This offseason will see another Epic Lift Upgrade for Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia.
The Fitzsimmons Express, which was a high-speed quad, is being replaced by a Doppelmayr detachable high-speed eight-pack chairlift. Whew, that was a mouthful. Doppelmayr is supplying and building the chairlift. During ski season, the uphill capacity will increase capacity by 73% compared to its predecessor in the winter, and will also allow five riders and five bikes to be on one chair, which is an impressive haul. The other originally planned chairlift replacement for this offseason, the Jersey Cream Express, has been delayed and is scheduled to open during the 2024-25 season.
Yesterday, Whistler Blackcomb provided the latest blog update on the Fitzsimmons project. July 1st marked the halfway point for the project, with many major parts of the construction already being completed. The next steps include preparing and installing the lift towers, putting on the haul rope (expected to happen in mid-September), and placing the new chairs on the lift line. The new Fitzsimmons Express is expected to open during the 2023-24 season.
Here’s what they’ve accomplished so far:
- “Construction teams are on target to complete all concrete work within the week.
- Pads for lift huts and genset (for power and backup electricity) are now complete.
- The top and bottom station enclosures are finished.
- Almost all tower footings have been excavated and formed with concrete poured (only towers 7 and 8 remain).
- Of the towers we have on hand, only 7 and 8 remain to be installed, which will be completed before Crankworx. Aside from this, we’re awaiting additional required new towers to arrive from Austria via Montreal. These will be installed when they arrive, just after Crankworx.
- Excavation work to make space for the larger lift structures is ongoing with 7,000 cubic meters of earth removed at the load station and 1,000 cubic meters at the drive station (with 1,500 cubic meters removed for the previous lift’s lower mast removal).”
I imagine many locals that ski at Park City Mountain Resort, which originally was scheduled to receive this new chairlift, are punching the air right now.