This is unprecedented. Whistler Blackcomb will be performing snowmaking this summer in an attempt to stop the glacial retreat of the Hortsman glacier where they perform their summer skiing.
“The pilot project will involve the testing of four low-energy consumption snowmaking guns in the Horstman Hut area to determine if a full-scale snowmaking system is an option to prevent further recession of the Horstman Glacier.” – Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler will begin installing this new snowmaking system in late July and they plan for it to be operational in October. This will be Whistler Blackcomb’s only snowmaking in their alpine terrain.
“A snowmaking system on the Horstman Glacier could assist with preserving our summer glacier experience for guests to enjoy in the future, as well as improve the early season access to glacier skiing and snowboarding during the winter.” – Dave Brownlie, President and CEO of Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Press Release:
This coming winter season, Whistler Blackcomb will conduct a new snowmaking pilot project aimed at preserving the Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. The pilot project will involve the testing of four low-energy consumption snowmaking guns in the Horstman Hut area to determine if a full-scale snowmaking system is an option to prevent further recession of the Horstman Glacier.
“The goal of this project is to preserve the high quality product we currently offer in both the winter and summer months,” says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO at Whistler Blackcomb. “A snowmaking system on the Horstman Glacier could assist with preserving our summer glacier experience for guests to enjoy in the future, as well as improve the early season access to glacier skiing and snowboarding during the winter.”
During the summer months, the Horstman Glacier is one of two glaciers in North America to offer skiing and snowboarding and serves as a training area for ski and snowboard national teams from all over the world.
“Snowmaking on the Horstman Glacier has been a discussion at Whistler Blackcomb for several decades,” says Arthur De Jong, Mountain Planning and Environmental Resource Manager at Whistler Blackcomb. “If the pilot project is conclusive, this unique project will become a significant addition to Whistler Blackcomb’s list of adaptations to ensure long term resilience against climate change. We will use the data we obtain from this one-year pilot project to determine if an expanded snowmaking system could assist with preserving the Horstman Glacier.”
Installation of the new system will begin in late July following the summer skiing and snowboarding season on the Horstman Glacier, with snowmaking anticipated to begin in early October. The system will use low-energy snowmaking guns and water from the snowmaking reservoir above the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain.
Whistler Blackcomb has one of the most extensive snowmaking systems in North America with 270 snow guns in its snowmaking fleet and three snowmaking reservoirs with a total holding capacity of 55 million gallons. This project will be Whistler Blackcomb’s only snowmaking system in the alpine (above 1,920m).
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements or information, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, which reflect the current view of Whistler Blackcomb with respect to future events. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “plan”, “foresee”, “believe” or “continue” or the negatives of such terms or variations of them or similar terminology. All forward-looking statements made by Whistler Blackcomb are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and represent management’s best judgment based on facts and assumptions considered reasonable. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release are based on certain factors and assumptions made by management of Whistler Blackcomb including, but not limited to future recession of the Horstman Glacier, climate change and the impact of a snowmaking project on the Horstman Glacier. These forward-looking statements and information contained are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated including, but not limited to, unfavourable weather conditions, lack of data regarding snowmaking as an effective method of preserving glaciers, limitations of snowmaking equipment, access to water and electricity and the costs associated with installing and operating a snowmaking system on the Horstman Glacier. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements or information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this press release. Although Whistler Blackcomb believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements or information because Whistler Blackcomb can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. These forward-looking statements and information are made as of the date of this press release, and Whistler Blackcomb has no intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws.