Nordic Skiing for Schools
Thank you for considering Whistler Olympic Park for your 2021-2022 field trips! Our programs focus on developing physical literacy through snow literacy (balance, gliding, speed and body control, decision-making, and safety), to help participants gain competence, confidence, and motivation to move and be active for life.
We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our guests, staff, and community. With the implementation of BC's Restart Plan, ViaSport Return to Sport Guidelines, and WorkSafe BC updates, our programs have been updated to include new policies and procedures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to high demand, booking requests received October 29 onwards will be waitlisted. We will contact you if dates become available.
COVID-19 Risk Management
- Guided lessons/tours and self-guided experiences are available for all grade levels.
- Guided lessons/tours can accommodate approximately 60 students or 2 - 3 classes from the same school each day. Additional schools are welcome to book ski/snowshoe tickets and rentals for a self-guided experience (no lesson/tour) if our guided programs are at capacity.
- Once a booking is confirmed, we require a minimum 50% deposit.
- To reduce direct contact between Whistler Olympic Park staff and program participants, schools must bring chaperones to help students who require hands on support, e.g. younger students needing assistance with boots, buckles, bindings, etc.
- In accordance with current provincial health and sport guidelines, physical distancing while skiing or snowshoeing is encouraged, but not required. Program staff will distance themselves where possible to reduce direct contact.
- Masks are not required while skiing or snowshoeing, however, participants and staff are required to wear masks when they are indoors and a barrier is not present, e.g. washrooms, day lodge/common areas, rental shop, etc. Our staff may wear masks outside if they are working within 2 meters of participants.
- Lesson/tour programs will be staged at our Cross Country building.
- Belongings must be stored using racks and cubbies provided.
- Access to the multi-purpose room at the Cross Country building is included with guided programs (subject to availability). Teachers must accept responsibility for supervising this space during lunch breaks.
- Occupancy limit of 50 people. We will assist in creating an itinerary with staggered lunch breaks where necessary.
- For self guided groups, we do not provide a designated indoor space, however we have an outdoor picnic area at the day lodge.
- Additional venue updates:
- Proof of vaccination is not required for park entry and outdoor sport/recreational activities, including school programs. Proof of vaccination will be required for indoor seated dining at the day lodge cafe.
- Daily screening of staff for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Increased handwashing and hand sanitation for guests and staff; sanitation stations are available in high traffic areas throughout the venue.
- Plexiglass barriers at check-in counters.
- Regular cleaning and sanitation of high touch surfaces and areas, such as Guest Services check-in area, counters, payment terminals, washroom facilities etc. Shared/frequently touched equipment will be cleaned and sanitized before and after use.
|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 K-7: $24 per student
Grade 8-12: $35 per student
|Guided Snowshoe Tour||
2 hour guided tour. Choose between morning or afternoon tour times. Depart from the venue after your tour, stay for lunch and participate in snowshoe games or continue with self-guided snowshoeing for the afternoon.
Grade K-7: $24 per student
Grade 8-12: $35 per student
|Ski Lesson or Snowshoe Tour with Biathlon Experience||
Pair our traditional ski lesson or snowshoe tour with a biathlon experience. This program includes a morning lesson/tour followed by a marksmanship lesson on our internationally sanctioned Biathlon range after lunch.
*Our staff follow a comprehensive risk management plan on range. This program uses .22 calibre rifles which are tethered down. The range is fully licensed by the RCMP and International Biathlon Union. Please see our "Know Before You Go" section below for more information.
|Grade 7 - 12: $45 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 instructors/guides.
Ski Ticket + Rental: $31.50
Snowshoe Ticket + Rental: $20.50
|Accessibility & adaptive Support||Adaptive equipment and leisure buddy support can be provided in cooperation with Whistler Adaptive, to integrate any participant into a ski lesson.||Contact Us For Rates|
|Whistler Cooks Lunch Program||
Whistler Cooks, our on site caterer, can provide an optional lunch program for lesson/tour groups this season. Additional fees apply. Options include pizza or chili.
*Self-guided groups can purchase regularly priced menu items at the daylodge cafe.
- Booking students from different grades will ensure we have enough rental equipment to go around. If you wish to book your whole school/multiple classes, please include as many classes as possible in a single request.
Price for lessons/tours 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 YOUR 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.
- Guided Lessons/Tours: 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 and boot sizes to us 2 weeks in advance of your trip. Self-Guided Trips: send boot sizing only.
- Optional: Prepare students for their trip using our Physical Literacy resources!
How to Determine Skier Skill Level
Teachers, please share our handy sizing chart and skill levels cheat sheet with parents/guardians. This will be attached to your confirmation email. Ask parents for their child’s shoe size and skill level.
- 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.
divide students into ski or snowshoe groups (Lessons/tours only)
Instructors/guides are provided on an approximate 1:10 ratio based on the number of students booked. For example, if you book for 50 students we will schedule 5 instructors/guides. Ski trips, please divide all students into groups of 8 – 10 based on skill level and provide boot sizing. Snowshoe trips, divide students into tour groups of 8 – 10, equipment sizing is not required. Groups of up to 12 students are ok for older participants.
Please confirm arrival and departure times for all programs. Lesson/tour groups arriving late or departing early will lose time on snow. Lesson/tour programs run from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm, or 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. You are welcome to continue skiing or snowshoeing on your own after your program ends. If you choose to continue skiing after your program, teachers and chaperones are responsible for ensuring all rental equipment is returned to the rental shop before departure. The park closes at 4:30 pm. Arrival/departure times will also be confirmed with self-guided groups in order to avoid confusion at the gate/ticket window and rental shop.
On arrival, 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 will drop students off at 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. Drivers can then proceed to park in one of our available lots.
Schools participating in a self-guided program proceed to the bus loop at the south end of parking lot 3, a staff member will greet your bus at the top of the pathway leading to the day lodge. You will receive directions for ticket and rental pick-up.
We use .22 calibre rifles on our biathlon experience programs. If you require a risk management plan for trip approval, please contact us for our Firing Range Policies. Our staff undergo a rigorous training program, and the range is supervised by licensed range safety officers. There is zero tolerance for horseplay on the range.
For safety and sanitization, we can accommodate approximately 1 class on range at a time. Students will be sharing equipment, taking turns using a rifle. Their face will touch the cheek rest on the rifle in order to shoot properly. Masks are required when using a rifle. Rifles will be cleaned between users.
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.
Whistler Cooks lunch Program
Whistler Cooks, our onsite caterer, can provide an optional lunch program for lesson/tour groups. Additional fees apply, payable to Whistler Cooks at the day lodge cafe. Please send a representative to complete payment and confirm orders on arrival.
Order forms and additional information will be provided with your trip confirmation. Options include pizza, beef chili, or vegetarian chili. All options include a side of veggies and dip. Lunch orders will be delivered to the cross-country flex space before lunch hour. They will not be served in the cafe. Our staff refrain from entering the flex space while groups are indoors, therefore we kindly ask teachers to distribute lunch orders. Chili will be packaged in to-go containers with lids, pizza will be packaged in warming dishes with paper plates provided.
Physical Literacy & Curriculum Ties
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.