Battle of the Build: Peak 2 Peak Safety News


Opening day is getting closer and closer and the sight of cables strung across the valley is leading skiers and riders to dream about their momentous first ride across. Obviously, with a journey across a valley that breaks several world records, safety is the first thing on Whistler Blackcomb’s, and our guests’, minds.

Doppelmayr’s lift fabrication, safety redundancies and secondary systems are designed for increased operating reliability. Major elements include:

* Back-up Power: A diesel engine is installed and will take over in the case of primary engine failure or if there is a power outage.

* Redundant Bearing System: Both bull wheels have emergency bearings to stop the gondola if there is a primary bearing system failure.

* Acoustic Sensors: SPM acoustic sensors monitor bearings on top and bottom bull wheels to recognize potential failures before it happens, further reducing the possibility of a bearing system failure.

* Redundant Tire Conveyors: Two lines for accelerator and decelerator connected to crank-shafts, plus two independent electrical motors supplemented by an emergency power generator are located in each station in the event of an electrical failure.

The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will also be the most wind tolerant lift at Whistler Blackcomb, able to run in winds up to 80km/hr. The 3S Gondola ensures stability since it travels along two track ropes while being pulled by a third haul rope. Testing at other Doppelmayr 3S installations have measured sustained winds at 100km/hour with no decrease in performance.

Last January, in Whistler Blackcomb’s stormiest month, the Peak elevation at 2,182m/7,160ft only saw two days where winds exceeded 80kms/hour. Comparatively, at the mid-mountain elevation of 1,660m/5,450ft, wind surpassed 50km/hour only six times during the month. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is located at 1,850m/6,069ft, an elevation that is less affected by the heavy winds that can occur in the high alpine.

The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will play a key role in transporting guests to open terrain on both mountains when alpine lifts are closed due to stormy weather.

Keep checking SkiNet each week for the latest news , pictures , and videos from Whistler Blackcomb’s new Peak 2 Peak gondola, slated to open in December 2008