Tag Archives: chairlifts

This Week In Photos: August 9

1978

The ski jump emerges from the forest onto Lost Lake.

Paul Burrows carries a couple cases inside Whistler’s liquor store.

Okanagan Helicopters help with the construction of the Little Red Chair on Whistler Mountain.

Sailing on Alta Lake, a popular summer pastime.

1979

The parade travels through Squamish during the Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival.

Ian Moratti gets stuck into the log in the open chop.

Mike Carney (left) and his father Owen on the birling log.

The cabin built on the shores of Daisy Lake for the movie set of Strange Companions.

The 13-unit, concrete finish condominium block to be built by MacArthur for Riverina Developments at #8 Bayshores.

The Bow Helicopter Aloutte Machine after the crash.

Pemberton Information Booth, in front of the Pemberton District Library.

1980

The doors of the former Filling Station Restaurant will open again – under a new name and management. No one is saying just what the new restaurant will be like at its location next to the Whistler Creek Lodge.

Summer skiers hike up to ski down the Horstman Glacier.

A visitor to the Whistler/Pemberton area points out a feature of Nairn Falls, a scenic attraction only minutes from either town that many visitors miss.

Lost Lake south shore from two angles (see photo below) showing where a beach and picnic ground will be.

See caption above.

Swimming lessons are much more fun when you’re with a friend – and a competent instructor like this one. Lessons are on now at the Whistler Creek Lodge.

Some of the lakes on the golf course. Tees are constructed and greens are being worked on now.

1981

Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream… sunbathers enjoy some of the upgrading at the old Rotary Wharf access to Alta Lake. The Municipality has brought in tons of sand and moved the Rotary wharves to the beach at Lakeside Way.

Hummingbirds take flight around the owners of Whistler’s newest gift shop (l to r) Fran Carlberg, her son Greg and daughter Lisa Knight.

Athletic Society President Roland Kentel applies a coat of paint to the Society’s first project – bleachers for the ball field behind Myrtle Philip School.

Excitement abounds at the ‘boat races’ at L’Apres Beach Party on August 6.

Geisha with a Sony – one of Roger Hale’s satirical comments on new tech society.

The Mountain Inn takes shape – precast concrete wall forms are put in place on the eight storey building.

1982

Although it only lasted three days, the BCGEU strike at the local liquor store was viewed by some imbibers as near-fatal. But liquor store staff (l to r) Rod Harris, Ian Frew, Diane De Gusserne and Allyson Edwards still maintained they had a clause that refreshes.

Steel tower pipes for Blackcomb Mountain’s new lift No. 6 lie waiting for attention in Parking Lot C. Construction is right on schedule for the $1.6 million project to be completed by November.

Swimmers set off on a mile-long swim during the Molson’s Fun Swim, which started from Wayside Park on Sunday.

Paul Clarke and Karen Edwards assemble the first of the emerald green and white signs in the municipality’s new signage program.

1983

Not quite the last spike but David Lane of Vancouver gives it all he’s got as BCR crews work on gauging the tracks at the Green River crossing 10km north of Whistler.

One of the competitors vies for position in the triangular race.

Bill Hoosen (WMSC consultant) and David Zelmer (vice president of International Land Corp.) answered questions from the public on the Blueberry Trail Estates development and shared a proposed model at the public hearing August 8.

Kevin C. Griffin, newest staff member at The Question, limbers up his fingers for the flurry of reporting that awaits him. Griffin, a native of Vancouver, is a recent graduate of Langara’s accelerated journalism program and has a B.A. in political science from UBC.

Reporters attending Monday’s press conference announcing $138 million to improve Highway 99 seized upon the opportunity to poll the reaction of Mayor Mark Angus. Whistler’s mayor later commented that although he doesn’t like to bite the hand that feeds him, he does feel that highways dept. has taken too long with past construction projects, interfering with tourist traffic to the area.

1984

Bob Lawrence, Pemberton conservation officer, holds an injured young goshawk he recently rescued. The goshawk is considered uncommon to rare in North America, and is also found in Africa, Madagascar and parts of the southwest Pacific. Adults reach a size of up to 63 cm in length.

Two separate water main projects last Wednesday caused the water to most of the village, Alta Vista and Brio to shut off from 9 am to 3 pm. Workmen from Coastal Mountain Excavations installed a water main connector to service the soon-to-be-built waterslide while a crew from Kal Sprinklers laid a water main extension to the new Municipal Hall and Village North Lands. According to engineer Doug Wylie, the lack of water resulted from a combination of the two projects and Kal Sprinklers failing to open a valve. Usually, says Wylie, there are enough loops in the water system so that if one section of the water main is turned off, water can loop through other pipes to the affected areas.

Schultz Brandt, a familiar figure around town, held his seventh annual tea party Sunday. It’s not just an ordinary tea party, though Schultz’s tea collection contains 200 varieties including 82 black teas from all over the world. In addition to his marvellous collection of teas, Schultz has a smaller but equally comprehensive assortment of teapots.

Members of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club took a swing into Lost Lake during the balmy weather last Saturday. Although it seemed we had a lot of sun last month, CBC radio weatherman John Paschal says it’s quite normal for this time of year.

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This Week In Photos: June 28

1978

Power lines dip treacherously after Sunday’s strong winds knocked large pieces of deadwood onto the line.

The district track meet in Squamish got lucky with its weather.

Someone was practicing their glass breaking at the liquor store last week. RCMP are investigating.

A new BBQ ready to be installed at Alta Lake Wayside Park.

Sarah, Wendy and Sid try to decide what to do with that nosy photographer during a party Friday.

1980

Arnold Palmer chats with the crowd towards the close of the official ceremony at the Whistler Golf Course.

A chopper spins and dips above Whistler benchlands as the lowest lift of the three chair north face lift system is installed from top down.

Casey Simpson, Eric Bredt, Devin Turner, Rachel Roberts, Corinne Valleau & Stephanie Simpson head out for their sprint with Terry Alway & Alex Marshall officiating.

Phase II Parcel 16 takes shape with Whistler Chairlift N-14 rising through the trees on the left.

Heavy Duty flat deck pulls out the last of two trailers that served as council chambers before Town Centre road construction forced the move.

1981

With a landscaped area, seed for lawn and new curbing in, Sunshine Place takes on a new look. Paving will add a finishing touch and should be completed by the end of July.

Myrtle Philip looks on as Greg Beauregard receives the first ever Myrtle Philip Award. Mother Pat smiles proudly.

Not to be outdone by the Myrtle Philip staff who were in last week’s paper, the staff from Signal Hill Elementary School in Pemberton pose for The Question.

Contestants for the Miss Pemberton Contest look on as BC Minister of Highways, Alex Fraser, explains the provincial grant for Pemberton Airport.

Madeline Domries and her pal Curly Jones wait with great expectations for their fourth prize at Dog Days in the Village Square.

Dressed up at the Alta Lake Community Club Roaring Twenties Pot Luck Dinner, left to right: Max Maxwell, Kelly Maxwell, Diane Smith and Ken Domries.

Susan McCance will run Whistler’s new daycare program.

1982

A chopper heads out with a bucket of water to help squelch the recent forest fire in Cheakamus.

Jan Naylor displays some of the strawberries now ready for picking at the Naylor Berry Farm 3 km north of Pemberton.

Stubborn as a mule! In spite of the efforts of the ‘D’Arcy Prospectors’ this donkey refused to cross the BCR tracks during the Pemberton Parade in celebration of Canada week.

New stop signs often get ignored so the municipality placed reminders in front of this sign on the intersection of Rainbow, Matterhorn and Camino Drive.

Not even the rain stopped these kids from a practice paddle on Alta Lake for the Whistler Country Guides Kids Races. Bad weather postponed the races to Saturday, July 3 at 9:30 at Wayside Park.

1983

Long-time Whistler residents Paul Mathews and Margot Sutcliffe shared a smile on their wedding day Saturday, June 25 at Whistler. Over 150 guests joined the celebration at the Sundial Restaurant.

This house has found its new home on the streets of Whistler.

Round and round and round they danced in celebration of summer. Whistler’s first Midsummer Fest, June 25-26, caught the imagination of hundreds, whether they were Scandinavian or not.

Toni Sailer, six-time Olympic gold medalist, comes to Whistler from Austria every year to run the ski camp.

Dave Murray and Floyd Wilkie have a pre-session consultation at the base of the t-bar.

The Tapley’s Pub softball team poses for a group photo.

Ken Harrop of Singapore Airlines showed his staff and took to the air Saturday during the obstacle race – part one of the three-part Battle of the Travel Stars. Thirty-seven travel agents took part in the two-day fun-filled FAM tour of Whistler.

1984

Scandinavian dancers and musicians filled the village over the weekend for traditional Midsummer festivities. Saturday and Sunday afternoon dancers in garb of the old country whirled about Village Square to folk tunes.

Pemberton Mayor Shirley Henry officially opened the Pemberton Museum Saturday with help from West Vancouver-Howe Sound MLA John Reynolds and his wife Yvonne. Museum curator Margaret Fougberg says most of the collection, which features artifacts dating from the 1860s until the 1950s, was donated by townspeople. The museum building itself has a long history. It was built around 1895 and has been moved twice. It’s permanent location is on Prospect Street in Pemberton.

Whistler Mountains’ miniature golf course at the gondola opened last week and immediately attracted a steady following. The 18-hole course costs $2 a round for adults, $1 for children and is open all day.

Grade seven students went on a computer tour Friday, visiting municipal computers, Twin Peaks Property Management computers and the phototypesetting systems used by the Whistler Question. Pauline Wiebe, Question typesetter, shows students how the machine works.

This Week in Photos: February 22

1979

The crowds begin to arrive – the Olive Chair loading area on Thursday.

Blizzard! The scene looking down the Green Chair during the snowstorm on Tuesday.

The shed at Mons the day after firefighters were on the scene attempting to put out the blaze.

1980

Election day in the Myrtle Philip School gym.

Two of the many Japanese ski writers who have been visiting Whistler lately – From Skier Magazine in Tokyo (l to r) Photographer ‘Dragon’, Writer ‘Ando’, and Toshi Hamazaki of Whistler.

The new “guard rails” installed to protect the Lift Company office windows from skis.

No diplomatic immunity here – Mons prepares to tow away the Question truck from the lift base.

1981

Students at Myrtle Philip School take a look at cameras through the ages.

Nancy Green, Prime Minister Trudeau and Hugh Smythe spend the day taking in Blackcomb.

The Prime Minister was also taken on a tour of the construction sites of Whistler Village.

An unusually bright and empty view of the bar at Tapley’s.

Whistler Mountain’s Franz Wilhelmsen and Peter Alder watch proudly as Whistler’s Black Chair carries passengers for the first time this season on February 21.

1982

Search and Rescue Squadron 422 from Comox dropped into Whistler last week for a mountain rescue training session.

Stretching, an essential when preparing for a race.

A few Crazy Canucks share a laugh at Dave Murray’s retirement part at Myrtle Philip School.

The first test run of the fire department’s latest addition proved it could be instrumental in putting out high level fires such as the one at Whistler Village Inn January 13.

Long before they started making snow at Olympic Plaza snow piles have provided endless amusement.

A parking attendant’s dream… This giant tow truck pulled into town the other day – and quickly pulled out again, much to the relief of nearby parking violators.

1983

Soaking up the sun (l to r) Rosilyn and Marlin Arneson and Bill Bode of Washington State relax before calling it a day Monday, February 21 after the first really warm one on Whistler Mountain.

Sjaan DiLalla tries out one of the ranges in one of the 29 “studio lofts” in the recently opened Crystal Lodge.

First place team members in the Team Supreme competition. The event, held at Blackcomb February 20, raised $2,400 for the BC Disabled Skiers Association.

Seppo Makinen and Sam Alexander discuss Whistler’s proposed new Zoning Bylaw No. 303 with Assistant Municipal Planner Cress Walker.

Cross-country skiers set off on the Whistler Cross-Country Marathon which was held over a 20km route Sunday, February 20.

1985

Art ’85 was hosted in the gym of Myrtle Philip School this past weekend.

