Last autumn there was a minor controversy in Whistler when the Nordic community discovered that winter grooming of trails on the Nicklaus North Golf Course was being halted by the Resort Municipality of Whistler as part of sweeping cost-saving service cuts.
After some lobbying on the part of skiers, the RMOW agreed to groom the area, which represents about four kilometres of trails of the total 30km in the Lost Lake trail network, and look at the issue more closely for this season.
Last week, the RMOW announced a new pilot project for the area, offering separate low-cost passes to ski the mostly flat area. Day tickets are just $10 for adults, $5 for youth and children and $20 for a family, compared to $19, $11.50, $9.50 and $38 respectively. Youth are aged 13 to 18, and children are six to 12. Both are free for kids five and under.
"The Nicklaus North day ticket provides a new option for cross-country skiers looking for beginner or lower intermediate terrain," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in a press release. "This was created based on feedback from residents and visitors and was something that came up through the new Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee."
The committee was re-established in September and has two meetings to date. As well as Nicklaus North trails, the committee has been discussing issues such as user fees for municipal recreation.
The trails will only be open during daylight hours, seven days a week, and tickets will be available at a special ticket booth located on the dyke across from the railway tracks, near the Nicklaus North clubhouse. That's also the parking area for the trails.
No rentals will be available from the ticket booth.
As well as the pilot project, the RMOW is bringing back a dog loop this year with a 1.5km Fitzsimmons Trail Loop that along the south side of Fitzsimmons Creek. The White Gold Traverse dog walk trail will be closed this year to avoid conflicts between dog walkers and customers using the 10km snowshoe trail network.
Meanwhile, early bird pass rates are in effect until Nov. 22 for both Lost Lake, Ski Callaghan (Callaghan Country and Whistler Olympic Park), and Dual area passes that access all three areas.
Dual area passes are $359 for adults, going up to $450 on Nov. 23.