When it comes to staying fit over the long, cold Whistler winter, nothing beats Nordic skiing for getting your heart pumping and strengthening your core.
It's also a fun way to get outside into the fresh air, it's family friendly, the views are spectacular, the downhills get your adrenaline going, and there are over 100 km of trails to enjoy in the corridor, which means there's lots of variety out there to enjoy. And if you're competitive, there are three Coast Cup races, 10 Whistler Nordics Toonie Races, a loppet and an enduro this winter.
If all goes well - and the weather appears to be cooperating so far - the cross-country ski season could begin on Nov. 13 at Ski Callaghan (the new name given to the Whistler Olympic Park and Callaghan Country ski area).
If that sounds good, the idea of saving $50 for a single area pass or $90 for a dual area pass probably sounds great.
For a Ski Callaghan pass, it's $225 for adults, $135 for youth 13 to 18, $113 for children 6 to 12. Family passes are $450, which includes two adults and up to two children. Day ticket prices are posted at www.whistlerolympicpark.com.
For Lost Lake, early passes are $224 for adults, $135 for youth, $112 for children and $448 for family.
The best value, which gives skinny skiers access to over 120 km of groomed trails in Lost Lake and the Callaghan, is the Dual Area pass. These are priced at $339 for adults, $205 for youth, $168 for children, and $678 for families, or about 50 per cent higher than a pass for one area.
Passes are available at Meadow Park or you can download an application form at www.whistlerolympicpark.com and send it in by e-mail or fax. You can also purchase a pass over the phone at 604-964-0060.
Locals tackle 100-km Ultra
The last big race event on the calendar for the Lower Mainland is the annual Haney to Harrison, a 100-km event that can be raced as part of an eight-member relay team or solo - one of a handful of qualifier events for the IAU World Championships for ultra running.
There are two Sea to Sky athletes attempting the 100 km distance this year, Squamish's Margeet Dietz and Pemberton's Tyler Petrusic.
The runners get underway at 4 a.m., often in the freezing cold and wet. The course itself is hilly, following most of the Dewdney-Trunk Road between the start line in Haney and the finish in Harrison Hot Springs.