Intrawest Plans Dramatic Interconnect for Whistler/Blackcomb

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SAM Magazine-Whistler, B.C., Oct. 26, 2005-In an effort to further cement its position as one of North America's top resorts, Intrawest plans to construct a high-capacity gondola nearly three miles long, linking the peaks of Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, according to a report in Canada's The Globe and Mail.

The C$50 million project will link the Rendezvous and Roundhouse complexes on Blackcomb and Whistler, respectively, at the 6,100-foot level, ferrying 4,000 people an hour (2,000 in each direction). To be built by the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, the lift will be one of the most spectacular in the world. Its 26 cabins will each carry 30 passengers, at one point, riders will be 1,370 feet above the valley floor. The free span between the two peaks will stretch nearly two miles-longer than the length of most lifts.

There is just one catch. Intrawest is seeking a partner to share the cost. Assuming one can be found, the company hopes to have the lift in place for the 2007-08 season.


What a waste!

I agree with previous posters. 50 M$ for no additional skiable terrain. The resort is bursting at the seams with crowds as it is.

This would be the culmination of a trend that has been growing for years. Many resorts are simply offering lift rides, with the skiing only a convenient way of getting back to the base for the next lift ride. It is an endless arms race to put more and more people on the same skiable terrain.

The resort of the future will have rows of six-pack lifts, with one snowguns-filled trail under each lift (no more, because it is not economical).


Lift to somewhere!

Don't forget that for a large part of the winter season you can't ski/ride to the bottom of Whistler Blackcomb and to transit from one alpine area to the other takes more than an hour. Even though i am not sure i would spend MY money on this lift, it does make some sense. The "interconnect" will effectively double the skiable terrain during the fall/late spring. Plus, what's wrong with sightseeing? I'd rather see people in the mountains than on the golf courses - but that's just me ;-)

More Information

Hi guys, i have a page on my website about this if you guys want more info check out then click on Whistler Interconnect Gondola

Mid-mountain station

If they could pull it off, Intrawest should develop the entire canyon. Only a small section of forest is old growth, right along the creek, which should be largely left alone. With two to three strategically placed ski bridges and a mid-mountain (canyon) station, developing the canyon would truly connect the two mountains. The lift to nowhere suddenly becomes the center piece that connects it all. Wow. -JRS

Lift legacy for basically one individual

Question seems to be why?
This isn't a new idea. The drawings have been around for years. This project is the life long asperation for one indivdual in upper management. Of course now with olympics and such it would seem like the best time to bring it into the publics eye.
Hey a couple of mountain planners had the audacity to propose a gondola up the Squamish Chief and look where that went!!
Anyways I'll believe it when I ski it.
Ps Regular Canadian folk have to let Whistler go...Its a circus and there no turning back.....:( \

Lift to nowhere

From a skiers perspective this lift services no function as it can't be "skied." Its main purpose seems to be as a marketing gimmick aimed at the sight seeing crowd primarily for the slower summer months. Intrawest seems out of touch. Considering the necessity of luring back the regional day skier market this moves seems particularly odd. Surely this money would be better spent on a lift that opened up new terrain.

Intrawest, wrecking skiing for years...

maybe the powers that be should pick up a trail map- or better yet take a little trip up to BC to see what they are actually contemplating- How does this make for a better ski experience?

I agree

I agree, this sounds like the worst C$50MM investment I've heard of. If they are looking for ways to gain attention and boost skier visits, I can think of many other ways to invest that money in the mountains. And with the pressure IDR is getting from Pirate Capital to monetize some land investments and raise the stock price, this doesn't sound like something they would buy off on......


What's the point of this lift? Is it specifically designed to detract from the natural beauty of mountain views from both village and summit? Is it so really difficult for skiers to actually ski from top to bottom in order to traverse between the two mountains? This boondoggle sounds like a solution struggling to find a problem.