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Sibhusky

Sibhusky

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For those who have been in the past, know that there are a bunch of new hotels in the area: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/05/24/hotels-on-the-rise/

Note in particular they are finally building one by the airport. When you think how ¥^π°ing early the flights are out of here, it's a wonder no one thought of this sooner. Not that traffic is normally an issue at that hour, but winter driving can sometimes be tough at 5 AM.
 

Tricia

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scott43

Making fresh tracks
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I'm sure taking that perk away is REALLLLLLLY going to help the bottom line.... :rolleyes:
Still pretty cheap though.. :)
 
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Sibhusky

Sibhusky

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The Environmental Assessment for the Hellroaring project has been released. Here is a summary of the project:
-----------

• Four terrain modifications in/adjacent to Hell Fire Run and Swift Creek Run.
• Eight new ski runs from the upper edges of Hellroaring Basin to the Grand Junction area.
• Selective tree removal in seven gladed areas adjacent to proposed ski runs, as well as
selective tree removal for scenery concerns in four areas.
• Relocation of Chair 8, and the corresponding abandonment of the existing Chair
8/Purgatory Run;
• Installation of a new chairlift to Hellroaring Peak (Chair 12);
• Tree felling to create a cat track (ski way) that would provide access from the ridge
above Hellroaring Basin to Gray Wolf Run on the north side of the Resort;
• Construction of two service roads (to Grand Junction and Hellroaring Peak) and one
culvert crossing over Hellroaring Creek;
• Abandonment of the existing Hell Fire Run below Grand Junction and rehabilitation of
up to four creek crossings;
• Avalanche control on the upper slope of Hellroaring Peak; and
• An update to the existing special order that currently restricts use of bicycles to certain
roads and trails and prohibits discharge of firearms on the front side of the Resort to
include the project area.
For more detailed information on the proposed action, please refer to project’s November 2019
environmental assessment and appendix A of this draft decision notice.


The proposed action incorporates the terms and conditions of the Resort’s special use permit and
annual operating plans. For example, winter operations in Hellroaring Basin currently end on March 31
each year in consideration of grizzly bear habitat security. This would not change in the proposed action
(project design feature 64).

-----------
I'm wading through the whole thing. Will post any interesting tidbits. To me all the maps are great resources.

=======
The decision was released. Going forward. Have replaced the project description above with the current description just in case they changed something.
 
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Sibhusky

Sibhusky

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I just came across this more detailed description of the Chair 4 project, which in the past had only been described as extending chair 4 up to Inspiration. This says it'll be a high speed lift!

Something tells me my current parking lot will no longer be free......

The New Chair 4 — High-Speed Express Lift from Base Lodge
When Chair 4 was installed in 1978, the Base Lodge did not exist, a small ski hut was built at the bottom of the chairlift, and there were no runs or facilities built below that point. Today the vast majority of guests use the Base Lodge as their primary portal to the mountain.
Although Chair 1/Big Mountain Express carries the burden for the most of the access to the upper mountain, nearly 70% of the resort’s parking is located adjacent to the Base Lodge, therefore putting pressure on Chair 6 and Chair 10 to transport guests to the Lift Plaza to reach Chairs 1 & 2.
The future Chair 4 Express is scheduled to run on a daily basis starting at 9 a.m. With the upper terminal located at the top of the Inspiration run, guests will have access to most of the upper mountain terrain, including Ptarmigan Bowl, runs to the east off of the Inspiration Ridge as well as access to Chair 5/East Rim.
Additionally, the old Burger Hut will be removed and that entire area and below the Barn Road/Barndance run will have trees cleared and be regraded to provide improved skiing and access into the new lower terminal. Sections of lower Corkscrew, lower Langley’s, lower Expressway, and lower Bad Rock will also be regraded to provide better skiing into the lower terminal. When people stand at the current carpet lift and look up the mountain when this project is done it will look very different from how it looks today.
Imagine taking advantage of early morning groomed skiing on Hogan’s or Hogan’s East, or powder days in the Langley area or the Faults!
There is no firm installation date however, preliminary planning has begun. A more formal announcement will be made once a timeline is established.
Benefits of the future Chair 4:
  • Additional lift service out of the resort’s base area
  • Early morning access to upper-mountain front side terrain prior to the opening of Chair 1
  • Alleviate crowding on Chair 6 allowing it to serve more beginners and lessons
  • Offer guests an alternative to Chair 1 for access to upper mountain terrain
Lift Facts & Stats:
  • Model: High-Speed Quad Chairlift
  • Make: Not determined at this time
  • Bottom terminal: Adjacent to the Magic Carpet (west side)
  • Top terminal: Top of Inspiration Ridge (approx. 70 yards below where the old Chair 5 ended)
  • Length: Approx. 5,700 feet
  • Vertical rise: Approx. 2,200 feet
  • Uphill capacity: 2,200 people per hour
  • Anticipated opening time: 9 a.m. daily
 

