Know Before You Go - Cross Country Skiing
Read the information below to make sure you are well prepared for your trip to Whistler Olympic Park!
How to get started - for each ability!
The easiest way to get into cross country skiing successfully is by taking a lesson! Hire a private instructor for an hour, or join a group Intro Clinic for classic or skate or a 2-day camp! After only one lesson, you will be able to start exploring the trails on your own with the proper technique. Classic technique is recommended for most first-timers. Try our Neverland trail which starts right at the Day Lodge!
Beginner / Intermediate:
Practice in our three instruction areas or the ski play area to work on balance, confidence and fun, before you head out on the trails. Even if you have skied several times already, we recommend taking a refresher lesson to boost your skills, especially in the early season. Check out our camps for beginner & intermediate level skiers!
Intermediate / Advanced:
You are ready to hit the trails and go exploring? Check in with our Guest Services team in the Day Lodge and ask for our signature trails, recommendations for the day, grooming, trail statuses and other updates such as weather or special events!
What should I wear/bring?
Dress in comfortable, light and breathable layers of synthetic or wool; avoid cotton! Dressing this way will allow you to adjust your temperature as you heat up/cool to be comfortable in varying conditions. Dress as if you were heading out to a cold gym, winter hike, run or cycle. If you ski on a wet day, ensure you have a top layer that keeps you dry. Thin gloves or mittens are best and fit through the ski pole straps with ease. If you are a beginner taking a lesson in minus temperatures or going night skiing, consider slightly thicker gloves or mittens (avoid thick alpine gear). To keep your feet comfortable, wear a higher cut sock. Pack sunglasses, sunscreen and, if you plan to go on a more extended tour, a drink belt/hydration pack and light snacks. Our café in the Day Lodge can help you refuel after your ski as well!
In need of new gear? Check out our Retail Shop, located in the Day Lodge!
90 kilometres of trails - where should I go?
We recommend asking our Guest Services team upon your arrival, who will be able to recommend the perfect trail for you! Check our trail map and trail conditions (link below) and review trails according to your ability and fitness. Be realistic with the duration of your session, especially if you are a beginner. Start your tour with appropriate clothing, some hydration and fuel, depending on the length of your trip. Ensure you have a hard copy of our trail map (available at Guest Services), as electronic devices may stop functioning in the cold.
Beginner / Intermediate trails:
A great, easy trail to start on is the Neverland trail that leaves right from the Day Lodge and follows flat and forgiving terrain for approximately 4 km. The trail leads through the Cross Country Stadium used in the Olympic Games, and you will find sport-related interpretive signage and multiple Olympic photo ops. If you are a little more advanced and feel comfortable with moderate up- and downhills, the Madeley Creek trail gives beginners a longer trek through the beautiful west coast forest, or climb up the Top of the World trail! You can also check out Porter's Glide, which is one of our beginner-friendly, dog-friendly trails!
Intermediate / Advanced Trails:
More experienced skiers should explore the trail network located around the Biathlon Range and around/above the Cross Country Stadium for some serious climbing and fun descents. Those are the same trails that Olympic legends won their medals on in 2010! If you are looking for serenity in old-growth forests, great views and rolling climbs and descents, check out our advanced signature trails such as Norwegian Woods, Howe it Goes or Loon Lake Loop. If you wish, you can go exploring past the ski jumps for a loop around Mountain View, Lower Line Road and Top of the World.
Did you know that we have over 40 km of dog-friendly ski trails?
Waxing your skis for Whistler Olympic Park
Temperatures are often around 0° Celsius or 32° Fahrenheit at the Park, and the snow typically has a high moisture content. This can make waxing a bit tricky and many skiers choose to use no-wax skis to remove the complication of waxing. If you are a diehard waxing fan that likes to prepare your own equipment try skiing first thing in the morning after a clear night for the best conditions, or prepare for the possibility of breaking out the klister. If in doubt, ask our ski techs at the rental shop, they also provide overnight ski wax services (and, if you don't want to wax your own skis, ask them for the most suitable rental gear for the day!)
The relatively warm temperatures at Whistler Olympic Park (around 0° C or 32° F) make it an ideal site for skate skiing. Warm snow conditions provide for fast skiing and because skate skis are not “kick” waxed in the same way as classic skis, the waxing challenges encountered by classic skiers are not part of the skating experience. For the coastal climate at Whistler Olympic Park, a warm/high humidity glide wax for temperatures around zero is ideal, for more performance, choose a “low fluoro” wax.
Safety and Risk Awareness
Cross Country Skiing, snowshoeing and other activities that take place at Whistler Olympic Park involve the risk of injury. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the Safety and Risk Awareness information here.