Lift construction crew and management at Fernie Alpine Resort have set a date of January 14 as the deadline to open the new lift.
With the lift in place, and tower testing complete, Polar Peak just needs load testing and to be signed off before it can carry guests.
Matt Mosteller from Fernie Alpine Resort said they had wanted to have the lift running before Christmas, but time ran out.
“The crew gave it all they could to try and get Polar Peak running but ran out of time as the Holidays closed in,” he said.
“So the plan is now to have Polar Peak operational for sure by January 14 as we will still need to get a full load test and final review and approval by the Lift Inspector. “Plan to ski the Peak on January 14.”
The new fixed grip triple chair will help Fernie Alpine Resort guests access 20 new runs, including an intermediate run called Polar Circus.
Matt Mosteller from Fernie Alpine Resort said guests will also be able to experience incredible views.
“We cant wait to share the amazing views – from Montana to further up the Canadian Rockies into Kananaskis,” he said.
The resort will boast the biggest vertical in the Canadian Rockies when the new lift opens.
“The lift adds an above tree-line bowl skiing experience with over 22 new runs and the incredible experience of skiing off the summit of one of the highest peaks in the Lizard Range, Polar Peak,” said Mosteller.
“Fernie is regularly laden with the deepest snow in the Canadian Rockies and this past winter was no exception with a near record snowfall of over 37 feet!”
The ride time for the lift will be about five minutes.
In addition to the increased terrain, increased vertical and summit experience is the significant enhancement to the resort’s snow control efforts. The Polar Peak lift provides quick access to the various ridgelines above the major alpine bowls. This is good news for resort guests – the quicker access for ski patrol will speed up efforts to open up terrain following big dumps.
Construction of the new Polar Peak lift began as soon as the snow was cleared in the summer.
It is the only major new lift installation in the B.C. Rockies for this winter and one of a few new lift installations in North America. It is believed that it is the only new lift installation going to the mountain top this winter.