Whistler & Blackcomb to be linked via a Gondola

Tue 17 April 07

4.4km Peak to Peak Gondola announced, set to be the worlds longest and highest

Whistler Blackcomb, a mountain resort already renowned for daring innovation, has announced its boldest move yet with the construction of the Peak to Peak Gondola, for completion December 2008. The two mountains will be united by a gondola that will set world records for length and height while providing an unmatched experience for winter and summer resort guests.

The Peak to Peak Gondola will travel 4.4 kilometres in just 11 minutes, transporting winter and summer guests from Whistler’s Roundhouse Lodge to the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain, giving them unprecedented access to both mountains’ expansive and unique high alpine terrain and spectacular vistas.

“The Peak to Peak Gondola will create a dramatically enhanced experience that no other mountain resort in North America, possibly the world, can offer,” says Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s Chief Operating Officer. “This link will effectively double, or more, the options for accessing the highest quality and greatest variety of terrain on any one day, from anywhere on the mountains. We are going to completely revolutionize our guests’ experience.”

Skiers and riders will have the opportunity to easily take advantage of 8,171 acres of terrain encompassed by both incredible mountains, via the world's longest continuous lift system. Moving freely between the high alpine areas of both mountains skiers and riders will spend more of their day in the best weather and snow conditions. The adventure for summer visitors will include spectacular views of glaciers and peaks as well as access to an expanded hiking trail network on both mountains.

“This lift is the catalyst for a sustainable economic future benefiting both Whistler Blackcomb and the entire resort community,” says Brownlie. “It will solidify Whistler’s position as the undeniable leader of mountain resorts in North America, while increasing our appeal as a top destination in the world.”

With 28 sky cabins each holding up to 28 people, total capacity will be 4,100 passengers per hour. The Peak to Peak terminal on Whistler Mountain will be located next to the Roundhouse Lodge and easily accessed from the valley by the Village Gondola. On Blackcomb Mountain the Peak to Peak terminal will be located next to the Rendezvous Lodge and accessed from the valley via the Wizard Express and Solar Coaster Express.

Construction will commence in May 2007, with the lift being manufactured and installed by the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group (Doppelmayr) of Austria The Doppelmayr 3S tricable gondola will span 4.4 kilometres (2.73 miles) in total distance from Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain with the world’s longest unsupported (free) span of 3.024 kilometres (1.88 miles) between the two towers furthest apart. The highest vertical point is over Fitzsimmons Creek at 415 metres (1,361 feet) – the world’s greatest distance above a valley floor.

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Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada

Snowboard Guide rating 10 out of 10 “Major riding for all styles and all levels, especially backcountry and amazing park and pipes.But take note: lift queues can be very long, especially at Easter and Christmas. Avoid major holidays if an option and Sundays are quieter than Saturdays, especially on Blackcomb. Great summer riding on Blackcomb Glacier.”

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