Whitefish Mountain Resort

Whitefish Mountain Resort

Infobox ski area
name=Whitefish Mountain Resort
location=The Big Mountain
nearest_city=Whitefish, Montana
top_elevation=6,817 feet
base_elevation=4,464 feet
skiable_area= convert|3020|acre|km2
longest_run=3.3 miles
liftsystem=10 chairs, 3 surface
snowfall=300 inches
external_link= [http://www.skiwhitefish.com/ skiwhitefish.com] |


Whitefish Mountain Resort is a is a ski resort located at The Big Mountain in northwestern Montana, located west of Glacier National Park in the Flathead National Forest. It is 4 miles (6.25 km) from the town of Whitefish and 21 miles (33.80 km) north of the city of Kalispell. The mountain is the second largest ski area in Montana, after Big Sky Resort.

The area currently has 10 chairlifts: 3 high-speed detachable quads and 7 fixed grip (2 quads, 4 triples, and 1 double). There are also three surface lifts: two T-bars and a magic carpet. Of these, 10 lifts operate regularly, including one T-bar which is normally only open on weekends. [cite web|url=http://www.skiwhitefish.com/hours_and_dates.php |title=Whitefish Mountain Resort Hours and Dates |publisher=Whitefish Mountain Resort |accessdate=2008-10-01]

The mountain is largely separated into three faces. The front side is primarily serviced by the Chair One high speed quad and has the most skiable terrain. The front side has 8 of the mountains 10 ski lifts. The back side of the mountain is serviced by Chair 7, a high speed quad. The back side has more tree skiing terrain, and additional terrain can be accessed by T-Bar 2. The western face of the mountain contains the Hell Roaring basin. Serviced by Chair 11, a triple chair. The Hell Roaring basin is the most advanced skiing on the mountain with cliffs, vertical chutes, and tight tree skiing.

The vertical drop of the ski area is 2353 feet (717 m), with a summit elevation of 6817 ft. (2078 m) and a base of 4464 ft. (1361 m). The average annual snowfall is 300 inches (762 cm). [cite web|url=http://www.skiwhitefish.com/statistics.php |title=Whitefish Mountain Resort Statistics |publisher=Whitefish Mountain Resort |accessdate=2008-09-05]

The ski area is about 19 miles (30 km) north of Glacier Park International Airport and 35 miles (56 km) south of the Canadian border.


The Big Mountain opened on December 14, 1947, with a T-bar and soon after hosted the U.S. Alpine Championships in 1949.cite web|url=http://www.skiwhitefish.com/about.php#history |title=About Whitefish Mountain Resort |publisher=Whitefish Mountain Resort |accessdate=2008-09-05] The first chairlift was installed in 1960 and a second in 1968, replacing the original T-bar. In June 2007, the resort was renamed "Whitefish Mountain Resort." By then the mountain had expanded to include 10 chair lifts, ranging from detachable high-speed quads to fixed-grip double chairs.

Olympic champion Tommy Moe learned to ski and race at the mountain, where his father was on the ski patrol; [cite web|url=http://classic.mountainzone.com/ski/moe/ |title=It's Time for Moe |publisher=MountainZone.com |author=Quigley, Michelle |accessdate=2008-09-05] they relocated to Alaska when he was a teenager and the mountain dismissed him from the team. Moe won the gold medal in the Downhill [cite web|url=http://www.oslo.net/historie/OL/13/7.html |title=OL: Downhill Men Sunday (Official List), The 1994 Winter Olympics |publisher=Oslonett |accessdate=2008-09-05] and silver in the Super-G [cite web|url=http://www.oslo.net/historie/OL/17/6.html |title=OL-Alpine: Super-G Men (Official list), The 1994 Winter Olympics |publisher=Oslonett |accessdate=2008-09-05] at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

The mountain hosted the U.S. Alpine Championships in 2001. That event is remembered for the failed comeback attempt, and life-altering crash, of 1984 Olympic Downhill champion Bill Johnson.

In December 2006, Winter Sports, Inc. (a.k.a. WSI, the privately held company formed in 1947 to manage the resort) conducted a [http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/06/reversestocksplit.asp reverse stock split] , which had the effect of forcing some shareholders with small numbers of shares to cash out their positions in the company. WSI's handling of the reverse split was criticized by some in the local community. [cite web|url=http://missoulian.com/articles/2006/12/17/news/mtregional/news03.txt |title=Locals dismayed at Big Mountain ski area stock plan |publisher=Missoulian |author=Jamison, Michael |accessdate=2008-09-05]

An avalanche occurred in the Flathead National Forest, within hiking distance of the back side of The Big Mountain and killed two skiers on Jan 13th, 2008. [cite web|url=http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Global/story.asp?S=7618662 |title=Trail at fatal Flathead avalanche site to reopen |publisher=Montana Television Network |date=2008-01-27 |accessdate=2008-09-05]

The new operators of Whitefish Mountain Resort received criticism [cite web|url=http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/resort_changes_draw_praise_resistance/3113/ |title=Resort Changes Draw Praise, Resistance |publisher=flatheadbeacon.com |author=Testa, Dan |date=2008-04-16 |accessdate=2008-09-05] in the winter of 2007-2008 when they closed several lower lifts each afternoon at 4pm, 30 minutes earlier than indicated by a printing mistake on their trail map. They also closed the backside of the mountain 30 minutes earlier than in previous years.

In 2008, the resort discontinued summer lift access for winter season pass holders. [cite web|url=http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/whitefish_mountain_resort_changes_summer_lift_policies/3675/ |title=Whitefish Mountain Resort Changes Summer Lift Policies |publisher=flatheadbeacon.com |author=Lomax, Becky |date=2008-05-28 |accessdate=2008-09-05] However, said season pass holders were granted several free lift tickets. [cite web|url=http://campaign-archive.com/?u=8bfee85ec43c6496c2d381e3f&id=ae192b4aaa |title=Lift policy change notification letter |publisher=Whitefish Mountain Resort |date=2008-06-13 |accessdate=2008-09-05] [cite web|url=http://campaign-archive.com/?u=8bfee85ec43c6496c2d381e3f&id=eb7b7d3dea |title=Follow-up notification letter |publisher=Whitefish Mountain Resort |date=2008-06-17 |accessdate=2008-09-05] In September of that same year, the resort reversed the decision and announced that 2008-2009 winter season passes would again convey unlimited foot-passenger lift access for summer 2009. [cite web|url=http://campaign-archive.com/?u=8bfee85ec43c6496c2d381e3f&id=cf64eadae5 |title=Whitefish Mountain Resort Newsletter: Winter Passes will Include Summer Lift Rides, Donnie is Sore, and Just What are Ski School Programs? |publisher=Whitefish Mountain Resort |author=Clapp, Donnie |date=2008-09-25 |accessdate=2008-10-01]


External links

* [http://www.skiwhitefish.com Ski Whitefish.com] - official site
* [http://www.bigmtn.info Big Mtn.info] - unofficial site

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