Nordic Sport for Schools
In the winter season, Whistler Olympic Park offers affordable school group lessons, tours, and self-guided activities in cross-country skiing, snowshoeing & biathlon. Set in the picturesque Callaghan Valley, our winter wonderland is yours to explore with students of all ages and abilities.
Our programs focus on developing physical literacy through snow literacy – competence, confidence, and motivation to move and be active for life.
To prepare for an upcoming trip with your school, check out our Know Before You Go information & video provided below!
For more information about our field trip offerings, please email us.
Bookings are now closed for the 2022/23 winter season.
|Program||What's Included||Trip Fees|
Our traditional cross-country ski program includes a morning lesson (classic or skate skiing) followed by ski games, orienteering, a ski playground, or adventure trails after lunch.
Grade K-7: $30/student
Grade 8-12: $40/student
Follow our guides through old-growth forests and scenic viewpoints. Learn about Nordic sports, our Olympic legacy, and natural history. Depart after lunch or stay and play (snowshoe games or self-guided walk).
Grade K-7: $30/student
Grade 8-12: $40/student
|Ski Lesson or Snowshoe Tour + Biathlon Experience||
Pair a ski lesson or snowshoe tour with our signature biathlon experience. The program includes a morning lesson/tour followed by a marksmanship session on our biathlon range after lunch.
*Our staff follow a comprehensive risk management plan on the 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: $50/student|
|Self-Guided Skiing or Snowshoeing||
This option is recommended for Outdoor Ed groups and teachers leading their own programs. Programs are not supported by Whistler Olympic Park instructors/guides.
|Accessibility & adaptive support||
Whistler Adaptive Sports Program can provide adaptive equipment and leisure buddy support to integrate any participant into a lesson/tour.
Contact Whistler Adaptive to make arrangements
An optional hot lunch program is provided by Whistler Cooks Catering.
Guided lessons/tours can accommodate approximately 60 students or 2 - 3 classes each day. Schools are welcome to book a self-guided experience if lessons/tours are at capacity. Once a booking is confirmed, we require a minimum 50% deposit.
Include all classes in a single request if your school will be booking multiple classes. 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 waitlist order.
Lesson/tour pricing applies to all students taking a lesson and includes ticket, rental, and instruction. Complimentary chaperone tickets/rentals are provided on a 1:10 ratio plus a floater. We do not charge for chaperones who have season passes and/or their own ski equipment.
Lesson and tour programs will be staged at our Cross Country building. Belongings can be stored in the Cross-Country Flex Space. Access to the Flex Space is included with lessons/tours, subject to availability. Teachers are responsible for supervising this space during breaks.
For self-guided groups, we cannot guarantee access to a designated indoor space. If available, arrangements will be confirmed pre-trip. Groups are always welcome to use our picnic area and storage cubbies outside the Day Lodge.
School Programs: Know Before You Go
Prepare for your trip
- Know before you go, review the information in the drop-down list below!
- Review your confirmation email and read our Booking Policies and Payment Information which includes deposits, payments, changes, and cancellations.
- Show students what they can expect by sharing our shape of the day video and Physical Literacy resources below.
- Help us learn more about your group!
- Guided Lessons/Tours: Determine skier skill levels and divide students into groups of approximately 10-12. Include boot sizes for ski rentals - a sizing chart and cheat sheet with skier skill levels are included in 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.
Determine Skier's 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.
- 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, and 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 Lesson/Tour groups
For lessons and tours only, instructors/guides are provided on an approximate 1:10-12 ratio based on the number of students booked. For example, if you book 50 students for a lesson/tour we will do our best to 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. Assigned groups are not required for self-guided groups.
Arrival & Departure
All vehicles must stop at the gate on arrival. Please provide a final head count at the gate.
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, a staff member will come 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. Wait on the bus, a staff member will come to greet you. You will receive directions for ticket and rental pick-up.
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, the school must ensure 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 to avoid confusion at the gate and rental shop upon arrival.
We use .22 calibre rifles in our biathlon programs. If you require a risk management plan for trip approval, please contact us for our Biathlon Safety Policy. All staff participate in an annual training program, and the range is supervised by licensed range safety officers. There is zero tolerance for horseplay on the range.
Whistler Cooks Catering provides an optional hot lunch program for lesson/tour groups. Lunch program information will be included with your booking confirmation, orders must be submitted to us pre-trip. Options include pizza, beef chilli, or vegetarian chilli. All options include a side of veggies and dip.
Please send a representative to the cafe for payment and order confirmation on arrival at the park. Lunch orders will be delivered to the cross-country flex space before the lunch hour. We kindly ask that schools distribute lunches.
Self-guided groups are welcome to order food and beverage items at the cafe. For larger groups, please let us know if you plan to buy lunch on-site.
What to 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, with comfortable clothing, and layers of synthetic or wool blends – allows moisture and sweat to evaporate and adjust the 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, and lunch
DO NOT bring valuables.
Participants can bring their cross-country ski gear – program fees help cover instructional costs and will not be reduced for those with personal gear.
Nordic sports are enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, and skiing involves all major muscle groups, building balance, strength, and endurance. Our school programs combine traditional cross-country ski drills with games and experiential learning on the trail to create a learning environment that is fun and functional. With a focus on developing physical literacy through snow literacy - balance, gliding, speed and body control, decision-making, safety, and learning through play - we strive to help participants gain competence, confidence, and motivation to move and be active for life.
Ski Play & Physical Literacy
Our ski playground is a designated area with terrain features that encourage learning to ski naturally. Click here to see it in action.
"Physical Literacy & Its Relevance to Skiers", article by Michelle Deacon, NCCP CCI and CC Coach Developer, CANSI Level III Cross Country Ski Instructor
BOOKING POLICIES & Payment Information
Click here to view important booking information, including policies and payment.
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. 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 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.