Whistler Blackcomb Hosts Summer Projects Open House

The new two stage Blackcomb Gondola will feature 184 Omega IV 10 LWI cabins from CWA.

Monster Doppelmayr UNI-G XXL terminals are headed to British Columbia for the first time.  Whistler Blackcomb and Vail Resorts held a community open house last night to detail plans for what will be a packed summer building four new lifts on both iconic mountains.  The largest component of the $52 million project is a new Blackcomb Gondola announced in December.

The beastly gondola will load where the current Wizard lift does before continuing to a very large mid-station located below the current Solar Coaster base.  An even larger cabin parking facility will be built in the trees to the west of the dual terminal.  The second stage of the gondola (separate haul ropes and drives) will continue after a slight angle change to Rendezvous just below the current Solar Coaster unload.  10-passenger cabins will depart every nine seconds yielding a 4,000 passenger hourly capacity – second highest ever in North America.


Also on Blackcomb, a new, longer Catskinner four place detachable will start to the southwest of the existing Yan triple chair.  This lift will have 97 chairs reused from Emerald Express and 14 new towers.  Emerald’s Spacejet-style terminals will also come over from Whistler.


On Whistler Mountain, Emerald will become a six place with UNI-G M terminals and a chair model called EC95 featuring child-friendly restraint bars.  The alignment is unchanged.  Detailed stats for all four new lifts are below.


This is by far the largest lift construction project in North American skiing since Peak 2 Peak and the timeline is aggressive.  All three lifts are slated to be commissioned by early November.


I look forward to following this impressive project at one of my all time favorite resorts!


15 thoughts on “Whistler Blackcomb Hosts Summer Projects Open House

  1. Brian March 16, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    Damn that’s an aggressive schedule!


  2. Skier March 16, 2018 / 3:16 pm

    What’s happening to the existing Emerald Terminals? Seems like it would have made sense to just move the whole lift over, but I guess it is about 23 years old. Also, the stats picture says the towers and tower heads are going to be galvanized. Currently they’re painted gray. I wonder how much it will cost to take them off the mountain, ship them to get galvanized, and then bring them back.


    • Billy B March 16, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      I wonder if this is because Emerald was built on top of Yan HSQ terminal masts. It seems to me like this might make the terminal relocation process challenging, thus WB just using new UNI-G terminals instead. Just a guess though


    • Peter Landsman March 17, 2018 / 7:08 am

      I checked and they are still using Emerald’s terminals. Also heard Catskinner has been sold whole but Wizard/Solar Coaster will be scrapped with chairs sold to benefit the WB Foundation.


    • Rob Withey March 17, 2018 / 11:47 am

      The old Yan towers on Emerald will be scrapped. The new Catskinner will have new towers.


      • Misha Flynn March 18, 2018 / 1:08 pm

        Can I buy a crossarm?


  3. Collin March 16, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    The gondola speed is 1200 fpm. Nothing was over 1000 in 2017.


  4. Peter Landsman March 16, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    Some comments sent to me via email:

    “Note there is also a mtn still operating whilst all this going on, and trail work and the bike park stuff. As well as the suspension bridge at the peak chair and a bunch of other stuff. Its going to be quite the project.

    Nothing following on sounded years away. Seemed very upbeat about going bigger and better,.and quickly. Aka this is this year’s project only, and the implication was there that $$$ to follow next year as well.”

    Also here’s a closer view of the new Catskinner load. Sounds like a new approach will follow in 2019.


  5. RaflW March 18, 2018 / 9:07 am

    Any rumblings about Creekside? Sure seems like a lift out of base up (near) Peak to Creek would be well used and woulhelp spread skiers around the mountain more.


    • Collin May 15, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a terminal torn to pieces like that. Usually even if the lift is being scrapped its taken down a bit more methodically and carefully.


    • AM May 16, 2018 / 5:37 pm

      Will they do that with Catskinner too? This type of demolition seems unusual, usually, they keep it intact.


  6. Robert Withey May 16, 2018 / 7:18 am

    All the steel is being recycled so no point being nice to it. We removed all the components first. What was left was the shell. Top of Solar coming down today.


  7. Cooper May 16, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    I rode both lifts in the summer and the bubble chair was very cold downloading. Also we were on wizard and the lift emergency-stopped and the chairs went flying up and down while we were going over a big span. I will miss Wizard and coaster. I cannot wait for the new gondola!


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