It’s the end of an era: after 41 years the Summit Chair at Whitewater Ski Resort near Nelson, British Columbia will be replaced. The quaint two-person chair will be decommissioned this summer and a new quad chairlift installed for the 2017/18 season.

This summer Whitewater Ski Resort will be replacing it’s original chairlift, the two-person Summit Chair, with a brand new Leitner-Poma fixed-grip quad chairlift. Scheduled to open with the resort in December 2017, the new lift will follow the same alignment as the original, meaning riders will still have a great view of the resort’s seminal run, The Blast. The new chair will offer the same ride time but gone will be the centre pole and the seats will be cushier. Other changes that guests may notice is the new higher lift towers, which will eliminate any under-the-chair run closures.

According to the company, the one change we won’t see is more people being uploaded faster. That’s because the chairs will be spaced out so that the Summit side isn’t overrun with skiers too quickly.

An example of a Leitner-Palma quad chairlift. This one is found at Devil’s Glen in Ontario.

According to Whitewater, most of the metal from the current lift will be recycled and the new quad will reduce power usage and the requirement for grease/petroleum products, overall minimizing the environmental footprint of the resort as a whole.

Purchased in 2008 by Knee Deep Developments Corp., a Calgary-based company owned by Dean Prodan, Andrew Kyle and Mitch Putnam, Whitewater has since seen big developments most notably the addition of the Glory Chair in 2010. “The team at Whitewater is really excited to be able to further improve the experience we offer here at the resort,” says Kirk Jensen, General Manager. “It is going to be a significant upgrade for the resort and ultimately for our guests.”

The resort will be selling the original chairs from the lift to those who are interested in owning a piece of Whitewater’s history.

The current Summit Chair was the stage for Whitewater’s “Kids on Chairs” video segments, done by Kootenay Mountain Culture‘s editor-in-chief Mitchell Scott. The interviews were one-on-one and it will be interesting to see if the segments can continue with four people on a chair: