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!