Winter Adventure: Cross Country Skiing in Callaghan Valley

Photo credit: Callaghan Country

In the middle of winter, Nordic skiers and snowshoers may be feeling a tad bored with the local slopes. While Cypress, Grouse and Seymour are absolutely ideal for a convenient, snowy work out, you may find yourself craving more, once you’ve built up stamina.

If that’s your starting point, it’s worth the 2-hour drive to Callaghan Valley, just 13 km south of world-class resort Whistler.  Whistler Olympic Park – host site to the 2010 Olympic Nordic events – and Callaghan Country have teamed up to offer combined “Ski Callaghan” passes to “North America’s most extensive Nordic experience,” with over 130 kilometres of trails to explore by ski or snowshoe.

Your reasons to make the drive? When it rains in Vancouver, it snows in Whistler. Plus the Callaghan Country wilderness is spectacular, boasting over 7000 hectares of stunning landscape including majestic old-growth forests, stunning peaks, pancake plateaus and steep climbs. Whistler Olympic Park adds modern training facilities to an (almost) untamed stretch of gorgeous.

Find details on trails and tickets after the jump.

Photo credit: Callaghan Country

The combined “Ski Callaghan” Nordic pass runs $22 for adults and $12 for youth (ages 6-18). If you’re a family of four, the whole lot of you can ski for $56. As for snowshoeing, it’s less expensive, running $14 for adults, $7 for youth and $35 for a family of four.  Kids five and under are free.

One ticket lets you move freely in between Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country, a combined total of 87 km of groomed ski and 33.5 km of snowshoe trails. And you get 10% off midweek day tickets for Nordic skiing or snowshoeing. Yes, you can rent the equipment you’ll need on site.

If Callaghan has you super excited, it’s worth checking out Callaghan Country Lodge and planning a weekend/multiple-day trip. The remote wilderness lodge is a pretty, handcrafted-style inn, located 13.5 km from the closest road. You ski or snowshoe in. There’s lots of room-type options, from private to group accommodation.

Want more updates on fun in and around Vancouver? Follow me on Twitter @TJerven

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