused.


      • Donald Reif August 17, 2020 / 9:36 pm

        Not Covid, but the lockdowns…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ryan Murphy March 15, 2021 / 1:29 am

          Construction was exempted from any stay at home orders ever issued in Montana. Worked in insurance last year, so we got pretty in depth with who was subject to what. Most projects in Bozo and BS stayed on schedule. Unless there was a supply side issue in Austria, the reason for the hold was capital conservation by Boyne.


        • Doppelmayr FTW March 15, 2021 / 2:48 pm

          It was exempted but that wasn’t known for sure at the time and it could have changed at any time. Had they removed the old lift and then been delayed or forced to stop it would have been a disaster.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlie February 9, 2019 / 11:44 am

    It most likely will become one


  3. Collin Parsons February 9, 2019 / 12:15 pm

    I believe the next significant lift project is a two stage D-Line gondola. First stage will replace Explorer and second stage will continue to where Gondola 1 ended. The gondola will be the main out of base lift and this lift will only be a backup to it. Replacing Ramcharger first also allowed them to move the quad over to Shedhorn which they really wanted to do. I’m not sure Swift Current will even be replaced as part of the 2025 plan as the gondola should provide all the additional out of base capacity they need.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thomas Jett February 9, 2019 / 12:35 pm

      Swift Current will be replaced in the late (post 2022) phase of the plan, after the gondola has been built.

      Liked by 1 person

      • GreatEight February 11, 2019 / 10:16 pm

        The current plan calls for a Bubble-6


        • GreatEight February 11, 2019 / 10:20 pm

          Although I would not be surprised to see a upgrade of the existing Swifty terminal and line equipment and replacement of the chairs with Bubble quad chairs.


        • Charlie February 12, 2019 / 7:01 am

          The plan says for “the most modern and appropriate version” maybe a 8 pack with a larger chair spacing


        • GreatEight February 12, 2019 / 8:51 am

          I doubt they will spend that much money on a secondary lift once the North Village Gondola is built.


    • GreatEight February 11, 2019 / 10:18 pm

      Supposedly they are starting the Gondola next summer!


      • Collin Parsons February 12, 2019 / 11:53 am

        It was always supposed to be around 2020 or so. This year’s big project is renovation of the Mountain Mall.

        The original plan was for Ramcharger, Thunderwolf, and Swift Current to go bubble-6 and relocate the quads elsewhere. Since then they changed Ramcharger to an 8 and switched to replacing Southern Comfort over Thunderwolf.

        I also doubt they will build another bubble-8, but I think all new detachables for Big Sky will be D-Line from here on out. Ramcharger makes sense as an 8 because it is the ONLY way to Andesite from the village. Swift Current is backed up by Explorer at the moment.

        I think Swift Current should be the absolute last priority in terms of 2025 plan lifts since it will be relegated to backup duty once the gondola is built. If they want to replace just so they can relocate, then I think that location should just get the new lift.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Thomas Jett February 12, 2019 / 3:13 pm

          Do you have any source on the substitution of Southern Comfort for Thunderwolf? Thunderwolf’s a lot older, so I’d imagine that it needs the upgrade more.


        • Collin Parsons February 12, 2019 / 3:32 pm

          My source is the 2025 plan website. I believe the plan is to go to a bubble-6 and relocate the quad to Lone Moose. The thinking is with the new hotel going in at Spanish Peaks that they need more capacity at SoCo as anyone coming out of SP MUST ride it. I guess Thunderwolf will stay where it is until it is ready to be scrapped. From what I can tell it never has a line.


        • GreatEight February 12, 2019 / 3:34 pm

          I heard the oppsite, that they are now just replacing Thunder Wolf instead of both Thunder Wolf and Southern Comfort.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Donald Reif October 20, 2019 / 4:00 pm

          I doubt it’d be relegated to “backup duty”, as I’m sure Big Sky would like to have a chair alternative for people lapping those trails.


  4. Charlie February 12, 2019 / 12:47 pm

    Is anything not getting replaced that should be?


    • GreatEight February 12, 2019 / 3:36 pm

      Not at the moment, will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years!!


      • Charlie February 13, 2019 / 8:51 am

        Are Pony and Dakota to short to make detach


        • Collin Parsons February 13, 2019 / 9:07 am

          Pony is only a real estate access lift and has very low ridership. Replacing and extending Iron Horse, I assume going detachable and bringing it all the way up to the top of 6 Shooter is a late stage project and would greatly improved flow between the Village and Moonlight base areas.

          The Liberty Bowl lift was removed from current plans. If that lift were built, there might’ve been more reason to upgrade Dakota. It’s so far out of any base area that I just don’t see it making sense to spend money on to upgrade.

