Although snow conditions are usually the first thing skiers ask about, by the time you get to the base of a mountain (and even before you put your gear on) it is important to know which chair lifts are running and which ones are closed. In many instances the communication of this kind of information is handled with lists of the lifts and trails posted on whiteboards, websites and shared on local radio and television sports reports. However, using a map and a string of lights, the Whistler Blackcomb resort is using a creative and effective approach to update the current status of lifts and mountain access.
Like a traffic light the map uses red for “closed”, green for “open” and yellow for “standby” as a physical visualization. Maps of ski trails have long been a staple of ski resorts so it was interesting to see it adapted to communicate the status of chair lifts.