Ski Callaghan looks back on successful season despite challenging weather conditions; Extensive sport development projects by Whistler Olympic Park
Whistler, BC: Ski Callaghan is looking back on a successful Nordic season, even if it was the most challenging so far in the history of the joint venture between Whistler Olympic Park (WOP), and Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures (CCWA). Much less snowfall than average and continuously warm, wet weather with long periods of heavy rain instead of snow, made trail preparation and maintenance a challenge. While in February 2013 the snowpack in Whistler Olympic Park’s cross-country stadium was as high as 300cm (185cm in February 2014), it was at only 30cm in February 2015.
Nevertheless, Ski Callaghan was open for 120 days of groomed skiing between November 27, 2014 and April 6, 2015, and only had to close for four days early February due to ongoing heavy rain and warm temperatures. While the ski trails at Whistler Olympic Park had to close on March 16, the upper trail system of Callaghan Country could be kept open until Easter Monday. Brad Sills, President of Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures congratulated the Ski Callaghan team: “Considering the difficult conditions, we were able to deliver an outstanding ski product on most days of the season.” Lindsay Durno, Director of Whistler Olympic Park added: “Both first-time and regular users complimented us on our efforts and thanked our crew who did an outstanding job trucking and shoveling snow to keep the trails in shape.” Some pass holders achieved as much as 60 or more ski days, and some dogs enjoyed their pet season passes for more than 50 trail days throughout the winter.
Successful sport projects run by Whistler Olympic Park
In its endeavor to grow sport in the Sea to Sky Corridor, Whistler Olympic Park achieved important milestones throughout the season. An exciting pilot project was accomplished before the Park even opened to the public in November: “Callaghan Gold,” a 900 meter cross-country trail built from last season’s snow (that had been stored under sawdust throughout the summer), provided early access to on-snow training for numerous cross-country and biathlon athletes. Between November 6 and 26, 6,029 skier visits were registered, including athletes from the BC XC Ski Team, BC Biathlon Team and local and regional ski clubs.
Furthermore, Whistler Olympic Park was engaged in merging and improving the youth development club programs for the three local clubs Sea to Sky Nordics, Whistler Nordics and Spud Valley Nordics. Throughout the 2014/2015 season, 311 participants enrolled in the three clubs’ youth programs skied together in joint training groups for the first time, resulting in a more effective training schedule, lower coaching costs and more motivation and enjoyment for participants. Also, the biathlon programs were enhanced through the recruitment of a head coach at Whistler Olympic Park.
The successful Sea to Sky School Program could be carried out again despite the challenging season, between December 2014 and March 2013, when 1,821 children and youth from Kindergarten to High School age participated in instructional cross country ski programs at an affordable rate, supported by Whistler Olympic Park and Cross Country BC.
2015/2016 Extra Early Bird Season Passes on Sale
Extra Early Bird Season Passes for next season are on sale already. Ski Callaghan adult passes are available for $300. In recognition of their loyalty and patience throughout this challenging winter, 2014/2015 season pass holders will receive a $50 discount on next season’s Extra Early Bird Season Pass (discount for adult passes only, $250 rate valid if purchased by September 20).
Ski Callaghan is freezing prices for Early Bird Senior Mid-Week and Youth passes at $135 each (Youth attached to Family Pass: $75). Dual area passes for Ski Callaghan and Lost Lake will be available for sale at a slightly later date. Passes are available online or by phone at 604-964-0060 (ext. 2460).