Even with riders now ripping down nearby bike park trails, work is well underway on the Fitzsimmons Express lift replacement at the base of Whistler Mountain this spring.
As Whistler Blackcomb shared in a social media update Monday afternoon, construction crews have been busy checking items off the long list of tasks needed to install a brand-new chairlift since the previous four-person lift was demolished in March.
Monday's post includes a video showing workers pouring a concrete slab that, once complete, will accommodate the lift's main "loading conveyor drive mechanism." They've also completed concrete work on the "upper walls" that loading conveyer carpet will sit on.
When the new Fitz chair opens for business, the conveyor carpet will function to "seamlessly move guests forward in a line to the load point, helping to organize skiers and riders efficiently for an 8-person lift," Whistler Blackcomb explained.
The resort also shared it is expecting to see "significant concrete volume pours" begin at the site as soon as this Wednesday. Crews aim to have the site ready for lift manufacturer Doppelmayr to start installing steel in the base terminal by Thursday, June 1, the post added.
Whistler Blackcomb also reminds locals and visitors to stay aware of construction operations in the area as work continues. Beginning this week, large rock trucks that have been frequenting the construction zone will reduce their travel, the post explained. However, "There may still also be concrete trucks in the area. Please be aware that they cannot stop on a steep incline. Safety continues to be our top priority and we ask that you continue to be mindful, obey all signage and stay clear of construction zones and personnel."
As Whistler Blackcomb's vice-president of mountain operations Doug Macfarlane told Pique last month, the resort hopes to finish work on the Fitz lift's bottom terminal by Canada Day. That time-frame would allow for minimal disruptions on Crankworx events when the festival rolls into town from July 21 to 30, he said.
Check out the progress below.