Most Vancouverites are pretty familiar with Whistler Blackcomb’s iconic PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola (located two hours north on the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway); as it has been serving hikers, skiers, and snowboarders for more than seven years now.
Originally completed on December 12, 2008; the groundbreaking project can transport an impressive 4,100 people per hour between the resort’s mountains while providing stunning views of the Fitzsimmons Valley below.
Here are five fascinating facts that you can impress your friends with the next time you take a ride on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola:
The PEAK 2 PEAK has broken three world records, two of which are recognised in the 2015 edition of the Guinness World Records Book. These are:
Inspired by the ski lifts in Switzerland, at its highest point the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola soars 5,280 vertical feet from the valley bottom, and has set the benchmark for mountain-top destinations across the globe.
This project represents a huge step in Whistler Blackcomb’s dedication to achieving a net zero footprint within their operating area. The Fitzsimmons Creek Renewable Energy Project produces 33.5 gigawatt hours of hydro electricity per year – that’s enough to power both the winter and summer operations of the resort including its 37 lifts, 17 restaurants, 270 snowguns and countless other buildings and services.
The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola allows visitors a bird’s-eye view of this revolutionary project, and the magnificent Fitzsimmons Creek that makes it all possible. For more spectacular views of the Fitzsimmons Valley and of Whistler Blackcomb, check out #360ofWB on Facebook or Instagram.
As a launching point for some of the best high alpine hiking in Canada, and the most skiable terrain in North America; the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola has been a major attraction for those who want to escape into nature for the day. With more than 50 kilometres of hiking trails, and over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain to explore across two mountains, there’s something for everyone to do no matter what the season.
The collection of Canadian Signature Experiences showcases once-in-a-lifetime, authentic travel experiences that exemplify and promote Canadian culture. Since its opening in 2008, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola has helped Whistler Blackcomb draw more than 2,000,000 visits – making it one of the biggest tourist attractions in Canada.
Peak 2 Peak Gondola World Records: Longest unsupported span in the world: 3.024 km/1.88 miles Highest lift of its kind in the world: 436 m/1,427 ft above the valley floor World’s longest continuous lift system Could not have done it without Swiss technology. Whistler-Blackcomb broke ground for the Peak 2 Peak Gondola in a ceremony on May 21, 2007. The Doppelmayr Garaventa Group would supply the gondola itself and Timberline Construction was the general contractor and Glotman Simpson were the Consulting Engineers. Fatzer AG of Switzerland would make the four track cables and one haul rope that would carry the gondolas across the valley while CWA, also of Switzerland, would build the 28 gondola cabins. To the right you can see 7th Heaven on Blackcomb.
In 2013, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola was named the number one landmark in Canada according to TripAdvisor. Chosen by reviewers all over the world, the PEAK 2 PEAK is a must-do if you’re looking for a high-quality travel experience.
While the PEAK 2 PEAK glides over the Fitzsimmons Valley you’ll get the opportunity to see black bears in their natural habitat along the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains; as well as breathtaking views of the Coast Mountain Range’s many glaciers and peaks, alpine meadows, gem-like lakes, and Whistler Village itself.
For more information on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com.