Whistler Blackcomb (WB) unveiled plans Friday (Jan. 18) for an $18-million capital expansion for the 2013-14 season that will see the Harmony Express on Whistler upgraded and a new high-speed lift in the Crystal Zone on Blackcomb.
“This lift expansion clearly demonstrates our commitment to continuously enhance the skiing and riding experience on both mountains,” said Dave Brownlie, president and CEO of WB, in a release. “Each zone the new lifts will service is unique and much-loved by Whistler locals and destination guests alike. The capital we are investing to enhance our already amazing experiences will make Whistler Blackcomb even better.”
The new quad lift in the Crystal Zone will deliver skiers to the same location as the current chair next to the Crystal Hut, said the release.
“However, the aspect of the new lift line is dramatically different, and will originate 158 metres lower than the old Crystal lift,” said the release.
With a lower terminal on the Blackcomb Glacier Road ski-out, WB guests will no longer need to ride the Excelerator Chair to access Crystal Zone trails such as Ridge Runner and Rock ‘N’ Roll, and gladed trails like Outer Limits, said the release. The name of the new chair will be decided by a competition that WB intends to launch later this winter.
The Harmony Express will be replaced by a six-person chair that, at 3,600 skiers per hour, will increase upload capacity by 50 per cent. The WB release said the lift’s alignment will not be changed. The upgraded chair was referred to as the “Harmony Six.”
“With a wide variety of beginner to expert terrain options, the Harmony Six will ensure skiers and riders are able to spend more time on the mountain exploring the spectacular, powder-covered alpine that Whistler Blackcomb is celebrated for,” said the release.
Construction on the two lifts is scheduled to take place between the spring and fall and are expected to be complete by the opening of the 2013-14 ski season.