These are tough times for skinny skiers. The cross-country skiing conditions in lower elevations are less than ideal due to the current snow scarcity around Whistler.
The Lost Lake Cross Country trails remained closed through December due to a lack of snow. According to the Cross Country Connection answering machine, the 28 kilometres of trail in the Lost Lake area will open when sufficient snow arrives. Cross Country Connection offers equipment rental and lessons out of the Passiv House when there is enough snow to ski on.
The Callaghan Valley has a sufficient amount of snow for skiing. Whistler Olympic Park (WOP) was offering skiing on more than 50kms of trail at the end of December. Callaghan Country was reporting a base of just under 100cm at Journeyman Lodge on Dec. 28.
"The lodge is doing quite well...visitation is up over last year," said Brad Sills of Callaghan Country.
He said weather conditions are excellent above the 3,000-foot mark. The lodge sits at 1,370 metres (4,500 feet) above sea level.
Lindsay Durno at WOP said his snowmaking and grooming team has been working hard with WOP's limited amount of natural snow. Manmade snow was created for the toboggan hill at the base of the ski jumps. Durno said interest in the toboggan hill has been high and snowshoeing trail use is up this year.
"We're getting lots of people up snowshoeing," he said. "Lots of people we've never seen before."
Through strategic grooming and the creation of manmade snow Durno said conditions on many WOP trails are good.
Whistler Blackcomb jumped into the cross-country game this season by offering a 1.4km cross-country circuit track in the alpine at the area known as the Blue Chair Flats on Whistler Mountain. The track is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with special pricing available for Lost Lake or Dual Area pass holders. Whistler Mountain cross-country day tickets are $30 while Lost Lake or Dual Area pass holders are being charged $10 per day and the fee for Lost Lake night pass holders is $20.