Fresh Tracks!

Photo: Rob Weiss

Last year, I braved cross-country skiing for the first time in my life. While my technique is definitely lacking, I must confess that I find myself hooked! Considered to be the granddaddy of all skiing disciplines, cross-country skiing is a terrific fitness activity to add to your winter sports portfolio and Cypress Mountain is Vancouver’s hotspot for Nordic adventure. Not convinced you are ready to join the legion of folk in tight pants on skinny skis?

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Fresh Tracks!

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. Continue reading:
Winter Adventure: Cross Country Skiing in Callaghan Valley

Cross-country skiing: The great-great-grandparent of ski sports

Winter in Vancouver is built around the pursuit of powder. But have you tried all the options? Sure, alpine skiing is exhilarating and snowboarders get to use words like “shred.” In this post, however, I’d like to revisit the glory of classic cross-country skiing.

In the words of Jackrabbit Johannsen (Canadian XC ski hero who cut tracks through age 111): “Running is an act of will; skiing an act of spirit.” He’s referring to the bliss of the perfect cross country diagonal stride: you drive forward with each with each skinny ski, swinging the opposite arm and gliding swiftly.

With 19 km of cross-country trails at nearby Cypress Mountain and 56 km of world-class terrain at Whistler Olympic Park—just two hours away in the breathtaking Callaghan Valley—there’s no shortage of opportunity. If you haven’t yet tried classic cross-country skiing, I hope this motivates you:   Continue reading:
Cross-country skiing: The great-great-grandparent of ski sports