Despite a few promising early snowstorms, the snow situation at lower elevations has been on the bleak side this year. As a result, the scheduled opening of trails at Whistler Olympic Park has been delayed, and Sea to Sky’s growing community of Nordic skiing enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer to get skinny skiing.
There is snow in the forecast however, and the cross-country season should be underway soon with a full slate of events running through until spring
Teck Coast Cup
The start of the official competition season was slated for Dec. 1, a Coast Cup race sanctioned by Hollyburn that was cancelled due to the lack of snow. Future events are on Jan. 18, hosted by the Whistler Nordics, and on Jan. 19, hosted by the Spud Valley and Squamish Nordics.
Events are usually $10 to $20, and designed to be inclusive with a wide range of course options for all ages. Registration and race notices are posted online at www.zone4.ca.
BC Cup Biathlon
The Callaghan Winter Sports Club is hosting the opening event of the BC Cup biathlon series on Dec. 14-15, sponsored by Nesters. This is a two-day event, with a sprint on Saturday and a mass start race on Sunday. For more, visit www.callaghanwintersportsclub.ca.
BC Winter Games Trials
Whistler Olympic Park will host kids from across the Zones 3, 4 and 5 for the BC Winter Games Trials, with the top young skiers born in 1999 or 2000 going on to represent their regions at the BC Winter Games, Feb. 20 to 23.Only eight skiers can qualify for each zone. Visit www.crosscountrybc.ca for details.
Cadet Zone Trials, Winter Games Trials in Biathlon
This Jan. 4 event is the regional trial for the BC Winter Games in biathlon. For more, visit www.biathlonbc.ca.
Biathlon Series Events
Hosted by the Callaghan Winter Sports Club for ages nine and up, there are races on Jan. 12, Feb. 8 and Mar. 2. These are grass roots events for local clubs and individuals interested in taking up biathlon. Visit www.callaghanwintersportsclub.ca for more.
This is the biggest Nordic festival in Sea to Sky, taking place on Feb. 22-23 with a wide range of race categories — including a 50km marathon — and over 400 skiers taking part.
This year the youth events will take place on Sunday (Feb. 23). There will be fun events and races for kids of all ages. Visit www.payak.ca.
BC Winter Games Biathlon and XC
The main part of the BC Winter Games — hockey, gymnastics, etc. — take part in Mission, but for the Nordic skiing events — cross-county and biathlon — the venue is Whistler Olympic Park on Feb. 21-22. Local athletes will be looking to qualify for these races, and to use the the BC Winter Games as a launchpad to the provincial team.
National Championships Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined
Whistler Olympic Park’s ski jumps and cross-country trails will be put to use on Mar. 27-29 for the national championships for ski jumping and Nordic combined.
This is the second straight year those events will take place in Whistler. Visit www.whistlerolympicpark.com.
The Woppet is the last big race event of the season, taking place on Mar. 30. This is more of a participation event and social, with a barbecue, party and prizes available. Visit www.whistlerolympicpark.com.
Lost Lake Park
The Whistler Nordics have decided not to host the Toonie Race season this year, but instead will host four ski and social events in Lost Lake Park on Dec. 19, Jan. 16, Jan. 30 and Mar. 13. For more, visit www.whistlernordics.com.
The Spud Valley Nordics are hosting their annual Spud Valley Loppet this year on Feb. 2, with a point-to-point course in the Pemberton Meadows. It’s flat for the most part with a few technical ditches thrown in, and some of the best views of any even in the corridor. Visit www.spudvalleynordics.com.
Spud Valley Jackrabbits registration open
Registration is now open for the Spud Valley Jackrabbits youth programs, ages five to 13, with a price of $65 for the season — December through mid March. Visit www.spudvalleynordics.com for the gear list and other details.
In other news, the club is hosting its annual general meeting on Wednesday (Dec. 4) at the Pemberton Community Centre, Room B, following the annual Ski Swap, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.