8 miles north of Whitefish, Montana
19 miles from Glacier Park International Airport (FCA/GPI)
35 miles from Glacier National Park
66 miles from Canadian border (Roosville)
Mountain Winter Facts:
Average Snowfall: 300 inches annually
Terrain: 3,000 acres, 111 marked trails, Longest Run: 3.3 miles (Hellfire)
Summit Elevation: 6,817 feet/2078 meters
Base Elevation: 4,464 feet/1361 meters
Vertical Drop: 2,353 feet/717 meters
Average High Temperature: 32 degrees F. Average Low Temperature: 17 degrees F
Terrain Difficulty: 12% Easiest, 38% More Difficult, 44% Most Difficult, 6% Most Difficult (Use Extra Caution)
Quads: 3 high-speed, 2 fixed-grip
Other chairs: 6 triples
Surface lifts: 2 T-bars, 1 Carpet conveyor
Fish Style Manual: Names
Whitefish Mountain Resort… Is the name of the resort which encompasses the ski area and summer activities and services.
Big Mountain… Is the geographical name of the mountain, which is located in the Whitefish Range.
Correct usage of resort name: Whitefish Mountain Resort, or “Whitefish” for short.
Incorrect: Whitefish Mountain.
Correct reference to the physical mountain: Big Mountain.
Winter Sports, Inc. Incorporated on March 31, 1947, Winter Sports, Inc. is the owner and operator of Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Background on Naming:
Whitefish Mountain Resort:
In 2007, the resort adopted the name Whitefish Mountain Resort to replace its previous name Big Mountain Resort. The name was chosen to associate with the town and community of Whitefish, Montana. For years prior to the name change, many skiers referred to the destination as Whitefish. The slogan, “Ski the Fish” has been around since the 1990s. Another reason for the name change was to eliminate confusion with “Big Sky Resort” in southern Montana.
According to Jean Arthur in her book, Hellroaring: Fifty Years on The Big Mountain the ski area’s original promoters stumbled upon the name “The Big Mountain” simply because Mully Muldown pointed up to the peak he dearly loved to ski and called it “that big mountain.” The name stuck. Other names considered for the mountain and resort included “Hellroaring,” “Haskill Mountain” and “Legendary.”
1933 Local skiers including Lloyd “Mully” Muldown began hiking up & skiing down Big Mountain
1935 First cabin built and named Hell Roaring Ski Camp (the unofficial start of Hell Roaring Ski Club)
1937 Hell Roaring Ski Club officially formed and second cabin built
1938 First runs cleared by Hell Roaring Ski Club
1939 First rope tow installed and first race held (10 high school teams)
1940 & 1946 Great Northern Railway surveys the area for locating a ski area
1947 Winter Sports Inc. founded to manage ski resort called Big Mountain through community investors. On December 14, Big Mountain opens for business with its first T-Bar lift (lift ticket was $2)
1948 Ski Lodge completed
1949 Chalet building completed
1949 & 1951 Hosted the National Ski Championships
1950 Big Mountain was featured in the Saturday Evening Post (March 4th issue), Opened for Summer Scenic Lifts
1954 Statue of Jesus Christ erected on Big Mountain by the Knights of Columbus.
1959 Bus service for skiers from town to mountain began
1960 First major expansion: Chair One double installed (village to summit) tripling skiable terrain, ski lodge expanded
1962 Big Mountain was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated (December 3rd issue)
1963 The Ski Lodge burns down October 31st and is re-built in 45 days
1967 Night skiing begins; current Bierstube building built
1981 Danny On Memorial Hiking Trail finished
1985 Summit House Restaurant constructed; Chair Seven installed adding 75 acres
1989 Chair One double replaced with a high-speed detachable quad
1996 First top to bottom mountain bike trail, the Summit Trail, built
1997 Chair Seven upgraded to a high-speed quad; Chair Eight installed & Hellroaring Basin opens adding 550 acres
2001 Hosted U.S. Alpine Championships & Telemark World Championships
2002 Hosted Telemark National Championships, opened Walk in the Treetops for the summer
2005 Fishbowl Terrain Park opens
2007 Name changed to Whitefish Mountain Resort, new Base Lodge opens, Chair One and Chair Two upgraded, Big Mountain Road re-graded
2008 First downhill only mountain bike trail, Runaway Train, opens
2009 Installed Alpine Slide and four zip lines
2010 Added two more zip lines, cleared trees for Bad Rock lift
2011 Installed Bad Rock Lift, extended Zip 5, poured foundations for 7th zip line
2012 Opened 7th zip line and Aerial Adventure Park (July); broke ground on new downhill mountain bike trails (October)
2013 Expanded Bike Park with 5 new trails adding 5 miles. Cut 6 new runs on the north side of the ski area, added 1,200 square feet to the Base Lodge with the Gunsight Room.
2014 Installed Flower Point Lift adding 200 acres of terrain to the north side of the mountain including six groomable runs, gladed tree areas and a new vantage point looking into the North Fork of Glacier National Park. Completed phase two of Base Lodge project: remodeled kitchen and food court area, added new Coffee Bar, added new room with additional seating. Added new “Fir” parking lot to accommodate up to 300 cars.
2015 Completed Phase One of a two-phase remodeling project of the Summit House: improvements included adding a 1,600-square-foot mezzanine level with 135 more seats plus northwestern views, new restrooms on the main level and a remodel of the entire exterior including new windows, siding, stonework, trim and lighting. Constructed new two-story 800-square-foot Ski Patrol Headquarters building and remodeled exteriors of the other buildings at the summit for a universal look. Re-located and re-modeled Village Rentals Village Rentals and Snow Ghost Outfitters.
2016 Phase Two of the Summit House remodel: enlargement of the kitchen and food court area which will include a new layout improving customer flow, expanded food stations, new tile work and additional equipment. Bike Park expanded adding three new trails and bike carriers for the Bad Rock lift.
2017 New Strider Bike Park in the Base area and one new expert trail in the Bad Rock Zone. Chair 5 relocated to the East Rim, Village upgrades include remodels of Ed & Mully’s Bar & Grill and the Bierstube, and new S.N.O.W. Bus shelter. 2018 Phase 2 of Ed & Mully’s remodel: complete interior remodel of restaurant, kitchen, and restrooms with new lighting, finishes, carpet, fireplace and bar. New summit panoramic “Roundshot Livecam”. New Boardwalk® Conveyor Lift, added Summer Tubing Activity. Started engineering and earthwork for additional alpine slide and redesign of existing alpine slide (to be completed for summer 2019).
2019 Re-designed the original Alpine Slide (built 2009) and added a second slide. Added two downhill trails to the Whitefish Bike Park: “Kansas” to the Bad Rock Zone and “ZZ Top” to the Overflow Zone. New LED parking lot status sign on Big Mountain Road, new LED lift status signs in the Lift Plaza, new snow stake webcam.
In the spring of 2019 Whitefish Mountain Resort submitted a proposal to the Flathead National Forest Tally Lake District for several improvements to Hellroaring Basin with the overall objective to make the area more accessible to more guests. The project’s scope of work includes relocating the Hellroaring Chairlift, re-grading sections of the Hell Fire run, cutting new runs, glading tree areas, adding a service road and cat track to better connect to other areas on the mountain and adding a new chairlift to Hellroaring Peak. A decision from the USFS is expected mid-winter 2020.
Also planned in the near future: The New Chair 4—High-Speed Express Lift from Base Lodge. No firm date, this project is still in the planning stages.