“I’m not a hiker so it’s a pretty challenging ascent, but I make my way up and I get to the base of the tower at the top of Blackcomb Mountain at about four in the morning and I’m absolutely knackered, I’m exhausted. The sun is just creeping up over the mountains at this point in time, it’s an incredible view like nothing I’ve ever seen before in my entire life and I start climbing up these ladders with no safety equipment, no harness, no ropes, nothing.”- Chase TO
Label this into the stupid idea column: Climbing the incredibly dangerous Peak 2 Peak Gondola for a sunrise Youtube video. In order to avoid the security that he would face during the daytime, Chase TO hiked to the tower in the middle of the night, giving him a view of the trail or various animals that could harm him, like bears. To “scare” them off, he claps and sings, which seems like it could backfire as well. He fell only once on the hike, leading to a cut. On the actual climb, he makes no mistakes, leading to some admittedly sick drone shots.
I get why some tower climbers do it: it attracts views and it can be a great money maker on YouTube if you can rack up a large following. But Chase has neither of those. He has under four hundred subscribers, and the viewership of the video prior to this posting was over one thousand. That’s not going to help when you’re being ambushed by legal fees.
Disclaimer: We are in no way endorsing this behavior. This is an extremely stupid idea, and he could very well have ended up dead with one little slip.
Along with the other various reasons why this was a terrible idea, trespassing and vandalism have been a serious issue for British Columbian lifts. The Sea-To-Sky Gondola has been vandalized twice in recent years, leading to it being closed multiple times. Acts like this will only lead to more individuals trying to mess with the area’s famous lifts.
Unsurprisingly, Vail Resorts, the owner and operator of Whistler Blackcomb, is not pleased about this reckless instance of trespassing. I’m personally not a fan of Vail Resorts, but they have every right to be frustrated in this circumstance. According to Pique NewsMagazine, Here is their official statement of the matter:
“Whistler Blackcomb strongly condemns the reckless actions of an individual who scaled a Peak 2 Peak Gondola tower in the early morning of July 19. The individual trespassed on Whistler Blackcomb’s tenure, bypassed a locked gate, and illegally climbed the tower for the purpose of filming himself. This action put him at extreme risk, as well as had the potential to damage Whistler Blackcomb’s property. We are thankful that this individual did not harm himself during this stunt, but, have referred the matter to the RCMP[Royal Canadian Mounted Police].”
No word on if Vail will pursue any further legal action against Chase TO, but based on how public it has become, it is certainly possible. In the meantime, Chase is back to climbing even more dangerous towers in Vancouver.
Image Credits: ChaseTO