Mountains to face off in Boneyard Wars 

If you’ve never seen Junkyard Wars on the Learning Channel, picture two teams of very resourceful, very sweaty engineers, technicians and tradesmen building working machines out of junkyard scraps while the clock ticks down. The team that builds the best machine wins that battle and moves onto the next round of competition.

Whistler and Blakcomb Mountains have always had a healthy rivalry, and both mountains have teams of very resourceful engineers, technicians and tradesmen in their service, and access to a well-stocked boneyards full of scrap materials and machinery from mountain operations.

You can probably see where this is going.

On July 11, staff from Whistler and Blackcomb mountains will face off in the first of a series of Boneyard Wars competitions using materials from the Whistler-Blackcomb boneyards and the Carney landfill. Their first assignment is to see who can build the best cantaloupe launcher.

"There is so much in the Boneyards and in the landfill that could be reused or recycled," said Allana Hamm, the environmental co-ordinator of Whistler-Blackcomb. "The event is designed to get people to stop and reconsider what they’re throwing away. It’s also a way to allow our staff to showcase their skills and creativity in a fun way."

Blackcomb will be represented by "Team Fubliant," and Whistler by "Team 604." On July 4 the teams were given the assignment, after which point they will have until July 11 to design and build their launcher.

Using materials they find in their boneyards and in the landfill, they will construct mechanical devices that can propel a ripe cantaloupe uphill towards a target. To win a team’s device must not be of a traditional slingshot design, it must fit into and meet the legal load limit for a pick-up truck, and the cantaloupe must remain intact until it hits the ground or the target.

The devices will be put on display at the base of Whistler Mountain by 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11. There will be a free party that evening at the Garibaldi Lift Company with door prizes and a great view of the action.

Over the summer, two more Boneyard Wars competitions will be held. The projects are top secret until the teams are given the challenges.

To add to the excitement, the Junkyard Wars television program has expressed interest in the competition, and there is a good chance that the winners will appear on the show.

In addition to the recycling angle, the event will also support the Arthritis Society Joints in Motion Program.


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