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Big Sky-Moonlight Future Plans?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know of any plans for Big Sky or Moonlight to add more access to Lone Peak? Is there enough snow and enough area to support more traffic?
On the Big Sky side the Liberty Bowl and Dakota areas added a lot of acreage and on the Moonlight side the North Summit and Back County areas are likely expansions. I know you would not want (or need) a lot of access but a chair on the ridge between Dictator Chutes and Liberty Bowl that would allow you to go all the way down to Happy Highway looks like a natural. They could make it a fixed grip so there would not be too much traffic but it would allow you to ski that side of the mountain without cutting the run short or going all the way to the base area and starting over again. Moonlight could add similar access from their side
Wouldn't two small lifts and a snack bar at the top of the mountain be a good addition for both ski areas? The two smaller lifts would free up the tram for tourists just to make the ride and maybe have a snack at the top of the world.
Surely it would be more beneficial to the resort than that maze of chairs below the base area that pretend to offer ski in - ski out service to a few houses.
post #2 of 5
I don't know how much more area Moonlight has to expand but from what I've been told Big Sky is at its limits. The mountain past the Dakota area is owned by Yellowstone. I'm not too heartbroken because it is southwest facing & gets heavily sunbaked.
post #3 of 5
If I read your question correctly, you are wanting more access to the top of Lone Peak. Currently the Lone Peak tram is at full capacity on most good days. The tram will only deliver a cabin to the summit about every 5 minutes if the operators are really hustling. At 12 cabins per hour x 15 passengers x a 6 hour operations window only about 1000 skiers/passengers per day can access the summit. Granted these are rough numbers.

In my opinion, the skiing off the summit remains as good as it does due to the limited numbers. I don't think the quality would benefit from more people. But opinions differ.

Currently, Big Sky is being squeezed by the Yellowstone Club. Y/C is developing land that was sold to them by Big Sky and it will affect how the Shedhorn area skis. Plans are being made for a lift out of the Hippie Highway area up to the bottom of Liberty Bowl and a surface lift from there up to the top of Liberty bowl. All is subject to change.

Moonlight Basin plans at this time are. This summer cut the lift line for another 6 pack that will start across from the bottom of 6-shooter and end on Lookout ridge just below the top of the Lone Tree lift. That lift is scheduled for construction next summer. Expanded targeted snowmaking from the Madison area to the bottom of 6-Shooter and up to tower 5 of 6-Shooter (much needed). More gladed skiing in the Lone Tree area, snow fencing in Headwaters bowl to make it easier to access.

For next summer plans are being made to remove the Headwaters lift and re-locate it to serve ski in/out from further inside the developed housing.

Replace that lift with a new double/triple that will start at the bottom of the Lone Tree lift on Meriwether ski run. That lift will have a mid station load/unload at the current load area of the Headwaters lift and will continue to the top station of the current Headwaters unload area.

Further in the future will be a lift to the west that will start above the golf course development and will unload in the bottom of the N. Summit cirque, (Deepwater area). It will serve mostly blue and green trails. There is some talk of a summit lift but that is several years away.

The basin to the west of the N. Summit area is a combo of Lee Metcalf wilderness and BHNF land, we have no plans to expand in that direction due to its value as a wildlife corridor. It is amazing skiing.

We have lots to do.
post #4 of 5
Originally Posted by bunion View Post
We have lots to do.

Ever wish you worked for a ski area that reached buildout a decade ago and you didn't have to worry about things like that? Yeah.. me neither.
post #5 of 5
WOW! Moonlight will be busy. I do have to think that adding more lift access to the Headwaters could be...unnecessary. There's plenty of people up there already, and I'm afraid of too many gapers deciding to head up and clog the whole thing.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Big Sky-Moonlight Future Plans?