          Late stage lift projects that appear on the site are:

          Southern Comfort
          Lone Moose
          Another Moonlight detachable
          Swift Current


        • skitheeast February 13, 2019 / 11:23 am

          I heard that Pony/Iron Horse will be replaced with a detachable four chair from the base of Pony Express to the top of Six Shooter.


  5. GreatEight February 12, 2019 / 3:35 pm

    The 2025 website still has the replacement of Thunderwolf with a bubble-6 on it Collin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doppelmayr FTW February 12, 2019 / 3:55 pm

      I dont see it there anywhere, just southern comfort.


  6. Doppelmayr FTW February 13, 2019 / 11:34 am

    @SkiTheEast They cant do that unless they put a turn station somewhere because of the houses next to the bottom of Iron Horse, much easier to just replace Iron Horse. I do wish they did because I want the lift to be called “Iron Pony” XD

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Todd Arnold February 13, 2019 / 11:44 am

    So the gondola is most likely a summer of 2020 project?


  8. Somebody December 21, 2019 / 6:09 pm

    According to the EXIF data, the first photo on this page was taken at 9:51 AM on December 13th of 2004, likely making it the oldest photo on the entire site. Using EXIF data we are able to observe that peter took photos of several other of the chairs at Big Sky on the same day, but they all were after 9:51 AM.

    Pretty mindblowing that these photos are only a few months younger than me..

    Liked by 2 people

      • skier72 December 21, 2019 / 9:19 pm

        Peter, are these photos (2004) the oldest on the site, or are there photos on liftblog that pre-date 2004?


        • Myles Svec March 15, 2021 / 8:06 pm

          The oldest photo I know is of the removed Canyon triple at Heavenly which has an EXIF data date of March 19th, 2003


  9. Phoenix February 8, 2020 / 3:46 pm

    This lift is getting replaced this year with a Dopplemayr 6 pack with all the bells and whistles. Like Ramcharger 8, this one will have automatic locking safety bars, individual foot rests, adjustable loading ramp, heated seats, and bubbles. It is set to become the fastest lift in North America at 1200 fpm. Looking at the webcams, this lift is in need of an upgrade; it often gets lines. This lift will be refurbished and installed at a different resort owned by Boyne.

    Base webcam: https://youtu.be/9aCtqij5xGg
    Info on new lift: https://bigskyresort.com/press-releases/swift-current-6-coming-winter-2020-2021


  10. Raj Thorp February 22, 2020 / 9:42 pm

    This lift reminds me exactly of Big Red Express at Whistler, but this needs replacing. It is similar in length, and takes you up to a very significant part of the mountain. Big Sky should have replaced Swift Current before Ramcharger, because the lines here can get crazy. The new D-line 6 pack bubble chair should help a lot with the capacity issues

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ski Lift Guy April 16, 2021 / 12:25 pm

    Are they relocating swift current? If not in big sky, Snowbasin’s Middle Bowl would be a great option.


    • Big Mountain April 16, 2021 / 12:28 pm

      Yes It will probably stay in the Boyne network, but I can’t think of any replacements that line up with the development plans for their other resorts.


    • Utah Powder Skier April 16, 2021 / 1:15 pm

      I think Snowbasin’s going new for Middle Bowl, which would be better anyway.


      • Ski Lift Guy April 16, 2021 / 1:31 pm

        I just hope they do it soon.


        • Utah Powder Skier April 16, 2021 / 1:39 pm


          Liked by 1 person

  12. Donald Reif June 22, 2021 / 1:52 pm


  13. D. Hanson August 7, 2021 / 8:53 am

    We’ve been season pass holders for 17 years at Big Sky and skiing here for 25. Ram Charger 8 went in first before Swift Current was a good call. It moved the old Ram to Shedhorn to replace a tired long double and that was huge! BS, about the same time, was faced with a surprise chair replacement of Challenger which was also important and needed; from a slow double to a medium ramp-loaded triple. Sweet. The Ram 8 is a show piece and most people and groups have a hard time getting organized for a 8 seat chairlift. Chairs here rarely get filled. Frustrating. However the new Ram pumps a lot more up to the top of Andesite than the old quad and this is good especially with the popularity and all the racing that takes place on this mountain. The old Swifty was sick often and being the only chair pumping skiers to the big mtn, Lone Peak, it often lined up. No so much this year coming. Most excellent. Some employees told us last year that the gondola is slated soon too and will replace Explorer and will off load there on top of Explorer and will continue up to the bottom of the Bowl where Powder Seeker 6 is. We can’t wait for this to happen. Major line reduction. Definitely Moonlight needs help too. A high speed lift definitely needs to be placed at the bottom of Sixshooter to help with this cluster, maybe pumping skiers to the top of Lone Tree. Sixshooter needs replacing too. Go Big Sky!


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