22 Whistlerites chosen for first Peak 2 Peak ride 

In December 1996 Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb were linked financially. At 11 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2008 they will be linked physically, as the first official Peak 2 Peak gondola cabin makes its way from Blackcomb to Whistler.

Twenty-two people have been chosen to make that first official ride, through a nomination contest Whistler-Blackcomb held.

“We had an extremely difficult time narrowing this down to just one cabin’s worth of winners,” Dave Brownlie, Whistler-Blackcomb’s president and chief operating officer, said.

“Every nomination was filled with anecdotes of citizens whose lives revolve around their love of Whistler and Whistler-Blackcomb, who have been dedicated to the ongoing success of the resort through its growth over the years, and who have demonstrated an enduring passion for the mountains. We were moved and inspired by all of the stories and want to thank everyone who submitted a nomination for sharing with us.”

The 22 people who will ride in the first cabin are:

Andy and Florence Petersen; Dave Kirk; George, Gordy and Ryder Huxtable; Harvey Fellows; Howard and Lillian Goldsmid; Isobel and Don MacLaurin; Jessica (Pika) Turner (Hare); John Hetherington; Logan and Dalton Pehota; Lorne Mcfadgen; Lulu Leathley; Owen Owens; Peter and Trudy Alder; Phil Chew; Ray Crompton. Their full stories can be found at www.whislerblackcomb.com/gondola.

Whistler-Blackcomb launched the Ride of Their Life contest after a letter to the editor in the Sept. 4 issue of Pique Newsmagazine suggested George Huxtable was most deserving of the first Peak 2 Peak crossing. Huxtable, who is about to celebrate his 90 th birthday, is a faithful Roundhouse visitor and ambassador for Whistler Mountain.

The contest invited nominations of people who best demonstrated Whistler and Blackcomb mountain spirit. A total of 270 nominations were received for 146 nominees.

The 22 people chosen include long-time Whistler skiers and the children of long-time Whistlerites. Some have overcome disabilities or long odds to be Whistler residents. All have contributed to the development, cultural or spiritual makeup of Whistler and have shown a true love of the mountains.

The Peak 2 Peak gondola will break several world records when it opens Dec. 12. The official opening ceremonies will get underway at 10:30 a.m. on Whistler Mountain in the Peak 2 Peak gondola terminal. Screens inside the terminal will allow Blackcomb guests to participate. A giant LED screen on Whistler Mountain will show the whole ceremony. The ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. with the launch of the first cabin from Blackcomb.

An open house will be held in the Roundhouse Lodge between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 12-14. Apres celebrations will be held after 3 p.m. Dec. 12, in Merlin’s Dusty’s and the Garibaldi Lift Company.

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