New ski lifts for Whistler Blackcomb

27th December 2017, by Abi Butcher

The Emerald Express at the top of Whistler Mountain will be replaced. Photo: Mick Crane

The Emerald Express at the top of Whistler Mountain will be replaced. Photo: Mick Crane

A major investment into three new lifts at the ski resort of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada has been announced, something owners Vail Resorts hope will greatly ease access to the mountain.

The three new lifts — a 10-person gondola, a high-speed six-person chairlift and high-speed four-man chairlift — are all in the heart of Whistler and Blackcomb and aim to provide skiers and snowboarders with quicker, easier access to the mountain.

The new 10-person gondola will replace the Wizard and Solar chairlifts and take skiers and snowboarders from Upper Village to connect with the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola. The lift, which will carry 4,000 skiers per hour, will be the first full-sheltered route up Blackcomb and increase capacity by nearly 50 per cent.

The four-man Emerald Express, in Whistler’s upper-mountain Family Ski Zone will be replaced by a high-speed six-person chair lift, cutting down queue times to a host of intermediate trails and increasing capacity by nearly 30 per cent.

Then, in Blackcomb the three-man Catskinner lift will be replaced by four-person high-sped chair, increasing capacity to the mountain by 56 per cent.

The massive investment — of CAD$66 million (nearly £40m) is one of the largest injections of cash to improve infrastructure in the resort’s history. Pete Sonntag, COO of Whistler Blackcomb, says: “We are incredibly excited … This transformative investment, the largest in the resort’s history, will offer a dramatic improvement to the experience for all our guests. We continue to pursue other base area and village improvements … but believed it was critical to start at our core, on the mountain.”

To read Where to Ski and Snowboard’s independent review of Whistler, click here.

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