Cabin Considerations – Journeyman Lodge at Callaghan
Not everyone who spends their winters chasing pow is fortunate enough to hail by origin from the mountainous wonderland of BC, which means we travel far and wide to get our fix and love it. It also means that, typically the average expat skier has the thrill seeking tastes of an Aston Martin DBS with the budget and torque of a Honda Prius. But rather than be lame and settle for day trips in the side country perpetually slumming it by night in your basement suites, I propose you make a moderate effort and get out there to experience some good ol’ fashioned luxury and outdoor epic-ness. And I just so have the perfect case in point for our guide of Cabin Considerations, the Journeyman Lodge nestled up in the Callaghan.
#1 – Invite fellow orphans and ensure a good group dynamic
The group dynamic is key. You need people willing to tour 13.8 km in on a cat track to Journeyman Lodge and not complain (like me). Alternatively, the kind folks that run Journeyman Lodge will sled you in and they conveniently take your luggage for you, which makes life a lot lighter! If you’re not after a sled ride or tour in, there’s always the heli drop. In addition, if you know you’re way around you can tour by Callaghan Lake and ski down to the cabin too to get the old left and right fix.
#2 – Make sure it’s the right balance between adventure and convenience.
You want a cabin that’s a mission but not too far away so people won’t want to go. The Callaghan parking lot is ten minutes out of Whistler or one and a half hour’s drive from North Vancouver, located between Alexandra Falls and the Olympic Park. There’s a $26 p/person parking fee over night and then a bunch of options depending on your preference on lodging rooms which are very reasonable when you consider the inclusion of meals, immaculate standard of the lodge, and the epic location. The lodge also provides accommodation for up to 24 people so it’s big enough to have a party but small enough to remain exclusive.
Ski or Snowshoe in & out:
- Standard Rooms: $184-$221 pp /p night
- Superior Suites: $224-$261 pp /p night
- Solitude Suite: $324-$697 pp /p night
- ALL Rooms & Suites: $4,666-$5,568 up to 24p /p night
Friday evening transfer in/ Ski or Snowshoe out:
- Standard Rooms: $244-$264 pp /p night
- Superior Suites: $284-$304 pp /p night
- Solitude Suite: $270-$740pp /p night
- ALL Rooms & Suites: $6,024- $6,504up to 24p /p night
Tailor made 3-day ski touring:
Standard Rooms: $428 pp
Superior Suites: $508 pp
Solitude Suite: $508-$708 pp
5 Day Self Guided Group Ski Touring Package:
4-5 Standard Rooms (dbl occupancy): $820 pp/4 nights
Solitude Suite (full capacity/8p): $820 pp /4 nights
Package Dates: Jan. 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, 2016
*Ask about potential Spring Skiing dates
#3 – Ensure you have a chilled out environment and good resting quarters after skiing.
The Journeyman Lodge is 5000 square foot full service Chalet built in 1980. It offers options of four-course dinner meals, packed lunches for your days skiing, continental breakfasts, plenty of atmosphere, and cozy rooms complete with stoke raising spectacular mountain views. There’s a communal hang out area with a fireplace, relaxing armchairs, Ping-Pong or pool tables to much around with and a handcrafted, Scandinavian wood fired sauna just a short walk to the creek, which is perfect for après recuperation and a whole lot of shit talking with the fellow guests. Out there you’re forced to talk in person or play games with your friends in person rather than through a phone (there’s no Wi-Fi or cell service unless you’re Rogers and want to stand in a really weird position in the corner of the top floor of the Cabin FYI). Skiing and hanging with your friends will become a civilised and memorable social engagement, rather than another average write-off. The lodge Manager is even a Canadian Idol winner and if you play your cards right, there might be a tune or two.
#4 – Pick a cabin that has the ski goods
Journeyman lodge provides access to 12000 hectares of terrain (human powered) made up of 15 zones (link to detailed descriptions and maps can be found here, http://callaghantrails.ca/TouringAreas/). A few days is not enough to even scratch the surface out there but to summarise you have Mt Callaghan, Callaghan North and West, the Ring area, Journeyman’s area, Solitude Glacier, and Telemagique Ridge to name a few. These areas provide everything from long solid tours and runs with complex terrain to more mellow intermediate and simple terrain, endless km’s of suffering for a few turns of glory to be had.
So why not buck the trend and instead of being cheap, lame, and drinking with your buddies after skiing or roughing it cold in a Cabin without service, and treat yourself?