Whistler Blackcomb confirms two new lifts 

$18 million expansion includes Crystal Zone, Harmony

click to enlarge PAUL MORRISON

Whistler Blackcomb confirmed on Friday, Jan. 18 that they will be building a new six-seat detachable chairlift to replace the existing Harmony Express chair, while the high-speed quad Harmony Express chair will be moved over to the Crystal Zone on Blackcomb.

The chairlift plans have been discussed in past master plans with no schedule for construction until now.

"This lift expansion clearly demonstrates our commitment to continuously enhance the skiing and riding experience on both mountains," said Dave Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. "Each zone the new lift 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."

Construction is expected to start this spring and be complete by the start of the 2013-14 season.

The new Crystal chair will also result in the creation of new runs with the lift line heading lower down the mountain to an area below the Blackcomb Glacier Road. The chair will be 1,708 metres in length with a vertical rise of 535 metres and an hourly carrying capacity of 2,400 skiers per hour.

The Harmony Six will keep the same staging areas, but will boost capacity from 2,400 skiers per hour to 3,600. It's the first six-seater for Whistler Blackcomb. It will be 1,729 metres in length with a vertical rise of 525 metres.

NOTE: In the previous version of the story we suggested that a new chair would be built in the Crystal Zone when that is not the case.

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