WHISTLER, BC – Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures, Cross Country Connection and Whistler Olympic and Paralympic Park (WOP) have formed a strategic alliance to ensure that the majority of trails in the Callaghan Valley will be open to the public for the bulk of the 2009-2010 winter season. Approximately 30 kms of the WOP trail system and all of Callaghan Country’s 42 km of trails will be open for public skiing from November 21, 2009 through until January 31, 2010 and again from March 1 to April 18, 2010. Several kilometers of snowshoe trails will also be available. As in previous years, skiers and snowshoers will be able to enjoy both trail networks through the purchase of a single trail ticket or season pass. Trail ticket and season pass prices will be announced later in September.
The strategic alliance enables the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), operator of WOP, to focus on the successful delivery of the 2010 Nordic events while continuing to provide opportunities for public skiing and snowshoeing. The WOP Olympic competition area, including day lodge, main entrance road and parking lots, Olympic competition trails, and biathlon and ski jumping facilities will not be open to the public this winter. Access to all of the valley’s recreational and backcountry trails will be via the Callaghan Country base, located right beside the popular Madeley Creek Loop. Cross Country Connection will continue to act as the area’s public service provider managing the ski school and rental program from the Callaghan Country base. Trail tickets and season passes will be available from both Cross Country Connection and Callaghan Country. Whistler Olympic Park will continue to groom its 30 kms of recreational trails while also maintaining Callaghan Country’s 42 kms trail system.
“The positive energy and support we’ve received from the regional Nordic community since opening WOP in 2007 has been incredible,” says John Aalberg, VANOC Director of Nordic Sport. “We’re happy that with the help of our partners, we’ll be able to provide a comprehensive and high quality recreational skiing experience also for much of the 2009-10 season; it promises to be an exciting winter in the Callaghan Valley for all Nordic enthusiasts!”
The 2009-10 Callaghan Valley Nordic experience encompasses more than 70 km of cross-country ski trails groomed for both skate and classic skiing along with more than 1,000 hectares of spectacular backcountry Nordic and Alpine ski touring terrain. Snowshoe trails, both prepared and wilderness routes are also plentiful. Nestled into the heart of the valley is Callaghan Country’s ski-in Nordic lodge. The lodge will be open right through the winter, including the month of February, making it possible for skiers to enjoy much of the valley’s incredible Nordic experience throughout the Olympic period.
Editor’s Note: While the core Nordic trails will be closed during the Olympics, the Lost Lake Ski Area on the edge of downtown Whistler will be open to the public. These trails are nice, but pale in comparison with the Whistler Olympic Park system.