The Biggest Skiing in America Just Went Huge
In case you hadn’t thought of getting your butt warmed next to seven of your best friends, the good folks in Southwest Montana went ahead and did that for you.
Leading the American Charge
On Dec. 15, last Saturday, Big Sky Resort unveiled the Ramcharger 8 — America’s first 8-person lift and, according to Big Sky, the most technologically advanced lift in the world.
While Europe may have been the first to introduce an 8 person chair back in 1997, Boyne Resorts, the parent company of Big Sky, has been leading the American charge with an impressive history of firsts. Teamed with with Austria-based lift maker Doppelmayr, Boyne has put up the world’s first triple and quad chairlifts as well as the first high-speed six-person chair in America.
The Ramcharger 8
Now that we’re on to 8, it only makes sense that Boyne, Big Sky, and the Ramcharger 8 would be the first of it’s kind. To make it happen, though, they had to call in help from all corners of the globe.
Starting in Doppelmayr’s hometown, Wolfburg, Austria, each part was manufactured and shipped in containers to the United States, where, on May 15, 2018, the crew started piecing the behemoth together. Big Sky employed the help of hundreds of workers, including a black hawk helicopter, which lifted 6,000lb buckets of concrete at a time and, later, 6,500lb cross beams to hold the cables our chairs rely on. And that cable? It rolled in from Austria at a cool 78,000 lbs–that’s the kind of numbers required to transport 3,600 skiers every hour to the top of the mountain, which of course, is done in style.
Big Sky is the first to combine several cozy features that will make your trip up to the top of Andesite Mountain the best ride of you life. Each chair (coming in at over 1 ton, mind you) is equipped with heated, ergonomic, extra wide seats for you and your weary legs and at the base of the lift, a height adjustable loading carpet to make getting on the lift a cinch (you’re still on your own getting off!). Also included are the trademark blue Big Sky bubbles that you can, if everyone wants, pull over the whole chair to protect from blowing wind and snow in a dynamic Montana winter.
As Big Sky says on their website, “if a quad chair is a sedan, Ramcharger’s 8-seater is the stretch limo of chairlifts”. It’s like going to Prom every time you ride up and having the smoothest dance moves on the way down.
Which brings up a good transition.
What’s the big deal at Big Sky, anyways?
Your best resource is to read our latest post about Skiing Big Sky Like a Local, but to give you a quick run down, here’s The Biggest Skiing in America in a nutshell, if that’s even possible.
- Skiable Acres: 5,850
- Vertical Feet: 4,350
- Chair Lifts: 36
- Average Snowfall: 400″+
- Lift Lines: Micro
- Powder Stashes and Mustaches: Endless
Get on It!
If I were you, I’d be making moves to check this thing out. If you’re looking for lift tickets and lodging, use the Big Sky page here. Have a safe trip and don’t forget your dance moves!