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Snowshoeing too

by Marina Knez, BC Nordic   April 1, 2011


Spring time a great time for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in BC

Sunshine plus huge snow equals great spring outdoor fun in BC

  Scenic Callaghan Valley view   Welcome to Ski Callaghan sign  
Scenic Callaghan Valley view
Welcome to Ski Callaghan

Vancouver, BC - The days are longer and the snow a bit softer but that doesn’t mean winter fun is over in British Columbia. Mild day time temperatures coupled with huge snowpacks after a winter season that welcomed generous snowfalls make spring time a great time for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in BC.

  Callaghan Lodge in Starlight  

The spring season offers sunny après-ski, unique festivals and events, and great ski deals at many BC resorts and lodges. Skiing in April is all about timing as there can be extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the day. The advanced skiers prefer the fast, hard packed early morning conditions, while the novice skiers should ski during the early afternoon to take advantage of the softer snow for either classic or skate technique.

Spring is also a good time to take a lesson and learn proper technique on soft snow conditions. A lesson can boost confidence, leading to a more comfortable and enjoyable cross-country skiing experience, especially on hilly terrain. It’s important to take a few extra measures before hitting the trails: reduce the layers, bring water to avoid dehydration, and wear sunscreen and eyeglasses with good UV protection”.

Callaghan Lodge in Starlight

With these tips in mind, grab your skis, peel off the layers and slap on the sunscreen at these Nordic trails and destinations in BC:

Black Jack Cross-Country Ski Trails/Dawn Mountain Nordic Ski Trails

In BC, the Kootenay Rockies region is a consistent go-to spot for spring skiing. The Black Jack Cross-Country Ski Trails, located near Rossland, BC, and the home trails of Canadian Olympian George Grey, are situated at 1127m (3700 ft) elevation, just steps from Red Mountain Resort. “Due to our high elevation and deep snowpack, we are consistently able to provide excellent trail conditions and grooming for cross-country skiing well into April and sometimes until early May,” says Wannes Luppens, Black Jack Ski Club president.

Nordic Trails at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

The snow conditions have been superb all season long at Mount Washington. The Vancouver Island resort has is poised to hit the 698cm snowbase this season. Nordic enthusiasts can enjoy the extended spring season at Mt Washington and ski or snowshoe on the 55 km plus Nordic trail system until April 25, 2011 and take in the dramatic views of the Coast Mountain and Beaufort Range.

Nearby Courtenay, only 30 minutes away, offers a charming village après-ski experience with an eclectic mix of boutiques and cultural hot spots.

Ski Callaghan (home of Callaghan Country & Whistler Olympic Park)

  XC Skiing upper Callaghan trails   XC trails at Callaghan Country  
XC Skiing upper Callaghan trails
XC trails at Callaghan Country

Come out and enjoy one of the longest Nordic ski seasons in North America at Ski Callaghan. For late-season skiing, the Callaghan Valley Trails near Whistler, BC take top prize. Due to its unique geographical position surrounded by glaciated terrain in the Coast Mountain Range, the Callaghan Valley receives huge snowfalls and boasts a reliable snowpack. Ski the trails that the Olympians cruised on during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games at Whistler Olympic Park. Here, Nordic diehards and the not-so-diehards can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing well into spring.


April 10, 2011 is the final day of operations at Whistler Olympic Park; Callaghan Country - which now operates with the Olympic Park as Ski Callaghan - will be open until May 8 with lots of snow still remaining in the low alpine for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.


Whistler Olympic Park: spring hours until April 10th

March 1, 2011 to April 10, 2011 - 8:30 am to 6:00 pm daily

Evening: January 5, 2011 to March 30, 2011 - 4 pm to 9 pm • Wednesdays only


Quick facts:

Experience the spectacular Callaghan Valley, Ski Callaghan is the home of Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country Lodge. Located in the coastal snowbelt, only 16 kilometres southwest of Whistler and 115 kilometres north of Vancouver, the Callaghan Valley boasts one of the most reliable snowfall areas in Canada. As one of the largest Nordic recreation areas in North America, Ski Callaghan offers:

  • 7,000 hectares of wilderness
  • 90 km+ of recreational cross-country ski trails, including dog-friendly and night skiing trails
  • Expertly groomed terrain for both classic and skate skiing, suitable for beginner to expert level
  • 20km of wilderness snowshoe trails and backcountry access.
  Callaghan Lodge   Snowshoeing at Ski Callaghan  
Callaghan Lodge
Snowshoeing at Ski Callaghan

Day Lodge at Whistler Olympic Park:

The full-service Whistler Olympic Park Day Lodge is where you'll find everything you need to for your day on the trails. Services at the Day Lodge include: 

  • Trail passes for skiing, snowshoeing or backcountry access
  • Lessons for all ages and abilities
  • Equipment and locker rentals
  • Ski tuning and public waxing facilities
  • Retail area for ski accessories
  • Change facilities with showers and toilets
  • First aid centre
  • Food service including snacks and hot beverages
  • Fireplace lounge and sun deck
  Whistler Olympic Park - day lodge  
Whistler Olympic Park - day lodge


Biathlon Range:
Whistler Olympic Park’s state-of-the-art electronic biathlon range is used for training, special events, and is open to the public for supervised programs during winter and summer.


