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Great Divide summer maintenance

Great Divide has been working in the Tall Timbers area to open up about 50 acres of new terrain. In the coming years the ski area has plans for two new chairlifts.

Great Divide Ski Area announced that it will build two new chairlifts in the next few years.

Following its longest ski season in history, the area northwest of Helena is in the middle of summer maintenance as it preps for the coming winter. New for this year are about 50 acres of expert terrain in the Tall Timbers area on Great Divide’s southeastern edge, but future plans include two new lifts by 2022.

Great Divide Area Map

“All the components have been purchased and are on site. The engineers are working on the design work now,” said owner Kevin Taylor.

Great Divide will begin construction on the Summit Shuttle chairlift next summer. The lift will begin above the Mount Belmont and Good Luck lifts at the bottom of the Hiballer run, and go to the summit. The new lift will increase the capacity on busy days for skiers and snowboarders to access the summit and provide quicker access to the western side of the resort, served by the Wild West lift.

“Summit Shuttle pretty much parallels Mount Belmont and we think it’s smart to have redundancy if we ever have a mechanical issue with Mount Belmont, you’ll be able to ride that to the top of the mountain,” Taylor said.

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Also in the plans for 2022 is the Tall Timbers Chairlift. Taylor says they began skiing the area last season and a new lift would open up about 150 acres of steep terrain.

“It’s a pretty significant amount of new terrain and we haven’t really opened up new skiing terrain for about 20 years when we did the Big Open,” Taylor said.

Tall Timbers will allow skiers and snowboarders to remain on the mountain’s southeastern end and take the Rawhide lift back to the base area.

With the construction of Summit Shuttle and Tall Timbers, Great Divide will have seven lifts. The last lift, Wild West, was completed in 2001.

LOOKING BACK AT GREAT DIVIDE SKI AREA THROUGH THE YEARS

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Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin

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