The massive and ever-improving Whistler-Blackcomb resort in B.C. will start construction this spring on two new chairlifts to open next season. Or boarders and skiers going north this weekend will find a nice snow base (at mid-mountain) of 74 inches and a forecast calling for some sunshine starting Sunday and into next week.
In its latest ($18 million) construction project, Blackcomb Mountain will get a new high-speed quad chair in the Crystal area, a fun and relatively secluded zone of intermediate and expert gladed runs that’s been served by a slow, creaky old chairlift. (At least the old chair, which remains, ends at the cozy Crystal Hut that dishes up killer waffles). The new chair will make it quicker and easier – it will carry 2,400 skiers an hour – to access a lot of Crystal terrain, and eliminate a long and sometimes tedious ski-out on what’s a road in summer. The new chair’s name? It will come through a competition to be announced later this winter.
On adjacent Whistler Mountain, the high-elevation Harmony chair, a high-speed quad, will be replaced by a bigger, faster lift that carries six people on each chair. The new Harmony chair will carry 3,600 skiers an hour compared to the current chair’s 2,400 skiers. The terrain will remain the same; glorious, wide-open alpine bowls and runs for everyone, from easygoing to expert.