There’s nothing that gets us chomping at the bit for the upcoming winter than news of new terrain opening. And the latest is coming out of Montana’s Great Divide Ski Area. Their expansion plans include two new lifts AND some fresh terrain to slash.
Reason For Expansion
Over the last decade, the pine beetle has run rampant up and down the Rocky Mountains, including the slopes at Great Divide Ski Resort, causing a lot of tree deaths. As you can see on the map below, thanks to the multi-year Bureau of Land Management (BLM) project as well as a bunch of work by the ski area, they now offer a TON more glade skiing than they’ve ever had before, including a NEW section for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy.
Great Divide Expansion Plans & Upgrades
Starting this winter, 50 acres out of the planned 150 will be accessible for what the owner Kevin Taylor likes to call “pioneer skiing.” The new area, named Tall Timbers, is located south of the the Hi-Voltage run and will connect into the Rawhide chairlift. The long-term plan is to install a new lift for the 2022 season that will access this area as well as open up even more sections of the mountain. Until then, for next summer the focus is on installing a new chair called the Summit Shuttle. This will run parallel to the current Mount Belmont Lift and give access to the true summit of the mountain. Besides providing additional capacity for peak days, this lift will give seasoned skiers the opportunity to lap the upper mountain AND a few additional turns at the top.
First To Open & Last To Close
When Kevin and his wife Nayla bought the resort in 1985, they helped it grow from a “rotten deck and a T-Bar” to a five lift 1,600-acre resort offering lift serviced vertical of over 1,500 feet. Although Montana has a lot of star-studded resorts, Great Divide is the KING for the longest season in the state. Almost always the first to open AND last to close, they’re 100% about the skiing… the way it should be. Just to give you an idea, last year they opened on November 10th and closed on May 4th! Fuse that together with a walk-up window price of $40 weekdays and $50 on weekends, and you got an unbelievable value.
Mom & Pop Resort Road Trip Is In Order?
As the big boys focus on gobbling up the guppies, it’s exciting to see the smaller mom & pop ski resorts like Sunlight and now Great Divide investing in new terrain and infrastructure. Looks like another road trip is in order for the Local Freshies® crew to enjoy GD’s new trails… and maybe a stop at Turner Mountain? Who knows!