Whistler Area News Updates
Canadian bobsleigh hero takes first test runs at The Whistler Sliding Centre
Pierre Lueders, four-time Olympian and the most decorated slider in Canadian history, and brakeman Justin Kripps participated in the christening of The Whistler Sliding Centre track on the afternoon of December 19, 2007, making some of the first runs at the new venue.
“What a rush… and what a privilege to be the first ones down the newest Canadian sliding track,” said Lueders. “I’ve driven every track in the world and each one has its own personality. The Whistler track was challenging and will unquestionably test the skills of the world’s best sliding athletes.” Lueders and Kripps, who is new to Lueders’ crew this year, have their sights set on gold for the 2010 Games.
Peak to Peak Gondola Updates
Construction is well underway on one of Whistler Blackcomb's landmark projects and Canada's newest tourism icon, the Peak to Peak Gondola. This autumn, Peak to Peak crews expect to complete concrete pours at the terminal sites located at Blackcomb Mountain's Rendezvous Lodge and Whistler Mountain's Roundhouse Lodge. They also expect to have towers Two and Three erected before the 2007/2008 winter season. Construction will resume in April 2008 and is scheduled to wrap up in time for a December 2008 grand opening.
"This exciting project is such a huge undertaking and one of the largest of its kind in the world," says Rick Temple, Peak to Peak Gondola project manager for Whistler Blackcomb. "The Peak to Peak Gondola project is just an entirely new horizon for Whistler Blackcomb and it's going to spark all kinds of opportunities and growth for tourism in the region."
Once completed, the gondola will become a tourism icon for British Columbia and Canada, bringing visitors from all over the world into the high alpine to experience scenic views. Supported by only four towers, the gondola will travel 4.4 kilometers (2.73 miles) in just 11 minutes ñ reaching a highest vertical point of 415 m (1,361 feet) above Fitzsimmons Creek, which is a world record. Coming in at $51 million, the Peak to Peak Gondola also breaks the world record for longest free span, with a distance of 3.024 kilometres (1.88 miles) stretching between the two towers furthest apart.