December 12, 2008 Features & Images » Feature Story

A feat of engineering 

The Peak 2 Peak sets records, challenges science

click to enlarge 1550peak.jpg

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“I don’t think that there’s anything close to this as far as an industry story for the ski business, and it’s a remarkable piece,” he said. “It’s not a regular lift, it’s one-of-a-kind in North America, and there are only three other lifts out there using this technology — and this is the biggest of them all. There are a number of vantage points that are attracting people to this story, and there has been a huge uptake and demand for stories about building it, installing the ropes… and then getting the lift to run.

“There’s no question that this is a challenging time, the world is in chaos financially and people are definitely changing their patterns… But we know that skiers still want to go skiing. They may change their patterns a little and not stay as long or ski as much when they get here, but history shows that people will still attend to their needs of skiing and sliding. And we think that if they’re going to do that, then it helps to have a story like this that cuts through the clutter.

“If people are making a decision, go here or go there, we believe this is going to be the tiebreaker. We’re fortunate to have the Olympics and two good reasons for people to visit. We couldn’t be better positioned in this time with products that are special and unique.”

The Peak 2 Peak will also be the gift that keeps giving as more and more media come to Whistler before, during and after the 2010 Games. The Discovery Channel, for example, is doing an hour-long feature on the gondola that will air in the first quarter of 2009.

But for all that the Peak 2 Peak brings to the table, one of the biggest attractions for a lot of riders will be the engineering that went into this lift. Even if you don’t care about the physics, the engineering, the kinetic strength of cables, the amount of horsepower required, it’s guaranteed that these things will at least be on your mind the first time you pass that second tower and start crossing the Fitzsimmons Creek watershed at a height of more than twice the tallest building in Vancouver.

The nuts and bolts of Peak 2 Peak

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