Fuller

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Shoot, the old Chair 4 is the best for 1st tracks on a powder day weekend - most of the visitors don't know about it or can't figure out how to get to it early enough. It will be nice to have some additional terrain open before Chair 1 starts up though.
 
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Sibhusky

Sibhusky

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Well, it's certainly not happening before this season. :roflmao:

This Chair 4 thing requires serious $$$$, with a high speed quad going in. Maybe they are pulling out the old chair to use for Hellroaring. Hellroaring requires more tree cutting and possibly more tower base concrete pouring, but has old lifts being repurposed. And that feels like a phased roll out, with one lift one season, another the next. They've certainly got a lot of projects. No wonder I won't get a free Super Senior pass.
 
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DanoT

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Well, it's certainly not happening before this season. :roflmao:

This Chair 4 thing requires serious $$$$, with a high speed quad going in. Maybe they are pulling out the old chair to use for Hellroaring. Hellroaring requires more tree cutting and possibly more tower base concrete pouring, but has old lifts being repurposed. And that feels like a phased roll out, with one lift one season, another the next. They've certainly got a lot of projects. No wonder I won't get a free Super Senior pass.
A cost saving measure could be to first build a new fixed grip quad with the ability to convert to high speed when increased skier visits dictate.

They did this years ago along with added lift length with a lift at Sun Peaks and last season's new lift will one day also go HS and double in length. The new Crystal Chair at Sun Peaks will also open in 2021 initially as a fixed grip quad.
 
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Sibhusky

Sibhusky

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Well, maybe, but they've now posted it's a HSQ. They do need the redundancy of a full length chair alongside Chair 1, as was painfully obvious this past season when wind issues kept 1 closed. The line that 4 will follow is mostly around a bit more curve of the hill from the prevailing wind and eliminates the ridge line final approach. Two full vert HSQ's will clearly produce almost no lift lines even during holiday periods for maybe 5-8 years. Which means they will be dumping the bodies on the hill. I already fear Inspo except on the odd Tuesday. I may never ski it again. A southern exposure with little tree protection means it tends to be firm and skied off, and it's already popular with those who like to go faster than they should.
 
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Sibhusky

Sibhusky

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Current plan. The additional terrain won't happen until at least three years out, as they are using the current Chair 4 lift to access that terrain. (More on that, next post)

