Nordic Skiing for Schools
Welcome to Whistler Olympic Park! Our school programs focus on developing physical literacy through snow literacy: balance, gliding, speed and body control, decision-making, safety, and learning through play, 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. Whistler Olympic Park operates within health & safety protocols to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19.
The venue is now closed for the summer season. Please email us for more information about field trip offerings.
|Program Offerings||What's Included||2022-23 Trip Fees|
|Classic or Skate Skiing Lessons||
Our traditional cross-country ski program includes a morning lesson followed by ski games, orienteering, or a visit to our ski playground and adventure trails after lunch. Ski playground and adventure trail availability are subject to terrain and snow conditions.
Gr. K-7: $30/student
Gr. 8-12: $40/student
|Guided Snowshoe Tour||
Take a guided tour through old-growth forests and picturesque viewpoints. Learn about the Park’s sports, legacy, and natural history. Depart from the venue after your tour, or stay for lunch and continue with snowshoe games or self-guided snowshoeing.
Gr. K-7: $30/student
Gr. 8-12: $40/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.
|Gr. 7 - 12: $50/student|
|Self-Guided Ski or Snowshoe||
This option is recommended for Outdoor Ed groups and teachers who wish to lead their own program. Self-guided programs are not supported by Whistler Olympic Park instructors/guides.
Ski Ticket + Rental: TBD for 2022-23
Snowshoe Ticket + Rental: TBD for 2022-23
|Accessibility & adaptive support||
Adaptive equipment and leisure buddy support can be provided in cooperation with Whistler Adaptive Sports Program to integrate any participant into a ski lesson. Please contact Whistler Adaptive directly to make arrangements for leisure buddy support.
Contact Whistler Adaptive
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 from a selection of regular menu items at the day lodge cafe.
|TBD for 2022-23|
- Include all classes in a single request if your school will be booking more than one. During the initial booking period, we can accommodate one lesson/tour date per class. Requests for additional visits will be waitlisted until November. Available dates will be offered to schools in the order they were waitlisted.
Lesson/tour pricing includes ticket, rental, and instruction. No discount for season passes or personal equipment. Complimentary chaperone tickets/rentals are provided on a 1:10 ratio plus a floater. We do not charge for chaperones who have season passes or personal equipment. Self-guided pricing will be adjusted for students/chaperones who are season pass holders or bring personal equipment.
Guided lessons/tours can accommodate approximately 60 students or 2 - 3 classes each day. Additional schools are welcome to book ski/snowshoe tickets and rentals for a self-guided experience if lessons/tours are at capacity.
Once a booking is confirmed, we require a minimum 50% deposit.
Lesson and tour programs will be staged at our Cross Country building. Belongings can be stored using coat hooks and cubbies provided. Access to the multi-purpose room at the Cross Country building is included with lessons/tours, subject to availability. Teachers are responsible for supervising this space during lunch breaks.
For self guided groups, we cannot guarantee access to a designated indoor space. If available, arrangements will be confirmed pre-trip. These groups are also welcome to use our picnic area and storage cubbies outside the Day Lodge.
School Programs: Know Before You Go
Teachers: Please complete these steps
- Once your trip is confirmed, review trip details, dates and times, group numbers, 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.
- Help us learn more about your group!
- Guided Lessons/Tours: Divide all students on your trip into groups of 10-12 based on skill level. Include boot sizes for ski rentals - a sizing chart and cheat sheet with skier skill levels are included on confirmation emails. Send us your groupings and boot sizes 2 weeks in advance of your trip. Sizing is not required for snowshoe rentals. Any additional information about your students will be helpful, e.g. behavioural cues, adaptive needs, etc. Please include lunch orders if ordering from the Whistler Cooks lunch program.
- Self-Guided Trips: Send boot sizing only for ski rentals.
- 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.
- Low-Intermediate – has cross-country skied more than 5 times, classic or skate (but not both), or is a confident alpine skier. Prefers to stay on intermediate terrain green/blue trails, moderate rolling hills.
- High Intermediate – has cross-country skied many times, can classic and skate ski, skis in a Nordic club program or with family/friends regularly. 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 a low-intermediate cross country skier their first time out.
divide students into ski or snowshoe groups (not applicable for self-guided groups)
For lessons and tours, 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. Please divide all students into groups of 10-12 based on skill level and provide boot sizing for ski trips. Sizing is not required for snowshoe trips.
Please confirm arrival and departure times for all programs. Lesson/tour groups arriving late or departing early will have less 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 and rental shop upon arrival.
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.
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. Orders can be sent to our programs email pre-trip. Please send a representative to the cafe for payment and order confirmation 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. Chili will be packaged in to-go containers with lids, pizza will be packaged in warming dishes with paper plates provided. We kindly ask that chaperones distribute lunches.
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:
Click here to view important booking information, including policies and payment.
For more information on Safety & Risk Awareness at Whistler Olympic Park, click here.
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.