During an introductory press conference Sunday at Crystal Lodge, Todd Brooker (far left) introduces members of the Canadian Men’s Alpine Team: (l to r) Felix Belcyzk, Chris Kent, Paul Boivin, Chris McIver and Jim Kirby.

Canadian blues man Long John Baldry and crew crank it out at The Longhorn Sunday.

Jan Seger, Ski instructor, White Gold resident.

Gerhard Mueller: Designer of Whistler’s First Lifts

With the wet weather, frigid temperatures and winds that have come in the last two months, many of us out on the mountains have appreciated the temporary respite offered by the enclosed gondolas.  To show our appreciation, we’re offering some information on the man who designed the first lifts installed on Whistler Mountain, including the original four-person gondola.

Skiers load the original four-person gondola at the base of Whistler Mountain in the late 1960s.

Skiers load the original gondola at the base of Whistler Mountain in the late 1960s.

Gerhard Mueller was an early pioneer in the ski lift industry.  In the late 1920s, as mountain resorts in the Alps were still beginning to redefine themselves as winter resorts, Mueller was a 17-year-old mechanical engineering student who had grown tired of having to continuously climb up the slope in order to practice his skiing on the way down.

To address this issue Mueller built his (and Switzerland’s) first ski tow at St. Moritz using 1″ hemp rope and the engine from an old motorcycle.  This first rope tow was patented in 1932 and was later improved to address complaints of tired hands and arms.

After the end of World War II Mueller founded his own company, GMD Mueller, in 1947 and continued to design innovative lift systems, including the modern detachable chairlift.

A page from a 1965 GMD Mueller catalogue. Photo: chairlift.org/mueller.html

A page from a 1965 GMD Mueller catalogue. Photo: chairlift.org/mueller.html

In their 1965 catalogue GMD Mueller advertised their ski lift options, claiming that “The roomy 4-seater gondolas, the elegant double-chairs or the smooth springbox-type T-bars will make every ride, both short or long, comfortable and safe, and the good appearance of Mueller Lifts will make you a proud owner.”  In less than two decades they had come a long way from Mueller’s first rope tow.

In the early 1960s when Franz Wilhelmsen and Eric Beardmore, another Garibaldi Lift Company director, visited Europe to study lift systems prior to choosing the systems to be used at Whistler, many chairlifts still had to be stopped both to load and to unload passengers.  The double chairlift designed by Mueller had patented detachable cable grips that detached the chairgrip from the hauling rope at both stations, allowing the hauling rope to continue to run while the chair was slowed for loading and unloading before being reattached to the hauling rope and launched.  This allowed for the creation of a four-person gondola.

When approached, Mueller confirmed that his designs could be adapted to fit the proposed locations on Whistler Mountain.  For the lower stage from the base at Creekside to Midstation, where warmer spring temperatures and wet weather prompted worries of wet clothing before skiers even reached their first run, Mueller proposed a 65-car four-person gondola carrying approximately 500 passengers per hour for a 13-minute ride.  This was to be followed by a double chairlift of 175 chairs carrying approximately 1200 passengers per hour.

The original Red Chair brought riders up to the Roundhouse from 1965 to 1992.

The original Red Chair brought riders up to the Roundhouse from 1965 to 1992.

In 1965 four Mueller-designed ski lifts were installed on Whistler Mountain: the four-person gondola, the double chairlift that would become known as the Red Chair and two T-bars.  Mueller travelled to Whistler to oversee the construction and testing of the lifts and to conduct training sessions with lift staff.  GLC workers were also sent to Switzerland to be trained on the operation and maintenance of the lifts at the GMD Mueller factory.  Mueller was present for for the official opening of the lifts on January 15, 1966.

chair1.jpg

A seat from the original Red Chair sits in Florence Petersen Park.

Whistler Mountain was equipped exclusively with Mueller lifts for only two years.  In 1967 the Blue Chair was designed and installed by Murray-Latta Machine Co. Ltd., a Vancouver-based company.  The original gondola and Red Chair were retired in 1992, but both can still be found here at the museum, a lasting legacy of the designs of Gerhard Mueller.