Big Sky Beefs Up Lone Peak Access

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SAM Magazine-Big Sky, Mont., Aug. 21, 2007-Big Sky has started a two-year project to increase skier access on expert-oriented Lone Peak, currently served only by the resort's Lone Peak Tram.

The first stage of the project is installation of a fixed grip triple chair, the Dakota Lift, part of a two-lift system that will provide a second access point to terrain on Lone Peak. The Dakota will be 3,100 feet long with a vertical rise of 1,210 feet. The new chair will improve access to Bavarian Forest and the recently opened 212 acres of Dakota Territories. A second lift, planned for construction next year, will take skiers up to the Yeti Traverse and will access the resort's wide-open, steep, above-treeline runs.

The new lifts are in keeping with the mountain's philosophy of keeping uphill capacity substantially higher than demand. The mountain currently has 3,812 acres of skiable terrain accessed by 21 lifts with a capacity of 25,000 riders per hour. That's a lot of capacity for an area that averages 2,000 skiers and riders per day. But access to the Lone Peak summit has been limited by the 300-per-hour capacity of the Tram.