Peak To Peak Gondola To Unite Whistler And Blackcomb
SAM Magazine-Whistler, B.C., Apr. 17, 2007-Whistler Blackcomb will unite its two mountains with the ambitious Peak to Peak Gondola, which will set world records for length and height. Construction is scheduled to begin in May, with completion by December 2008.
The state-of-the-art gondola will be similar to a pioneering lift installed at Kitzbuhel, Austria, two years ago, with two track ropes and one haul rope. The total length terminal to terminal is 14,500 feet, and ride time will be 11 minutes. The new gondola will have 28 28-person cabins, for a capacity of 4,100-2,050 pph in each direction. There will be 4 towers, with the longest span between towers at 10,500 feet, nearly two miles apart. At one point in that span, the gondola will be 1,361 feet above the valley floor, a world-record height. The Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group of Austria is building and installing the system.
"This truly will be the technological standard for years to come in North America," says Doppelmayr CTEC president Jan Leonard.
On a practical level, the gondola connects Whistler's Roundhouse Lodge to the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain, each just above the 6,000-foot level, giving visitors unprecedented access to both mountains' expansive high alpine terrain.
"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 Whistler Blackcomb COO Dave Brownlie. "We are going to completely revolutionize our guests' experience." Skiers and riders will be able to move freely between the high alpine areas of both mountains. Summer visitors will have spectacular views of glaciers and peaks as well as access to an expanded hiking trail network on both mountains.