Whistler Gondola Proceeds On Schedule

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SAM Magazine-Whistler, B.C., Sept. 20, 2007-Construction of Whistler's massive Peak to Peak gondola is wrapping up for the season. The project, which will link Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, is being undertaken in two phases, with the second phase occurring next summer. It's part of an extensive makeover of the resorts in anticipation of hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Work this spring and summer focused on excavation, site preparation, and concrete form work. Currently crews are also erecting the towers. Elements such as tower three on Blackcomb Mountain and the ski lift's drive and return terminals are taking shape.

On Whistler Mountain, the drive terminal's staging and scaffolding are complete. The next step involves pouring concrete for the upper platform which will support the machinery in the terminal. On Blackcomb Mountain, preparations for the return terminal's foundation are taking place. The concrete for the main mast footings and columns are also ready to be poured.

Tower three on Blackcomb Mountain is the most visually stunning at the moment, with steel work up to the tower head level complete. The crane is now being moved to Whistler Mountain for the erection of tower two. At Blackcomb's tower four site, the foundation and spread footings have been completed. Next, the rebar work and concrete footings for the columns will be completed. Detailed excavation at Whistler's tower one site has been completed, with rebar work for the spread footings now the focus.

Two lifts on Blackcomb Mountain were modified to accommodate the Peak to Peak Gondola's travel line: the Solar Coaster detachable quad and the Catskinner, a fixed grip triple chair. The Solar Coaster top terminal and the Catskinner's towers and machine house were all moved last week.

Phase one construction wraps up next month, and phase two begins in spring 2008. The Peak to Peak Gondola will be complete by December 2008.