Big White has a new chairlift, one that will move four people up the mountain at a fleet 5.2 feet per second.
Dubbed the Powder 2.0 Quad Chair, the lift, with its 137 chairs, began operating Friday morning. The first 50 guests in line received limited edition Big White souvenir pins. All told, the chairlift will accomdate 2,400 passengers per hour. According to Big White, that’s 600 more than its predecessor.
“Exams can wait,” Marcos Aviña said in a press release. Aviña, a Kelowna-based student, was one of 12 people to win a ride up on one of the first chairs and get first tracks. He and three friends nabbed the second chair up and took Corkscrew, a blue run, back down to the base of the chair.
“It was so nice; untouched. A beautiful day. We have so much energy!”
Big White director and vice president of outdoor operations, Jeremy Hopkinson says the alignment of the old Powder Chair was always good, but it needed a slight tweak.
“It had an unfortunate unload spot. Skiers had to climb a hill to get to the west side of the mountain,” said Hopkinson, who has worked at Big White for 44 years. Another awkward part was that the lift line didn’t have ski-under clearance, meaning it could never be a legitimate run. “The lift line, at the time the old chair was put in, was almost the best fall line off the Powder Chair.”
The old Powder Chair, which would have turned 40 in 2019, has found a new home at another ski resort in B.C.