14 WHISTLER TRAVELLER
RAISING THE BAR
North America’s No. 1 four-season resort just keeps raising the bar
for skiers and snowboarders. This winter, Whistler Blackcomb (WB)
has significantly upgraded the skiing and riding experience with a
brand new, 10-passenger Blackcomb Gondola, replacing the Wizard
Express and Solar Coaster lifts. The new gondola will ensure that
skiers, riders and summer visitors can stay warm and dry, year-round,
while significantly reducing the time spent in lift lineups en route to
Blackcomb’s high alpine.
The gondola whisks guests to the Rendezvous Lodge, which
underwent a major expansion in 2015. The ride covers 3. 86 kilometres
and has a capacity of 4,000 passengers per hour, a more than 50
per cent increase from the 2,650 per hour with the old combination.
Incidentally, the new gondola gives WB the first continuous, three-gondola lift system in the world — combined, of course, with the
Whistler Village and Peak 2 Peak gondolas. WB has upgraded two
other lifts as well — the Emerald Express on Whistler Mountain is now
a six-passenger (“six-pack”) high-speed chair, assisting with volume in
the Family Ski Zone, and the former Emerald quad chair has become
the Catskinner high-speed quad on Blackcomb. Catskinner was
previously a triple chair.
The upgrades, part of a $66-million investment by WB parent
company Vail Resorts, follow the opening of new summertime
attractions at the peak of Whistler Mountain. In the summer of 2018,
the Cloudraker Skybridge opened near the top of the Peak Express
Chair, a 130-metre-long suspension bridge, and joins Whistler
Peak to the West Ridge. The Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk, a cantilevered
walkway extending 12. 5 metres out from the West Ridge, has a
viewing platform offering 360-degree views well above Whistler Bowl.
While they’re not open this winter, they were extremely popular with
summertime guests and well worth a return visit.
“It was shoulder to shoulder all summer,” said Jennifer Smith, WB
senior public relations specialist. “If you were going, it was a good idea
to get up there in the morning to beat the crowds.”
Stay tuned for announcements coming in the spring of 2019 on new
bike trails in the Creek Zone of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, with
its most extensive expansion.
For more information about the WB on-mountain experience, visit
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