Whitefish Mountain Resort Submits Plans to Forest Service for Hellroaring Basin Improvement Project
WHITEFISH, MT – November 6, 2018 – Whitefish Mountain Resort has submitted plans to the Flathead National Forest Tally Lake District for a proposed improvement project in the Hellroaring Basin area. The project would help open the Hellroaring Basin earlier in the season because of the proposed chairlift locations, provide better access to the basin’s terrain, add defined groomed runs, provide more intermediate terrain for skiers and snowboarders, and finally reverse some negative grades on the Hellfire Run. Plans include relocating the Chair 8/Hellroaring chairlift, creating gladed areas, and adding a second chairlift. All proposed plans are within the resort’s existing permit boundary.
“We are excited to begin the process of possible future improvements in Hellroaring Basin. While we have been in discussions for several years now, submitting this plan is the first step toward the next major improvement project at the resort,” Whitefish Mountain Resort CEO Dan Graves said. “The Hellroaring Basin improvement project will increase access, and add improved slope variety in Hellroaring Basin. Additionally, relocating the Hellroaring chairlift would allow riders to access more terrain than its current location therefore creating better flow around the mountain.”
The plan proposes adding groomable runs making the Hellroaring area accessible to more skiers and snowboarders. The new runs will provide more intermediate terrain in Hellroaring Basin. A service road would be built from the top of Chair 2 to Grand Junction providing additional skier access into Hellroaring Basin as well as an evacuation route for injured skiers. This would allow skiers access to Hellroaring Basin from the Chair 2 area taking pressure off the resort’s Chair 1. Additionally, modifications to current trails would eliminate adverse grades. Glading in adjacent tree areas will create improved tree skiing terrain.
The Hellroaring chairlift would be moved to carry riders from the Grand Junction area to the intersection of the Toni Matt and Big Ravine ski runs above the snow making ponds allowing skiers to access more areas on the front side of the mountain including Big Ravine, Toni Matt and Ptarmigan Bowl as well as access back into Hellroaring Basin providing an improved flow of skier traffic compared to the current location of Chair 8. Moving the chairlift also would eliminate the long outrun from Grand Junction to the bottom of Hellroaring Basin as well alleviate congestion on the lower section of the Hell Fire run. Because the Grand Junction area is at a higher elevation, there is potential for opening Chair 8 earlier in the season than where it is located currently.
The proposal also calls for an additional chairlift from Grand Junction the top of Hellroaring Peak as well as two runs on the west and east ridges. Additionally, a cat track is proposed to provide access from Hellroaring Peak to the Gray Wolf ski run on the north side of the mountain. The proposed lift would help to spread skiers out across the mountain with access to Hellroaring Basin and the North Side of the mountain.
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.
Hellroaring Basin opened for the 1996/97 ski season for skiing and riding above the Highway to Heaven traverse. In 1997 the Hellroaring Chairlift/Chair 8, which had been on the north side of the mountain since 1985 as Chair 7, was moved to Hellroaring Basin opening the lower section of Hellroaring Basin including the Grand Junction area and Hell Fire ski run. For 20 years Hell Fire has been the only intermediate-level run in Hellroaring Basin.
About Whitefish Mountain Resort
Since 1947 Whitefish Mountain Resort has welcomed skiers and riders seeking a mountain that is uncrowded, beautiful and affordable. Rising above the town of Whitefish, in beautiful northwest Montana, in the backyard of Glacier National Park (only 35 miles away), the resort charms its guests with a friendly fun-loving vibe, variety of terrain, and virtually no lift lines at an unbeatable value. Whitefish’s Big Mountain is the quintessential skier's mountain averaging more than 300 inches of snow annually on 3,000 acres of bowls, chutes, and glades on all aspects.
When the snow melts, Whitefish Mountain Resort becomes home to thrilling zip line tours, Montana’s only alpine slide, an aerial adventure park, more than 30 miles of lift-accessed downhill and cross-country mountain bike trails. Since the 1950s visitors have enjoyed Scenic Lift Rides and hiking the mountain’s ski slopes in search of Huckleberries. It is the perfect base camp for a summer visit to Montana’s majestic Flathead Valley home to water sports, fly fishing, whitewater rafting, and of course Glacier National Park. Call 877-SKI-FISH or visit skiwhitefish.com for more details..