Having skied in the Whistler Valley for many years, one place that is often overlooked is the Callaghan Valley. Home to Callaghan Country for many years – which mainly caters to Cross Country skiers, with 47km of groomed trails – this area is becoming more visited by ski tourers. One can see why when they see the terrain. Unfortunately it is also in the area of heli skiing and sledding so it’s not always the most quiet place. Considering our low snow year in 2014, there weren’t alot of other users out. We were also there during a cold snap. We had pretty good conditions considering. This area is definitely worth a visit when conditions improve.
We meet at Alexander falls for a 12km, 750m ski into Journeyman Lodge. This is done on groomed xc trails so its an easy, if not long slog in. Do do offer at $120 shuttle to the lodge or when there is more snow a ride up in their snow cat.
Fast conditions on Wild Spirit Trail.
The Journeyman Lodge was built in 1980 and extensively upgraded since then. It can sleep 24 people in a variety of rooms with or without a private bath. It has hot showers and flush toilets while the generator is running. Its heated by fireplaces so can be chilly on really cold nights. It has a large eating area on the first floor where everyone eats together. Two common lounge areas on the second and third floor are also availalbe to hang out in during the evening or day if you want. We had a queen room on the 3rd floor with a shared bathroom and shower, our room didn’t get below 17oC at night. We never had an issue with waiting for the shower or bathrooms during our stay which was fully booked.
Courtney at Journeyman Lodge
Once at the Lodge you are assigned your rooms and given an overview of how things work in this luxury condo. Dinners are amazing, the breakfast was continental so a little lacking, fortunately they also provide a hearty lunch which was quite good.
Skiing on Day 2
Our first full day of skiing we tour into Ring Lake, around one of the ridges and back to the Lodge. Conditions were hard packed, cold and not a lot of pow. We did one run on a N facing slope which wasn’t bad. This allowed us to get a good look at the terrain.
Low snow on the boulder field
Across another meadow with Ring Mt in the back
We hit a slope for a few turns
This is our Queen Bedroom. Very cosy. Plenty of hooks and drawers for the two of us for three nights. The lower pics are the two common areas
Blankets are around if you get cold, we also had appies before dinner!
Jason was our Chef and described each dish as it was served. Food was plentiful and good!
It was my birthday
After dinner we would hang out in the common area and chat.
Continental Breakfast set up. Bit meagre but filled the hole. White bread, really?
Day 3 we decide to go to the Gendarme area to hit some N facing slopes. Nice thing about touring in the Callaghan Country is the valley has groomed xc trails making for fast and easy access!
Top of Gendarme Ridge
Not bad pow
Katy still tele’s!
So good we do two more laps!
Jos enjoying the view of Powder Mountain – this is regularly skied by Whistler Heli.
Hangout out looking towards Power Mountain. There was not wind here and the sun was very nice.
Ice falls part way down.
Michelle telling us what’s on the dinner menu
Overview of our two days of touring
Day 1 – 950m Climbing (Ring Lake)
Day 2 – 1450m Climbing (Gendarme)
Carol, Laurence, Erika, Jos, Lee, Sharon, Phil, Derek, John
Murray, Sue, Courtney, Katy, Libby, Kathy, Mary, Linda, Dan