Whistler Olympic Park
|The route and terrain described here is capable of producing avalanches. Safe travel requires the skills and equipment to assess and mitigate avalanche hazards. A professionally taught training course is highly recommended.|
For the 2012-2013 season, Whistler Olympic Park (east) and Callaghan Country (west) have combined their operations under the [http://www.skicallaghan.ca Ski Callaghan[ banner. However the rules for backcountry access are different. Whistler Olympic Park offers a discounted backcountry parking and access ticket and Callaghan Country requires that all backcountry users purchase a regular cross country or snowshoe ticket.
Backcountry users fees are in effect for 2012-2013:
- $10 per vehicle for access to Gin, Sproatt, Hanging Lake, Rainbow, Beverley and Puma via Whistler Olympic Park. Use of the groomed trails to reach the backcountry trailheads is ok.
- $25 per person (full nordic rate) for any access through the Callaghan Country base area to reach Callaghan Lake and Telemagique Ridge.
There are 4 possible parking areas. Overnight parking is only permitted at the Alexander Falls parking lot.
- Whistler Olympic Park Day Lodge
- Whistler Olympic Park Biathlon Range
- Callaghan Country parking lot
- Alexander Falls Recreation Site parking lot
There are several parking lots around the day lodge (P1-P6). Some of these lots may be closed during XC races and Ski Jumping events (see the Whistler Olympic Park Event Schedule for dates), but there will always be something available. P3, P4 and P5 are all just a short walk from the day lodge. Washrooms, showers and food are all available at the day lodge. Overnight parking is not permitted and you must leave before the main gate closes (5pm in winter, 6pm in spring)
The Biathlon range is about 1km past the Day Lodge area. There are three parking lots (P7-P9), but only P9 will be plowed. Parking may be limited at the Biathlon Range during Biathlon events (see the Whistler Olympic Park Event Schedule for dates). There is a public washroom just inside the lower entrance to the Biathlon building. Overnight parking is not permitted and you must leave before the main gate closes (5pm in winter, 6pm in spring)
This parking lot is for day use only. You must purchase a regular price XC trail ticket to park here.
Alexander Falls Recreation Site
The Alexander Falls parking lot is outside the main gate at the Alexander Falls Recreation Site. Overnight parking is permitted. It's a 200m walk or ski along the main road to reach the Madeley Loop XC trail from this parking lot. This parking lot is outside the WOP and Callaghan Country boundaries, but you still have to buy the appropriate ticket to access the backcountry through either ski area.
Kml file with all the trails and access routes here: WOP_access.kml
A marked wilderness ski trail climbs steeply up to Hanging Lake from the Whistler Olympic Park Biathlon Range. The trail can also be reached easily from the Day Lodge by skiing along the Olympic XC trail. There is good skiing around Hanging Lake, or continue up to Gin Peak or Rainbow Mountain
A marked wilderness ski trail goes up Beverley Creek,. The trail starts from the Biathlon Range and heads west. It drops down and parallels Madeley Loop XC trail north to the bridge over Beverely Creek. On the far side of the bridge the trail enters the forest again and goes up Beverley Creek. The Beverley Creek trail can also be reached from the Callaghan Country or the Overnight parking lot by following the Madeley Loop cross-country ski trail for 2km.
Puma Peak lies between Beverley Creek and Madeley Creek. The south summit (only a few meters lower than the main summit) offers a good ski trip. Follow the trail up Beverley Creek to reach the W side of the long ridge running south from Puma Peak. A system of open ramps heads up the west side of the ridge. At 1350m, switch to ramps on the east side of the ridge crest to reach gentle terrain in the alpine.
There is an alpine area above Madeley Lake with skiing in open meadows.
- From the Whistler Olympic Park overnight lot via Madeley Road trail.
- From the Biathlon Range Parking via a shortcut through the woods, Madeley Creek Trail, Norwegian Woods, Lunch Lake and Madeley Road. This access route is closed during all Biathlon competitions, as it crosses the Biathlon race course. There is some uphill skiing on the return to climb back up to the Biathlon Parking Lot.
- From the Day Lodge Parking lot via Inside Passage, Madeley Creek Trail, Norwegian Woods, Lunch Lake and Madeley Road. There is some uphill skiing on the return to climb back up to the day lodge.
- 3km up Callaghan FSR (mainline trail) an ungroomed road heads off on the right.
- Follow the road, keeping left at two junctions.
- The road ends at a landing at 1220m.
- Follow the ridge crest uphill, heading north. On maps, the ridge looks very gentle, but there is a lot of micro terrain that makes travel and route finding a little more tricky. The upper part of the route follows a strange valley the runs along the top of the ridge.
- The final summit is most easily ascended from the NW side. There is a nice ski run from the top down to Telemagique Lake.
- It's 8.5km up Callaghan FSR (mainline trail) to Callaghan Lake, which takes about 2 hours to ski at a reasonable pace.
- On weekends Callaghan Country offers a snowcat shuttle to Callaghan Lake.
- The west side of the lake has some nice yoyo skiing terrain on east facing slopes.
- The north side of the lake has excellent open meadows for skiing on generally S facing slopes. The 1800m summit overlooking Cirque Lake is a good objective for a day trip.
- The XC ski trails and the 21 mile creek watershed (Rainbow Lake) are closed to dogs. This closure includes the ski touring loop from Hanging Lake over to Beverley Creek and ascents of Rainbow Mountain from the south and west. Dog owners can access the Hanging Lake trail from the Biathlon Range.
- All snowcat / snowmobile access roads are closed to backcountry skiers for safety purposes. This includes the ski jump service road. Please do not use this route. Instead, access Hanging Lake from the Biathlon Parking Lot, or from the day lodge using the XC trails.
- Don't ever ski behind the biathlon range.
- Observe the nordic skier responsibility code on all XC trails.
- Whistler Olympic Park main website
- Whistler Olympic Park weather forecast
- Whistler Olympic Park webcams
- Callaghan Country website
- Callaghan Country current conditions and snow report
- Callaghan Country trail map