Alta states 

The next piece in the W/B puzzle: Cheakamus Rising

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You cannot step twice into the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.”

The ancient Greeks seemed to understand cause and effect much better than we do. Indeed, long before Plato sat at the feet of Socrates — centuries even before Athens became the centre of the Hellenic universe — these early thinkers clearly understood the fundamental inter-connectedness of things. For them it was obvious: no matter how hard we humans try to control our surroundings, we can’t just change one thing. Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences. Or call it karma. Whatever. But we moderns still struggle with that concept...

Consider today’s mountain tourism business. Heck, you might set out to build a new on-mountain lift to solve one problem and realize that it has created a whole set of other problems in its turn. But then you could discover a new world of opportunities too. You just never know.

That’s why I thought I’d drop Hugh Smythe a quick note about W/B’s latest mechanical mountain toy. It’s all about unintended consequences. Read on. Who knows? It could make for fun New Year’s Eve chitchat.


Dear Hugh:

Season’s Greetings! I’m sure you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me of late. But then I know you understand. What with all the hullabaloo surrounding the opening of the Treeline Gondola (sorry, I just can’t get my head around the ‘p2p’ moniker), I figured you were getting all the positive reinforcement you needed for pulling off such a bold move.

And what a vintage Smythe move that was. Forget Fortress. Forget the current leadership at Intrawest. This was all you. What a fitting 21 st century sequel to the story of the guy who defied his Aspen bosses 23 years ago and stole a lift from Fortress Mountain to give Blackcomb the crucial alpine edge it needed to survive. You know Hugh, I’ve always believed that Whistler’s modern era was born on the day you launched the 7th Heaven T-Bar…

I know. I know. I was highly critical of your decision to build the Treeline Gondola. Didn’t believe Whistler needed it frankly. More importantly, I really didn’t believe Whistler could afford it. Still don’t. I mean, I get a real buzz from riding in my buddy’s Ferrari — love all the shiny buttons and beautiful paint job and hand-tooled leather seats and that great road-hugging feel as we go spinning through the countryside — but I also know I’ll never own one myself. Why? Because it’s not within my means.

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