FOR ANYONE THAT has hiked in the bowl area during the summer, they would have a hard time imagining a vehicle driving up those talus slopes. The resort’s heavy duty work trucks make it up there to do service, but how do you transport a dozen guests up there in comfort?
Eric Reed, Big Sky Resort vehicle maintenance manager had the answer. Having once been a competitive “rock crawler” in Utah and Colorado, Eric knew what sort of guts a truck needed to climb this type of terrain, but he also wanted it to ride like a Cadillac AND look cool.
It started with a 2012 Chevy one-ton 4x4 truck purchased from Danhof Chevrolet in Amsterdam/Manhattan MT. A custom body for a similar vehicle for the Vail Adventure Ridge was built by Fred Holz at Valley Fabricators in Gypsum, CO. The truck was sent there to extend the bed and install 11 bucket seats and a canopy frame.
Once back in Montana, Eric set to work customizing the drive train to make it endure the brutal upper mountain. The front end got a 2” level kit with fender well modifications and the rear got a 5” lift. The progressive leaf springs in the new truck engineering makes the factory ride even better with more weight, and with a differential locker in the rear axle, that means more traction. The beefy rock-crawler quality tires are 35x1250 MTV with Kevlar sidewalls and trail-ready bead-locking rims. At about $500 each, those are some sturdy tires.
While this was going on, the graphics team in the Big Sky marketing department was preparing the artwork for a wrap that would feature a photo taken by Jim Nygard with a camera mounted to a remote-controlled aircraft last summer. When the truck was complete, SCS vinylworks in Bozeman applied the decals.
The Lone Peak Expedition began June 28, 2012 and this project was completed on time thanks to a team with a vision and the resources to “git ‘er done”.