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Photos: Whistler Blackcomb offers behind-the-scenes look at gondola work

Mountain operator making progress on springtime maintenance

Whistler Blackcomb is making progress on its much-discussed Blackcomb Gondola maintenance, according to an update posted to social media.

In the update, the mountain operator shared a behind-the-scenes look at the work taking place.

"From an electrical standpoint, our teams are checking and confirming the integrity of every switch, wire, and connection on all 42 towers—essential components designed to monitor safe operations. We’re making steady progress, with the lower line towers now complete as of this week," the post read.

The mechanical side of things is more involved, the post explained, and crews are focused on greasing axles, inspecting tower gears for wear, and changing out worn components.

"Crews must transit between towers via a specialized work carrier ... which has a maximum weight load that only permits three workers and their equipment at a time," the post said. "Given this, we’ve had logistical challenges to overcome when inspecting and swapping out these pieces. All totalled, the bearings, hub, liner, side plates, and snap rings of almost 700 sheaves (the wheels on each tower) must be inspected."

WB commended the "extremely experienced and dedicated" members of its lift maintenance team, adding that delivering safe lift technology is a big part of on-mountain operations.

"They’re also active and passionate members of our community who take great pride in their work. We want to share a big thank you to all of them for everything they do!" the post read.

Opened in 2018, Blackcomb Gondola is connected by 42 towers. The lower and upper parts of the lift span 7,600 metres round trip, with 1,200 m of vertical rise.

"It’s a complex piece of equipment with a ton of components to check and service throughout the year to ensure everything is in pristine condition—incredibly important to support the 3,000+ hours it operates annually!" Whistler Blackcomb said.

Locals and guests to the resort were outraged in late April to learn that the Blackcomb Gondola would not be spinning during the spring skiing season this year. In response to the backlash, Whistler Blackcomb apologized for its lack of communication on the matter. In recent weeks, WB has posted regular updates on everything from lift operations and safety to maintenance work.