Snowbowl, Missoula’s home-grown ski resort, is about to get bigger.
The U.S. Forest Service just gave the green light to the owners to begin carving out new ski runs for the resort's new chairlift.
Snow bowl is actually two bowls, with two chairlifts.
One bowl fed by the Grizzly Lift, one fed by the Lavelle chair.
The new chair going in will feed a third bowl, the backside of TV Mountain, which means a lot more runs for beginner and intermediate skiers.
Pat McKay, Snowbowl mountain manager, says, "We've got some towers staked up the hill as you can see."
McKay says putting in a new chair lift, "It’s just a lot of man hours to rebuild the lift and put it back in operating shape."
The chairlift comes from a resort in Colorado, and needs to grinded, painted,and welded to fit snow bowl’s mountain.
"Once we get it in we'll be able to ski the backside of two mountains,” says McKay.
Right now, there are two chairlifts feeding what is considered a resort with a high degree of skiing difficulty. The new chair will create several more runs that cater to beginner and intermediate skiers.
"That is our main goal here, says McKay, “Is to open up beginner/intermediate terrain. I mean there is so much better, easier skiing back here on the back side of two mountains."
The U.S Forest Service just cleared snow bowl to cut paths for the runs. It already had clearance to cut the path for the chairlift.
Now it's just a race with Mother Nature, can Snowbowl get the chair in before the first snows turn all of the hard work into fun.