Callaghan Country – Ski Touring and a Snow Cat Shuttle
Just south west of Whistler, the Callaghan Valley is blessed with dramatically more snow (averaging 50% more) then Whistler due to a slightly different weather flow. If you don’t want to spend the night in the Luxurious Journeyman Lodge and want to check out a new area but don’t want to skin up the 10km you can get a shuttle up as Pat is preparing to do the XC Ski grooming. He will drop you off at Callaghan Lake to provide an opportunity to ski Morning Glory or the Callaghan Lake area before you ski back down one of the XC Ski trails. The cost is $56.50+tax per seat, meeting time – 8:30.
The beauty of the cat is that it gives you a 500m elevation and 10km bump into backcountry terrain usually not easily navigable on a day trip without a bit of an earlier start and/or walking on xc ski trails. For a reasonable price you get a leg up into a pretty darn cool area.
On this day we saw 60-75cm of storm snow compared to 40cm at Whistler Blackcomb. The trail breaking didn’t allow for a lot of exploring, but did give a taste of some of the complex skiing heading towards Callaghan Lake or the tree skiing heading west towards Journeyman Lodge.
The purpose of this article is not to give you navigation tips or hold your hand through the terrain (there are Facebook groups for that). One look at any map will give you an idea of what potential there is in this area.
HOT TIP: Callaghan closes its gates at 4.30pm (give or take 15 minutes). If you want to get back from your ski touring day a little (or a lot later) park at the Alexander Falls lot. It’s just 50m away from the Callaghan Country gates so not a big deal to walk there.