Deep Daze: Happy One Month Anniversary Glory Chair
NELSON, B.C. — One month after an opening that was highly anticipated by the North American ski industry, even by British Columbia’s famous snow standards, the launch of Whitewater Resort’s new Glory Ridge chair has lived up to great expectations.
Since skiers hopped aboard its maiden chair Friday, Dec. 24, Whitewater and the mountains enveloping Nelson B.C. have been thumped with over two metres (six-and-a-half feet) of snow.
As of Wednesday, Jan. 19, 149 centimetres, or nearly five feet of snow has blanketed the resort since the beginning of the month, some of it amongst the lightest and deepest storm snow a lot of locals can recall this decade.
Snow has fallen 14 out of 18 days.
When Whitewater Resort threw the switch on its first new chair in 17 years, the mountain marked a rare achievement by ski industry standards — literally doubling in size, with the addition of just one lift.
Rising 2,044 vertical-feet in 11 minutes, the new Glory Ridge Chair will at full build-out open 303 hectares (749 acres) of advanced and intermediate ski terrain, upping the resort’s skiable area to a formidable 533 hectares (1,317 acres).
The Glory Chair — which was purchased this summer and trucked all the way north from the storied slopes of Vail, Colorado — has opened eight new runs (five expert and three intermediate) and a sprawling, 180-degree mountain side of world-class glade and tree skiing.
“It’s awesome. I kinda hate that word,” laughed Whitewater General Manager Brian Cusack last month, “but, yeah, it’s awesome.”
Cusack says combined with the resort’s other two lifts, the Summit and Silver King doubles, Whitewater now offers Canada’s best lift serviced deep-powder skiing.
“Everybody’s just stoked,” says Whitewater Marketing and Operations VP Anne Pigeon.
The effort to install the giant lift was extraordinary.
Spurred by the enthusiasm of the resort’s new Calgary-based owners, longtime Whitewater skiers Dean Prodan, Andrew Kyle and Mitch Putnam of Knee Deep Developments, the Fernie-based Summit Lift Company was able to install the chair in record time.
“It took us roughly half the amount of time it would normally have taken for a chair this size,” says Summit owner Randy Gliege, a 25-year veteran in the lift installation business.
Gliege and his company, who installed lifts for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and were featured on National Geographic TV’s “World Toughest Fixes” last spring, hired one of BC’s biggest helicopters for the Whitewater project, to install the lift’s towers this past summer.
“Installing a lift is a huge undertaking,” says Pigeon. “The Summit crews operated in all sorts of horrendous weather and only shut down a few times, in deluging rains this summer and fall. You’ve got to be tough to be on those crews. The guys were phenomenal.”
An extraordinary effort, in an equally extraordinary place.
“There’s so much local energy,” says Pigeon. “It’s, well…awesome!”
Brian Cusask, Whitewater Ski Resort General Manager
1-250-354-4944 , firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Pigeon, Whitewater Ski Resort VP Operations of Marketing
1-250-354-4944 , (cell) 250-509-1402, email@example.com
........................................................................."Big resorts can be over priced and over rated. Whitewater is no frills and it more than delivers where it counts, the terrain and the snow....and the overall mountain vibe. Locals are cool, friendly and they shred!" BigBChilln