In the last five years, Ian Goldstone has seen good Decembers and bad Decembers.
But in 2015, the owner and operator of Cross Country Connection at the Lost Lake PassivHaus is happy to see an average December.
Goldstone explained the past half-decade has seen the Lost Lake trails open early three times, but has also seen a pair of late arrivals. That includes last year, where action began two weeks late.
With the goal of throwing open the gates for roughly 10 kilometres each of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails on Dec. 15, Goldstone said there was a quiet opening the day before this past Monday.
"There's more on the way. We've got grooms and tracks set on the Lost Lake Loop and hopefully Lower Panorama and Windmill Road (will be) coming online later this week," Goldstone said. "All I wanted this year was a normal start and this feels like a bonus."
At full capacity, there will be 25 kilometres of cross-country skiing trails and 15 kilometres of snowshoeing trails available for public access.
With brand-new snow a common sight in the sky the past few days, the trails are in superb shape, according to Goldstone.
"It's excellent. It feels like mid-winter out there," he said. "The cross-country trails are great, and the snowshoe trails are great, too."
Of course, Nordic enthusiasts were trying to bend his ear inquiring as to how things were looking, and Goldstone was glad to be able to provide good news.
"The phone's been ringing off the hook," he said. "People are excited. They're pretty hungry."
The trails are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., though there will be some modified hours over the holidays.
For more information about the trails, visit www.whistler.ca/crosscountry or call 604-935-PLAY (7529) for daily trail updates.
In addition to the better winter for skiing, Goldstone was also excited to see the extra traffic to showcase the new Connection Café, which serves up favourites like soups, cookies and "some of the best coffee in the valley."
"Our café has been renovated and we're open for business," he said. "(We renovated the) refrigeration and coolers and some lighting. We're all modernized now."
Meanwhile, cross-country skiing has been an option in the Callaghan with the Whistler Olympic Park (WOP) opening late last month.
Whistler Sport Legacies announced that some of its other family-friendly options were helped by the recent snowfall, as the toboggan and ski-play areas saw improvement, WOP managing director Tim Hope said in a release.
As well, the park will offer a shuttle bus from Whistler Village beginning Dec. 19. A round-trip fare is $10, while packages including trail passes, ski or snowshoe rentals and lessons are available from $25.
For more information on park programming, visit www.whistlersportlegacies.com.
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