Nordic Skiing for Schools
+++ The below information was for winter 2020/21, updated details for the 2021/22 season will be available soon! +++
Thank you for considering Whistler Olympic Park for your 2020-2021 field trips! Our programs focus on developing physical literacy through snow literacy – competence, confidence, and motivation to move and be active for life.
We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our guests, athletes, staff, and community. With the implementation of BC's Back to School plan, ViaSport Return to Sport Guidelines, and WorkSafe BC updates, among other government recommendations, our programs have been updated to include new policies and procedures.
Programs are available weekdays from December 14, 2020 to April 1, 2021, excluding Pro D days and holidays.
COVID-19 Updates & Considerations (to be updated for 2021/22)
- We can accommodate 1 – 2 classes per day. Classes must be from the same cohort. Group size cannot exceed 48 this includes students, teachers, support staff, and parent/guardian volunteers.
- We are only booking intermediate and senior grades for ski trips at this time. Due to physical distancing requirements, it will be challenging for us to accommodate younger students needing more hands-on support with boots/skis. Requests for primary grades will be waitlisted.
- Snowshoe tours may be requested for all grades.
- Physical distancing mandatory at all times when possible (minimum 2 metres), our staff and volunteers will maintain physical distancing on programs.
- Masks are mandatory where physical distancing may not be possible, e.g. in the washrooms, day lodge rental shop, hallways, etc.
- Programs will be staged at our Cross Country building. Student belongings must be stored on the bus or outdoors on racks/cubbies provided.
- The multi-purpose room at the Cross Country building will be available as a warming space/lunch area for full day instructional ski programs. Teachers must accept responsibility for supervising this space. Occupancy limit of 24 people applies. We will assist in creating an itinerary with staggered breaks where necessary.
- Ski groups and boot sizes must be sent to Whistler Olympic Park pre-trip.
- We will not be providing a hot lunch program this season. Please bring lunches.
- Once a booking is confirmed, we require a 50% deposit.
- Additional venue updates:
- Daily screening of staff for symptoms of COVID-19
- Handwashing and hand sanitation protocol for guests and staff; sanitation stations available in high traffic areas throughout the venue
- Plexiglass barriers installed at check-in counters
- Increased cleaning and sanitation of high touch surfaces and areas, such as Guest Services check-in area, counters, payment terminals, washroom facilities etc.
|Program Type||What's Included||Price|
|Classic or Skate Skiing Lessons||
Our traditional ski program includes a morning lesson and guided skiing, ski play, or games after lunch.
Grade 4-7: $22 per student
Grade 8-12: $33 per student
|Guided Snowshoe Tour||
2 hour guided tour. Choose between morning or afternoon tour times. Depart from the venue after your tour, or continue with self-guided snowshoeing for the afternoon
Grade 1-7: $22 per student
Grade 8-12: $33 per student
|Self-Guided Ski or Snowshoe||
This program is recommended for Outdoor Ed programs and teachers who wish to lead their own program. Self-guided programs are not supported by Whistler Olympic Park coaches/guides.
*We not not have a designated lunch area for self-guided programs.
Ski Ticket + Rental: $31.50
Snowshoe Ticket + Rental: $20.50
Price for instructional/guided programs includes ticket, rentals, and instruction (no discount for student season pass holders or participants bringing their own equipment). Price for self-guided programs will be adjusted if you are bringing your own equipment and/or season pass.
Season passes are accepted for chaperones. Complimentary chaperone tickets/rentals are provided based on a 1:10 ratio plus a floater.
Know before you Go
Teachers: Please complete these five steps once a trip is confirmed
- Review trip details: dates and times, group numbers, as well as fees and deposit estimates
- Review our booking policies and payment information. Be aware of your booking obligations: deposit and final payment, changes, and cancellations
- Review our Know Before You Go information below.
- Divide all students on your trip into groups of 8-10 based on skill level. Include boot sizes for ski programs (a sizing chart and cheat sheet to determine skier skill level is included with confirmation emails). Send groupings to us 2 weeks in advance of your trip.
