Alpine cross-country trails a success 

It’s a small circuit, two loops of trail adding up to just 1.3 kilometres, but cross-country skiers are enjoying their new home outside the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain.

"It’s actually kind of neat," said Roger Weetman, RMOW manager of program services and community liaison. "We have a flat route around the reservoir there, and on the other side, there’s a great little loop with S turns and elevation gains and losses."

The track was set last Thursday and Friday after the municipality made the decision to pull the plug on the Lost Lake Cross Country Trails due to the lack of snow. At the time the Lost Lake system had been officially open for just 22 days, and had been closed since the rains started on Jan. 17.

If we do get enough snow to the valley in the next few weeks, the municipality will groom and track-set some of the Lost Lake Trails, which will be opened to the public for free.

Whistler-Blackcomb and the RMOW reached a deal last week to build a trail on Whistler Mountain, something that has been done in past years. It’s free to use for season pass and 10-time pass holders, and open to the public. The price is $25 for adults, $20 for youth and seniors and $7 for children.

That’s higher than what Whistler normally charges to use the Lost Lake trails, but according to Weetman it’s more in line with what other cross-country facilities around the province are charging.

The Whistler Cross-Country Connection is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. continuing to offer rentals, lessons and tours from their location in Lost Lake Park, and will be providing a shuttle to the base of Whistler. They are also looking for a location that’s closer to the village.

As for the Lost Lake trails, Cross Country Connection isn’t willing to concede defeat just yet.

"All it would take to get up and running is a 30 centimetre dump," said Whistler Cross Country Connection co-owner Chris Waller. "We’re not ready to say it’s over just yet, although the more time that does go by the worse it looks."

As for the course on Whistler Mountain, what it lacks in length it makes up for in snow and the views. "On a clear day, it’s really beautiful up there," said Waller. "When we’ve done this kind of thing in the past, people have been totally blown away. I don’t think anybody has complained that the course was short."

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