So here’s how I got the “Local Scoop” on Whistler Blackcomb’s two new lifts. Just as I sat down to write this blog, my roommate Larissa asked, “Whatcha writing about?” I told her, and she beamed with excitement. “I can’t wait for them to open! Especially the new Crystal Ridge Express, I love riding the Crystal Zone on powder days.” “Go on, tell me more!” I encouraged her.
Larissa, an Ontarion turned Whistlerite, has had the opportunity to discover the best areas on the mountains over the past four years. To see a true Whistler local get so excited about the new chair lifts means they’ve got to be good! She told me the new chair lifts, gives skiers and snowboarders faster access and more freedom to ride the runs they love the most. She pulled up the Whistler Blackcomb Interactive Trail Map, and pointed out the previous extensive route to ski and ride the Crystal Zone. And what a trek it is!
Larissa explained, “You had to go up Excelerator Express, cut down and across to the bottom of Crystal chair and then go up the notoriously slow three person Crystal Chair.” Riding runs like Outer Limits, Fraggle Rock, Ridge Runner and Rock ‘N’ Roll, makes the far-reaching trek worth it, but these runs are met by the never ending Blackcomb Glacier Road (a necessary route to get back to Excelerator Express). This long route and slow chair often deterred tourists from this area on the mountain, but attracted locals because of its unique terrain, secret spots, and epic powder runs.
The introduction of the New Harmony 6 high-speed, six-pack chairlift and Crystal Ridge Express high-speed quad chairlift will bring shorter wait times, letting pass holders enjoy even more skiing and riding. “These zones are true local favourites, and to have access to a greater volume of the runs I enjoy is going to make for a better season,” said Larissa. The Harmony 6 alone will increase chair lift capacity by 50% of the previous quad chair, from 2,400 to 3,600 skiers and boarders per hour.
The official opening day for the new lifts will be on December 7, 2013, with celebration ceremonies to be held at the base of both lifts. Crystal Ridge Express Opening is at 10AM and Harmony Six Express Opening is at 11:30AM. So get out there, and explore all that Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain have to offer!
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