=====
Hellroaring Basin Project
In Spring 2020 Whitefish Mountain Resort will begin a multi-phase project that will increase accessibility and improve terrain variety in Hellroaring Basin. This initial phase will include, clearing timber for new runs and lift line, as well as gladed areas adjacent to runs, and re-sloping areas on the Hell Fire run to eliminate the negative grades. Phase 1 is expected to be completed by the fall of 2020. Phase 2 includes relocating Chair 8 in 2021, which will allow the resort to open Hellroaring Basin earlier in the season.
Phase 1 Spring-Fall 2020
  • Conduct a survey for future Chair 8 lift line.
  • Construct a service road from the top of Swift Creek Express/Chair 2 to the Grand Junction area.
  • Clear timber for six runs including portions of the existing runs: Glory Hole, Connie’s Coulee, Gray’s Golf Course and The Back 9. Two additional runs will be added to the northwest facing slope.
  • Perform glading in in six zones.
  • Clear timber for future Chair 8 lift line.
  • Re-slope three areas (approximately four acres total) in the existing Hell Fire Run where the run currently slopes uphill.
Phase 2 Spring-Fall 2021
  • Uninstall Chair 8.
  • Rehabilitate the Purgatory ski run, lower section of the Hell Fire Run below Grand Junction, and existing Chair 8 top and bottom terminals.
  • Reinstall Chair 8 in new location.
Phase 3 and Future Phases (timeline TBD)
  • Install a new chairlift from the Grand Junction area to the top of Hellroaring Peak.
  • Clear a “cat track” between the saddle below Hellroaring Peak and the Gray Wolf Run.
  • Clear Two new runs on Hellroaring Peak.
Benefits of the Hellroaring Project:
  • Create an opportunity to open Hellroaring Basin earlier in the season.
  • Provide better access to Hellroaring Basin’s terrain.
  • Improve the variety of terrain in Hellroaring Basin.
  • Add defined groomed runs to provide more intermediate terrain for skiers and snowboarders.
  • Create a new pod of skiing in Hellroaring Basin.
  • Improve the experience on Hell Fire run by removing negative grades
  • Help to improve the flow and spread out skiers and snowboarders across the mountain by creating more options for guests.
Additional facts and information:
  • All proposed plans are within the resort’s existing permit boundary.
  • Pending approval from the Forest Service, the project would require multi-phases over a minimum of two years.
  • No timeline has been set and will not be determined until the after resort receives direction and approval from the Flathead National Forest Tally Lake District.
  • This project would not impact the April 1 closure of Hellroaring Basin for grizzly bear habitat.
 
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Sibhusky

Sibhusky

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The New Chair 4 — High-Speed Express Lift from Base Lodge
When Chair 4 was installed in 1978, the Base Lodge did not exist, a small ski hut was built at the bottom of the chairlift, and there were no runs or facilities built below that point. Today the vast majority of guests use the Base Lodge as their primary portal to the mountain.

Although Chair 1/Big Mountain Express carries the burden for the most of the access to the upper mountain, nearly 70% of the resort’s parking is located adjacent to the Base Lodge, therefore putting pressure on Chair 6 and Chair 10 to transport guests to the Lift Plaza to reach Chairs 1 & 2.

The future Chair 4 Express is scheduled to run on a daily basis starting at 9 a.m. With the upper terminal located at the top of the Inspiration run, guests will have access to most of the upper mountain terrain, including Ptarmigan Bowl, runs to the east off of the Inspiration Ridge as well as access to Chair 5/East Rim.

Additionally, the old Burger Hut will be removed and that entire area and below the Barn Road/Barndance run will have trees cleared and be regraded to provide improved skiing and access into the new lower terminal. Sections of lower Corkscrew, lower Langley’s, lower Expressway, and lower Bad Rock will also be regraded to provide better skiing into the lower terminal. When people stand at the current carpet lift and look up the mountain when this project is done it will look very different from how it looks today.

Imagine taking advantage of early morning groomed skiing on Hogan’s or Hogan’s East, or powder days in the Langley area or the Faults!

There is no firm installation date however, preliminary planning has begun. A more formal announcement will be made once a timeline is established.

Benefits of the future Chair 4:

  • Additional lift service out of the resort’s base area
  • Early morning access to upper-mountain front side terrain prior to the opening of Chair 1
  • Alleviate crowding on Chair 6 allowing it to serve more beginners and lessons
  • Offer guests an alternative to Chair 1 for access to upper mountain terrain
Lift Facts & Stats:

  • Model: High-Speed Quad Chairlift
  • Make: Not determined at this time
  • Bottom terminal: Adjacent to the Magic Carpet (west side)
  • Top terminal: Top of Inspiration Ridge (approx. 70 yards below where the old Chair 5 ended)
  • Length: Approx. 5,700 feet
  • Vertical rise: Approx. 2,200 feet
 
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