Sunshine plus lots of snow equals great spring Nordic skiing in BC
Online PR News – 09-March-2010 – – The days are longer and the snow a bit softer but that doesn’t mean winter fun is over in British Columbia. Over the last three seasons, 85% of the provinces’ Nordic ski trails have been open during the month of March.
The spring season offers sunny après-ski, unique festivals and events, and great ski deals at many BC resorts and lodges. It’s also the perfect time to bask in some 2010 afterglow and follow the heels of the Olympians that trained at many locales prior to the Games.
“Skiing in March and April is all about timing as there can be extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the day,” says Chris Waller, a CANSI Level IV Nordic ski instructor and co-owner of Cross Country Connection in Whistler, BC. “The advanced skiers prefer the fast, hard packed early morning conditions, while the novice skiers should ski during the early afternoon to take advantage of the softer snow for either classic or skate technique.”
Spring is also a good time to take a lesson and learn proper technique on soft snow conditions. A lesson can boost confidence, leading to a more comfortable and enjoyable cross-country skiing experience, especially on hilly terrain. Chris advises, “take a few extra measures before hitting the trails: reduce the layers, bring water to avoid dehydration, and wear sunscreen and eyeglasses with good UV protection”.
With these tips in mind, grab the klister, peel off the layers and slap on the sunscreen at these Nordic trails and destinations in BC:
Black Jack Cross-Country Ski Trails/Dawn Mountain Nordic Ski Trails
In BC, the Kootenay Rockies region is a consistent go-to spot for spring skiing. The Black Jack Cross-Country Ski Trails, located near Rossland, BC, and the home trails of Canadian Olympian George Grey, are situated at 1127m (3700 ft) elevation, just steps from Red Mountain Resort. “Due to our high elevation and deep snowpack, we are consistently able to provide excellent trail conditions and grooming for cross-country skiing well into April and sometimes until early May,” says Wannes Luppens, Black Jack Ski Club president.
Sanne van der Ros, Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre’s events coordinator, says “Skiing in Golden, BC is a golden experience! The Dawn Mountain Nordic Trails, located at the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, are in excellent shape this year. With the warmer day-time temperatures, the skate skiing is fast and fantastic!” The only hazards to watch out for at these Rockies destinations are the wildlife on the trails.
Nordic Trails at Mount Washington Alpine Resort
The snow conditions have been superb all season long at Mount Washington. The Vancouver Island resort is poised to hit the 5 metre snowpack depth this season. Nordic enthusiasts can ski or snowshoe on the 55 km plus Nordic trail system well into April and take in the dramatic views of the Coast Mountain and Beaufort Range. End-of-season events include the annual Vancouver Island Loppet on March 28. Nearby Courtenay, only 30 minutes away, offers a charming village après-ski experience with an eclectic mix of boutiques and cultural hot spots.
Silver Star Mountain
Blessed with an abundance of natural snow and located at an elevation of 1609m (5200 ft), spring skiing in BC just doesn’t get any better. March is all about kids and spring break, and Silver Star Mountain offers affordable spring break packages and ski camps to keep the kids busy and healthy. Silver Star’s Nordic trail passes are valid at adjacent Sovereign Lake and combined offer over 100 km of skiable terrain. End-of-season events include the Silver Star 75 Team XC Challenge on March 14, and the famed “Retro Day”, aka “Tight & Bright Day” on April 3.
Callaghan Country/Whistler Olympic Park
For late-season skiing, the Callaghan Valley Trails near Whistler, BC take top prize. Due to its unique geographical position surrounded by glaciated terrain in the Coast Mountain Range, the Callaghan Valley receives huge snowfalls and boasts a reliable snowpack. Ski the trails that the Olympians cruised on during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games at Whistler Olympic Park. Here, Nordic diehards and the not-so-diehards can enjoy cross-country skiing until early May. The weekend 3-course lunch for day skiers at Callaghan Lodge is a gastronomic treat. Callaghan Country celebrates spring with its annual “Spring Fling” free BBQ event on May 1. Nearby, Whistler and the town of Squamish are filled with restaurants, unique boutiques and First Nations artisan shops to round out a great day trip.
For detailed information about spring events and other Nordic trails and destinations in British Columbia, visit www.bcnordic.com.
About BC Nordic:
BC Nordic Marketing Society (BCNMS) is a non-profit organization comprised of Nordic facility operators, ski areas, resorts, and tourism marketing organizations. The organization actively promotes and supports Nordic winter recreation activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and backcountry skiing at destinations located throughout British Columbia.