Toboggan Hill:
A new toboggan area is available to kids and families this year.

Learn to ski, snowshoe and more:
Ski Callaghan offers many "Discover Programs" and tours for adults, kids, families, and community groups. Introduce the kids to Nordic skiing through new programs or the ski play zone. Check out the “Discover Biathlon” program for kids and adults.


Whistler Olympic Park has eight public access parking lots at the venue. Capacity: 500 + vehicles, there’s plenty of parking!


Callaghan Country Routes of Wilderness & Backcountry Lodge

Situated high in the sub-alpine is Callaghan Country, a beautiful backcountry lodge with friendly hospitality, great food and comfortable accommodation for up to 24 people (15 singles) in 8 private rooms. Guests can socialize in the fireside lounge area or relax in the game room surrounded by the backdrop of the secluded sub-alpine valley.

Callaghan Country Specials & Offerings:


The weekend 3-course lunch for day skiers at Callaghan Lodge is a gastronomic treat. Other specials at Callaghan Country during spring include:



Traditional packages for only $299pp. Epic spring skiing conditions at Callaghan Country continue with a whopping 5m snow base. Long days, cold nights results in perfect hard packed trails.



Callaghan Lodge welcomes a week of family friendly fun.  Just in time for Easter weekend - the minimum age requirement will be waived, giving families an opportunity to enjoy the ultimate Nordic Adventure with Callaghan Country at their backcountry Lodge. Please note that the group discount (+6 people rate) is only available to multiple night stays April 22-24.



Callaghan Country celebrates spring with its annual grassroots style “Spring Fling” free BBQ event on April 30, 2011. Registration starts at 8:30am on the day of the event, and the skiers get underway at 9:00am at the base area. From there, skiers follow a scenic 13.5 km uphill route to the Callaghan Lodge, with a free barbecue available from noon to 2pm. Day tickets will be discounted for all preregistered participants; Adults: only $10.00 each, Child/Youth: only $5.00 each. Register in advance at, 1-877-938-0616



Nearby, Whistler and the town of Squamish are filled with restaurants, unique boutiques and First Nations artisan shops to round out a great day or weekend trip.

IF YOU GO: The Sea to Sky Highway begins near Horseshoe Bay on the outskirts of Vancouver, BC. Reach it via the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 1). The highway improvements have made the trek from Vancouver to Whistler a quick 90 minutes. It’s a beautiful scenic drive, with majestic views of Howe Sound and South Coast mountain ranges, including the Tantalus Range, the iconic Diamond Head peak and Stawamus Chief near Squamish.

ROAD CONDITIONS: To check road conditions visit or 800-550-4997.

About BC Nordic:

Check out to get the one-stop “where to ski and stay” info for Nordic winter activity destinations in British Columbia, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. It’s an excellent resource (trail maps, events, videos, ski specials etc.) that can help plan a winter vacation and/or Nordic weekend getaway in British Columbia.

Quick facts:

  • British Columbia has one of the longest ski seasons in North America: Skiing typically starts in November and lasts until mid-May at many locations.
  • Tons of snow: 750cm+ snow annually is reported at many Nordic ski trails/locations.
  • The diversity of terrain/trails in BC is unbeatable: over 1000 km of trails throughout the province. There are trails for everyone, young and old, from beginner to expert skill level.
  • BC is emerging as the new Nordic hotspot, in large part due to Whistler Olympic Park and the popularity of the sport post 2010 Winter Games – an Olympic sport for everyone.

BC Nordic Marketing Society (BCNMS) is a non-profit organization comprised of Nordic facility operators, ski areas, resorts, and tourism marketing organizations. The organization actively promotes and supports Nordic winter recreation activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and backcountry skiing at destinations located throughout British Columbia. BCNMS was created with the cooperation of Tourism British Columbia through its “Experiences BC” program.

For information and photos, contact:

Marina Knez, Marketing Coordinator

BC Nordic

tel: 604-732-5381


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