Nordic athletes already skiing at Whistler Olympic Park: ‘Callaghan Gold’ trail provides early season on-snow training opportunity

Whistler, BC: While Whistler’s snowboard, freestyle and downhill ski teams are still waiting for their first on-snow sessions, cross-country ski and biathlon athletes have already kicked off their training at Whistler Olympic Park, on ‘Callaghan Gold’, a loop made out of stored natural snow from the 2015/2016 season.

For the second time since 2014, Whistler Olympic Park has implemented this project providing invaluable early season training opportunities for Nordic athletes. The operations team stored 10,000 cubic metres of snow in a 200 metres storage pit under sawdust over the summer. On October 24, excavators began digging out the ‘Callaghan Gold’ and groomers started building the training loop. The trail, which runs along the biathlon range, started off with an 800 metres section (finished on October 28). As of November 4, it was further extended with snow from a second storage area to a total length of 1.5 kilometres, including a steep section for hill training.

Earlier than ever before, on October 29, local and provincial Nordic athletes were able to access the snow to start their training. “This is a huge advantage for our athletes for the winter season, because training on snow is so much more effective than in dryland sessions. Whistler Olympic Park almost doubled the trail length compared to two years ago. Together with the new climbing section this is extremely valuable for our athletes”, explains Chris Manhard, Head Coach of Cross Country BC. Around 600-700 Nordic athletes from all over British Columbia are expected to train on ‘Callaghan Gold’ until the official opening of Whistler Olympic Park for the winter season, which is currently planned for November 24.