The stats say it all; two mountains, over 8,100 skiable terrain, one vertical mile, more than 200 trails, three glaciers, 38 lifts, twelve alpine bowls and the most accessible backcountry in North America.
New Gondola Cabins Will Improve Guest Experience And Increase Capacity By 12 Per Cent
"The original cabins have been loading our guests onto Whistler Mountain since 1988," says Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer at Whistler Blackcomb. "These sleek new cabins are set to dramatically improve the experience for skiers, snowboarders and sightseers. Eight passengers will be able to sit comfortably with their gear in outside racks, and the new configuration is set to improve capacity for the Whistler Village Gondola by 12 per cent through four additional cabins and greater loading efficiency."
The new "Diamond" level walk-in cabins are currently being fabricated in France by Sigma, a subsidiary of Leitner-POMA, the original manufacturer of the Whistler Village Gondola. It will be a much better ride with comfortable seating, and reduced vibration and noise over lift towers.
The gondola will operate all summer with the original cabins before closing this fall for a four-week period during September and October 2014 to install the new cabins for the winter 2014.2015 season. The lift terminals for the Whistler Village Gondola at the base, at the "mid" Olympic Station and at the top Roundhouse Lodge will also see improvements to enhance the functionality of the interior space as well as the terminal appearance.
An additional $5.9 million will also be allocated to information technology initiatives, including a new enterprise resource planning ("ERP") system and radio-frequency identification ("RFID") system with lift access control gates on most mountain lifts.
"The RFID gates should reduce wait times at our main access points and provide us with the necessary infrastructure to enhance guest engagement in the future,"says Brownlie. "Minimizing lost revenue from lift ticket fraud is also another key benefit of the RFID system."
The Crystal Ridge Express is a new high-speed quad chairlift in the Crystal Zone on Blackcomb Mountain. It is 1,708 metres (5,604ft) in length, with a vertical rise of 535 metres (1,755ft). Skier carrying capacity has increased by 65 per cent over the old lift to 2,400 skiers per hour. The new quad delivers skiers and riders to the same location as the old triple chair next to the Crystal Hut. However, the aspect of the new lift line is dramatically different, and originates 158 metres (518ft) lower than the old Crystal lift. The bottom elevation will be 1,292 metres (4,239ft) and the top elevation of the lift will be 1,827 metres (5,994ft).
The new Harmony Six high-speed chairlift on Whistler Mountain improves the uphill capacity by 50 per cent; going from 2,400 skiers per hour to 3,600. The Harmony Six services terrain spanning from the edge of the Symphony Amphitheatre all the way over to Glacier Bowl, adjacent to the Peak Express. This area, known as the Harmony Zone, makes up over 485 hectares (1,200 acres) of Whistler Blackcomb's 3,306 hectares (8,171 acres) of total terrain. With a wide variety of beginner to expert terrain options, the Harmony Six ensures skiers and riders are able to spend more time on the mountain exploring the spectacular, powder-covered alpine that Whistler Blackcomb is celebrated for. The Harmony Six spans 1,729 metres (5,672ft) in length, with a vertical rise of 525 metres (1,722ft). The top elevation of the lift is 2,107 metres (6,912ft); the bottom elevation is 1,582 metres (5,190ft).
Whistler Blackcomb, consistently ranked as North America's top ski and snowboard resort, attracts over two million visitors annually. The resort receives an average of ten meters (33 feet) of snow per year and being only 40 kilometers inland from the Pacific Ocean, also enjoys moderate temperatures.
The choices of where and what to ski/ride on Whistler Blackcomb Mountains from beginner to advanced terrain are staggering. In 2006, the Symphony Express (a $9.5 million chairlift) opened making accessible 1,000 acres of spectacular, high alpine terrain in the Symphony Amphitheatre on Whistler Mountain. Whistler Blackcomb also features the Peak to Peak Gondola which is a must see attraction if you are coming to Whistler Canada resort.
If thrill-seeking is more your style, than you'll love the Coca-Cola Tube Park located at Base II on Blackcomb Mountain. There's no skill or equipment required - just a sense of adventure and a desire for excitement.
While most people travel to Whistler with either skiing or riding in mind, there are a number of other activities to complement days on the mountain. These are activities, people of all ages and abilities can enjoy and include snowshoeing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, dog sledding.
Or perhaps you may want to take advantage of the free daily Avalanche Awareness tours offered on Blackcomb Mountain. These popular tours cover terrain evaluation, avalanche safety equipment and rescue techniques and the avalanche procedures that Whistler Blackcomb uses to keep people safe inside the ski area boundary.
Whistler BC, Canada - it's the place to be this winter. Make sure you're here!