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Construction on Grouse Mountain’s new gondola begins today

New lift system to replace aging Blue Skyride includes 13 towers and 27 8-passenger gondola cabins

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A lot has changed since the first intrepid skiers hauled their gear up Grouse Mountain on foot.

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And more changes are underway as the four-season resort approaches its centenary in 2026. Today you can see the first stages of the new gondola to replace the aging Blue Skyride. cabin.

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It is scheduled to be operational by spring 2024.

“The Blue Skyride was built in 1967 and is nearing the end of its life,” said Kirsten Heal, Grouse Guest Services Manager.

In fact, the blue lift was only used for the last two years to carry supplies and staff to the summit.

“We haven’t used it in public, so it’s actually lost a bit of capacity over the last few years,” says Heal. “And what Gondola can do is bring us back to these capacity levels so that we can move up and down with no wait time, providing a much better guest experience.”

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Kirsten Heal, Guest Services Manager at Grouse Mountain Resort said:
Kirsten Heal, Guest Services Manager at Grouse Mountain Resort said: Photo by Madeleine Twomey /jpg

Unlike the two-car tramway Red Skyride, the new lift operates in a continuous loop, but starts at the red ride’s western base, crosses under it, and ends at the eastern crest. chalet.

According to the book Tramway Titan, in 1949, Grouse Mountain Resort was one of the first ski areas in the world to build a double chairlift. That’s 45 years after he became the first hiker to reach his 1,200-meter peak.

It’s hard to imagine today. There was no bridge across Burrard Cove, no road to the base. It took hikers three or four days to scramble through a dense pile of snow, rocks, and trees. They hunted sooty grouse for nutrition, hence the name of the mountain.

The first lodges were built by Scandinavians in the 1920s to bring supplies to what is now the Grind. The Thai E Ski Club was founded in 1929 and today is Canada’s longest running ski club. By the mid-1930s, the mountain had its first rope tows and hosted ski races.

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“Growth has a really rich history, starting in the early 1900s when an entire village had people,” says Heal, who has worked on the mountain for 35 years, more than a third of the resort’s history. said. “People lived here on site. That was kind of the beginning of Grouse’s history.

“They climbed on foot so they could ski in the snow, but eventually village chairs were set up.”

An early Grouse Mountain Chairlift lift.
An early Grouse Mountain Chairlift lift. Photo credit: Grouse Mountain Resort /jpg

This paved the way for the Blue Skyride, built by Voestalpine, to enter service in December 1966, followed by the Red Skyride, built by Garaventa in 1976 and accommodating about 100 passengers. At the summit he has four lifts, catering to the mountain’s 33 ski trails.

“This is continuous progress,” says Heal. “That being said, this is the biggest investment we have made on the transportation side in years and will really help transform the business for the next 100 years.”

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The mountain has made cameo appearances in The X-Files, Arrow, MacGyver, Nelly Furtado’s video (Spirit Indestructible), and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love.

Heal said attendance is returning to pre-COVID-19 levels of 1.3 million annual visitors.

Grouse's Red Skyride with Burrard Inlet and the Vancouver skyline in the background.
Grouse’s Red Skyride with Burrard Inlet and the Vancouver skyline in the background. Photo credit: Grouse Mountain Resort /jpg

Having personally experienced much of the resort’s history, her favorite part is seeing the joy on the faces of visitors.

“What we offer our guests, whether they are locals or visitors from the other side of the world, is that we truly understand what we value as locals. I think that’s it.

“The ocean, the mountains, the fresh air, and even the activities we offer are all part of beautiful British Columbia.”

gordmcintyre@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordmcintyre

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Construction on Grouse Mountain’s new gondola begins today

Source link Construction on Grouse Mountain’s new gondola begins today

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