Posted by: Feet Banks
Over the past five decades Whistler has pounded out a reputation as one of the world’s best ski and snowboard spots. Sneaking under the radar that entire time, nordic/Cross-Country skinny skiers have made a huge push towards winter domination over the past few years.
“Well it’s more like world domination,” says Ian Gladstone, owner of Cross Country Connection otherwise known as the epicenter of Nordic skiing in Whistler. “I think we are dominating already!” Ian adds,"We have night skiing." Ian jokes that skinny skiers generally have a high-level of fitness that would really help if a winner-takes-all battle between nordic and downhill skiing ever came to a head.
All jokes aside, Whistler’s Lost Lake trails opened today, and plenty of skiers turned up, happy to get back into Lost Lake Park for some gliding and sliding.
“It was busier than we expected,” Ian says, “and the Whistler municipal team really did some excellent work shoveling snow and getting all the trails into shape.”
The Lost Lake trails consist of over 25 kilometers of XC and 15 km or snowshoe trails through 525 acres of pristine forest, all within walking distance of Whistler Village. The majority of trails are good to go right now and maintenance crews will keep working and waiting for Mother Nature’s next big snowfall.
“We groom the trails at night,” Ian explains, “so they have time to set and firm up for the next day.” This keeps the trails in good shape for the ever—increasing number of Nordic warriors training to rule the world. Downhillers with your big fat skis be warned, eventually all hills flatten out and the skinny skiers will get ya!
Getting to Lost Lake
PassivHaus is the ticket booth/rental shop/daylodge for Lost Lake Park and it's only a few minutes from Whistler Village. Cross through Day lot 3 and merge onto the Valley Trail where it joins the skate park. Follow the trail under Lorimer Road (check out the murals) and over the Fitzsimmons Creek bridge.
From the base of Blackcomb or the Upper Village the easiest route is to follow Blackcomb Way north until you find the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre then look for Passivhaus on the other side of Lorimer Road. From the Marketplace/Village North it’s a simple walk up the trail that runs alongside Lorimer.
Skiers and snowshoers arriving by vehicle can park for free in Lot 5 and follow the Valley Trail over.
Contact the Whistler Visitor's Centre (in the Whistler Village taxi loop) or Cross Country Connection for more directions or information. You can also check out the on-trail Webcam for real-time look at conditions (and jubilant skinny skiers)
Click to enlarge this map of the Lost Lake Park.
South of town, the Callaghan Valley is another incredible Nordic playground. Between Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures there are over 130 km (81 miles) of unspoiled winter wilderness and breathtaking beauty, all accessible with just a single day ticket. The Callaghan is so awesome it will need to be featured in its own upcoming blog. So stay tuned and get those skinny skies waxed up and ready.