- Optional: Prepare students for their trip using our Physical Literacy resources!
How to Determine Skier Skill Level
Teachers provide parents with our handy skier info sheet attached to your confirmation email. Ask them to indicate their child’s ability level. We use 4 levels:
- Never-Ever – Brand new to skiing or snow sports. Show me the way!
- Beginner – has cross country skied at least 3 – 5 times with school or family, stays on beginner terrain – green trails/flats and low grade hills.
- Intermediate – has cross country skied more than 5 times, or is a confident alpine skier. Prefers to stay on intermediate terrain green/blue trails, moderate rolling hills.
- Advanced – has cross country skied many times, either in a Club program or with family/friends. Comfortable skiing on intermediate/advanced terrain blue/black trails with steeper hills. Let’s Race!
Intermediate and advanced alpine skiers often transition easily into cross country skiing. If a child is an experienced alpine skier we recommend classifying them as an intermediate cross country skier their first time out.
How to divide students into ski or snowshoe groups (instructional/guided programs)
Instructors are provided on a 1:10 ratio based on your overall numbers. For ski trips, teachers are asked to divide all students into groups of 8 - 10. based on skill level and provide boot sizing. For snowshoe trips, divide students into tour groups of 8 – 10, equipment sizing is not required.
Itinerary (intructional/guided programs)
Please advise of arrival and departure times so staff can plan accordingly. Arriving late or departing early will decrease time on snow. Instructional programs generally start at 10:00 am and end at 2:00 pm. We will send you an itinerary based on your booking. You are welcome to continue skiing or snowshoeing on your own after your program ends. The park closes at 4:30 pm.
Stop at the gate and identify your group - provide student and chaperone numbers to staff.
Schools participating in a lesson or tour proceed to parking lot 3 (signs for “P3”). Buses can park in the loop by the Cross Country building, our coaches will be outside waiting for you! Wait on the bus for a staff member to greet you. Students will meet their instructor(s) as they step off the bus.
Schools participating in a self-guided program proceed to parking lot 3, a staff member will greet your bus at the top of the day lodge. You will receive directions for ticket and rental pick-up.
What should participants wear/bring?
Light snow pants
2 (light) pairs of gloves or mittens
A (light) toque
Waterproof layer for rainy/snowy days
Dress for the weather, comfortable clothing, layers of synthetic or wool blends – allows moisture and sweat to evaporate and adjust temperature as the body warms up and cools down while skiing.
Avoid cotton (including jeans), it absorbs and holds moisture.
A full water bottle, snacks, lunch
DO NOT bring valuables.
Participants can bring their own cross country ski gear – program fees help cover instructional costs and will not be reduced for those with personal gear.
Pre/post trip resources
At Whistler Olympic Park our lessons focus on developing physical literacy by combining traditional cross country ski drills with games and experiential learning on trail. Our ski playground is a designated area with varied terrain features developed to encourage learning to ski naturally. Check out our ski play area before your trip! Click here to view.
Article by Michelle Deacon, LinkedIn, NCCP CCI and CC Coach Developer, CANSI Level III Cross Country Ski Instructor:
get Involved in Nordic Skiing, Biathlon, or Ski jumping
Whistler Olympic Park hosts its own multi-sport camps during Christmas and Spring Break, along with multi-sport programs on some Pro-D days. Multi-sport programs may include Nordic skiing, biathlon, ski jumping, snowshoeing, and/or tobogganing. For more information about programs, parents can click here or email us.
Whistler Olympic Park and local Nordic clubs organize seasonal programming for cross-country, biathlon, and ski jumping! Please contact your local Nordic club for club program or racing information:
Sliding Sports for Schools & Universities
Try even more Olympic Sports!
To enhance the Whistler experience for your students, check out the opportunities for schools and universities at the Whistler Sliding Centre, the 2010 Olympic venue for sliding sports! School and group programming is available for luge, bobsleigh and skeleton.