Whistler Olympic Park holds soft opening | Squamish Chief

Whistler Olympic Park holds soft opening

Cross-country skiers can use Callaghan Gold to start season

Though there's no fresh snow on the ground, the Callaghan Valley-based park opened to the public for classic and skate cross-country skiing on Nov. 22 with its snow saved from last year called Callaghan Gold.

Club athletes have had access to the snow since Nov. 9, but park managing director Tim Hope expects that the additional traffic won't trample the Callaghan Gold, which was stored under sawdust for the summer.

article continues below

"It's holding up well. We've got a track that's just a little bit longer than a kilometre, but the clear, cool nights have been helpful for it. It's in good shape," he said. "I think it's going to be fine [with the public coming in]. The temperatures are aligned. The snow should hold up well with the weather."

Hope explained that because many of the trails are built on paved or gravel bases, there aren't massive amounts of snow required to get going. More terrain will be opened as the snow flies. More natural snow is also required for snowshoeing and tobogganing to open.

"If we had 50 cm of snowfall, we're in good shape. Because of the paved trails and the gravel base, it doesn't take a lot for us to get going," he said.

The park faced similar concerns about low snow in 2018, but about a month after opening, no one would have known anything was amiss, he noted.

"Last year, we had a slower start, but by Christmas, we matched what our typical snow base is here, so it's not a concern at the moment," he said. "It ended up being a fantastic winter and we're feeling that we're going to see sort of a typical winter for us here."

Looking ahead to the season, Hope is excited to welcome several of the region's top skiers at the Western Canadian Cup cross-country race from Jan. 17 to 19.

He's also eager to welcome the public to new snowshoe trails that will take people up to the top of the ski jumps.

"There's an old-growth stand in there that makes for fantastic snowshoeing," he said.

The Callaghan Gold is not recommended for beginner skiers.

Passholders can access the trails with a season's pass, though there is an early season rate of $18 through the main gate. Rentals are currently available at a 50-per-cent discount.

"It's an exciting time of year and we're ready to get going," he said. "The team's ready. Once we get the snow, we'll make use of it."

For more information, visit www.whistlerolympicpark.com/conditions.

Go here for the original story.

Read Related Topics

@ Copyright Squamish Chief

Read more from the Pique Newsmagazine


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Squamish Chief welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

Weekly (not scientific, just for fun) POLL

Is the smoke affecting your outdoor plans?

or  view results