Spring skiing is underway, which brings operational changes, too – and we didn’t do a great job of explaining exactly why certain things are happening as we made this shift yesterday. Additionally, we should have been more out front with you about what to expect on Blackcomb for these final weeks of spring, and we apologize. With that in mind, we want to share a bit more, as this transition to spring can be complex and has a lot of moving parts.
Mountain closures happen annually in mid-April for a variety of reasons. This year, Whistler Mountain was closed to prepare for the opening of Whistler Mountain Bike Park in May, as well as for summer sightseeing and next winter’s operations (we start that work as soon as we can). As such, skiing + riding has shifted to Blackcomb Mountain for the spring. Around this time, we also need to take care of a variety of maintenance needs and prep work on both mountains ahead of summer kicking off. This year, it includes necessary preventative lift maintenance on Blackcomb Gondola, which is required by Technical Safety BC and additionally by our lift manufacturer. It’s also an essential component of our commitment to safety, as we need to complete load testing, extensive station work, and tower work (mechanical + electrical). This all must be done within the spring timeframe, which makes it a bit tricky as we continue to operate through May. To ensure we are in compliance and maintain safety as our top priority, we have closed Blackcomb Gondola during the week (Monday-Friday) through our final month of spring operations. However, it will be open Saturday-Sunday until our planned closing day of Monday, May 22 – it will also spin on closing day (Victoria Day holiday). We feel confident that we can manage appropriately during the week, but we definitely had a miss yesterday, complicated by the spring storm.
We are glad to share that Glacier Express will spin daily this spring, through May 22. This means during the week (Monday-Friday), in addition to Excalibur Gondola, you can expect Excellerator, Jersey Cream, Catskinner, 7th Heaven, and Crystal to all spin; Blackcomb Gondola will join this line up on Saturdays and Sundays, as noted above. You can always see exactly what is spinning on our Lifts & Terrain Status Page, and please check our Mountain Operations Twitter feed for real-time updates on spring skiing.
As a reminder on parking, with construction underway to upgrade Fitzsimmons Express, Lot 8 is closed as it is a staging area for construction related work and equipment. Lots 1-7 will remain open.
We will also have ongoing maintenance and safety work ongoing throughout spring and summer – our resort is extremely large (the biggest in North America!) and we have a lot of lifts to care for – safety is critical, and with a significant summer operation here, we need to ensure everything is good to go for you, especially as some of our lifts have very little down time because of our nearly year-round operational schedule. This work can be time consuming, but is important. We appreciate your patience and support, including through the construction process with Fitz this summer.
We remain committed to ongoing communication about what to expect while you’re at our resort – especially as you enjoy the last weeks of the season, skiing well into May. Spring has for sure sprung in Whistler, and we have so much happening as we get ready for our bike park opening, launch summer activities, upgrade Fitz, conduct necessary maintenance across our mountains, and (importantly!) take our final turns of the 2022/23 ski + ride season.
We hope you join us this spring, and we appreciate your passion and feedback.
– Doug Pierini, Interim COO & Doug Macfarlane, VP of Mountain Operations