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Whistler Travel Guide

Whistler History

Blackcomb Mountain opened in 1980, under the ownership of the Aspen Skiing Company with four triple chairlifts (the Cruiser, Stoker, Catskinner and Fitzsimmons lifts), supplied by Lift Engineering. The mountain was not initially appreciated. Indeed, the mountain was considered “new kid on the block” into the early 1990s.

Even so, the mountain began quick development, beginning with the development of the Blackcomb Benchlands with homes. In 1984, the Jersey Cream lift opened, expanding the mountain down into Glacier Creek and adding more terrain.

Things really began to pick up in 1986 when the mountain was bought by newly-formed Intrawest Corp, which resulted in the addition of the 7th Heaven T-bar, making Blackcomb North America’s first, and so far only, mountain with a skiable height change of one mile (1600 m).

The next year, in 1987, the first high-speed chairlifts at Whistler opened. The Wizard, Solar Coaster, and 7th Heaven quad lifts cut the lift ride time from base to alpine from 45 minutes to 15. The Rendezvous lodge at the top of the Solar Coaster opened, as well as two T-bars on Hoarstman Glacier, allowing for summer skiing.

In 1989, the Jersey Cream lift was replaced with a high-speed quad. In 1992, the Glacier Express opened, which runs from the bottom of Glacier Creek to the Horstman Glacier. In 1994, Blackcomb made its last major expansion to date, the replacement of the Stoker, Cruiser, and Fitzsimmons lifts with the high-speed Excelerator Quad Chair and Excalibur Gondola.

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