The Whistler Peak 2 Peak Gondola system is the first gondola system in the world to link two side-by-side mountains. It holds world records for the longest span between ropeway towers (3.03 kilometers) and the highest point above ground (436 metres). Opened in December 2008, this system moves skiers and tourists along from one peak to the other at a rate of 7.5 metres per second. The Glotman•Simpson team was responsible for the gondola platforms, masts and superstructure foundation.
The very uniqueness of this project provided Glotman•Simpson with a set of challenges that greatly differed from any other gondola project in the world. Most importantly, our team had to design sufficient anchorage for the gondola cables, which carried a horizontal tension load equivalent to the thrust of force of four 747 airline jets. The structural design relied on sophisticated engineering analysis and a complete understanding of the overall gondola system for the structural design solutions.
To create the concrete footings, platforms, masts and columns, 4,000 SF (5,200 cubic yards) of concrete was trucked in and helicoptered up to the mountain locations. The Whistler terminal, which houses the drive motors and backup engines in an underground vault, measures 26 metres wide by 42 metres long, and used 228 tonnes of steel, while the Blackcomb terminal measures 26 metres wide by 48 metres long and used 279 tonnes of steel. Each terminal has a cabin parking area for when the system is not in use (Whistler = 13 and Blackcomb = 15).