Chair 4 – Snow Ghost Express

Chair 4

Friday, July 29, 2022

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Big news: The helicopter is slated to return tomorrow morning to haul more concrete into place!

For everyone’s safety, we’ll again have to pause some activities and close sections of the mountain throughout the day.

Here’s what to expect:

  • The chopper is scheduled to start flying around 6 a.m.
  • No uphill traffic — hiking or biking — will be allowed until the midafternoon, approximately 2 p.m.
  • No mountain biking or Scenic Lift Rides will be permitted until approximately 2 p.m.
  • All Zip Line Tours for the day are canceled.
  • The Summit House will open at approximately 2 p.m. with a menu limited to grab-and-go items. The bar will be open as well.

Please note the timing of this work is always a moving target. We’ll do our best to keep you updated.

Thanks again for your patience!

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

You probably don’t think much about the inner workings of chairlifts. Or maybe you assume they’re the simplest of machines. A motor, some gears, a long cable — is it really more complicated than that?

Well, not all chairlifts are created equal. Whitefish Mountain Resort has several fixed-grip lifts and several with detachable chairs, which automatically release from the tow cable at each terminal, slowing down for easy loading and unloading.

However, all our lifts do have one thing in common: a complicated gearbox connecting the motor to the bullwheel, which moves the tow cable. This system generally works great, but maintenance and repairs can be a pain!

That’s one reason we’re stoked about the new Chair 4. The lift will feature Leitner’s new DirectDrive technology, with a quieter motor connected directly to the bullwheel, eliminating the need for a gearbox!

The company says this technology is “unrivaled and unique in the world” and touts its “almost soundless operation and incomparably low maintenance requirement.” More than 200 ropeways in over 25 countries are equipped with the DirectDrive system, Leitner says.

Check out Leitner’s website for more details on this cool new technology.

P.S. You might have noticed the timing of the helicopter work has been a moving target. It takes a lot of coordination to make it happen! Thankfully, the chopper made it back for a second day of work last weekend, and the project remains on track for completion before the next ski season. We appreciate everyone’s patience!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Change of plans! The second day of Chair 4 work involving a helicopter is now planned for this Thursday, July 14. This work was scheduled to occur a day later, but we had to shift gears due to scheduling conflicts.

Thursday’s work is slated to begin at 6 a.m. and should be completed by the time most mountain activities open for the day. The chopper will be moving concrete forms from the Fir parking lot to several tower placements on the mountain.

Please note: For everyone’s safety, no uphill traffic will be permitted on Big Mountain while this work is taking place, including hiking on the Danny On Trail and mountain biking up from the Base Lodge area. If the work takes longer than anticipated, there may be slight delays in opening our bike trails and zip lines, the Summit House, and Chairs 1 and 10.

Chair 6, the Alpine Slide, the Aerial Adventure Park, Spider Monkey Mountain and the Strider Bike Park should not be affected and should operate during normal hours on Thursday.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to make this mountain better than ever!

Friday, July 8, 2022

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Construction crews are making fast progress on the new lift!

The next step will involve using a helicopter to haul wet concrete and concrete forms to the top of the ridge, where it will be poured to form the foundations of three lift towers. This work will take place on Friday, July 8, and Friday, July 15.

While this is exciting news, we’ll unfortunately will have to close a large section of the mountain on those days. The chopper will have to be grounded if any hikers or bikers are spotted in the area, so please heed all closure signs and instructions from resort employees!

Here’s what to expect over the weekend:

  • Chairs 1 and 10, the Summit House, Zip Line Tours, the Danny On Trail and all mountain biking trails will be CLOSED to the general public on Friday, July 8.
  • The Alpine Slide, the Aerial Adventure Park, the Strider Bike Park, Spider Monkey Mountain and the Base Lodge will remain OPEN.
  • Chair 2 will be open ONLY for participants in the Northwest Cup mountain biking race from Friday, July 8, through Sunday, July 10.
  • Chair 10 mountain biking will reopen Saturday, July 9, along with the Summit House, Zip Line Tours and the Danny On Trail.

Finally, some more good news: Chair 1 mountain biking trails for advanced and expert riders are scheduled to open Monday, July 11! Chair 2 mountain biking will close as soon as Chair 1 trails are open for the summer. Intermediate trails from the summit will require significant reroutes and will open as soon as possible, but likely not until August!

June 20th, 2022

Construction has begun on our first high-speed six-pack chairlift!

Starting next winter, the new Chair 4 will shuttle an estimated 2,200 guests per hour from the Base Lodge area to the top of Inspiration Ridge, providing a much-needed alternative route to the upper elevations of Big Mountain.

The builder, Leitner-Poma, already has poured concrete foundations for some of the 25 towers that will support the new lift, and crews have been hard at work prepping the ground for the top and bottom terminals.

The new lift will replace the old Chair 4, a much smaller lift that we recently removed. The old Chair 4 was installed back in 1978, before the Base Lodge existed.

More recently, however, the Base Lodge has become the primary portal to the mountain, and it’s where most of our parking area is located. In order to reach the upper mountain terrain, guests have had to take Chair 6 from the Base Lodge, followed by either Chair 1 to the summit or Chair 2.

The new Chair 4, which we’re dubbing the Snow Ghost Express, will provide direct flights to the upper terrain without that layover, and help alleviate traffic on those other lifts. It should also improve the skiing experience in the beginner area.

A trip on the new lift will last just seven minutes and cover 2,200 vertical feet! From the top, you’ll be able to shred some front-side runs or rip it down to Chair 5.

We’re stoked, to say the least! Keep an eye on this page for periodic updates, photos and videos of the project.