Nordic manager, Marc Lyster digs in as he climbs a rise on one of Mount Washington resort’s many Nordic trails.
MOUNT WASHINGTON, BC — If you are looking for some Nordic action that will knock your boots off, then book a flight or set sail with B.C. Ferries and get yourself onto Vancouver Island and up to Mount Washington Alpine Resort. With almost 55 kilometres (33 miles) of perfectly groomed and marked cross-country ski trials set for track and skate, the resort offers up the chance to get out and get lost in the greatest of outdoors.
For the last couple of seasons the resort’s Nordic venue is flying on the radar of many international teams, including Sweden, Germany, the U.S. and of course, Canadians, all busy prepping for the Olympics.
Serious training, serious eating
“Our elevation and snow conditions are much like Whistler Olympic Park’s,” said Marc Lyster, the resort’s Nordic manager. “It was tricky on the feed end of things with all the teams; most of the visitors we see here are looking for a light breakfast but not these guys, they are after protein – bacon, sausages and the rest.
“There is a reason these teams are training here and it’s because Mount Washington is recognized as one of the top Nordic destinations in North America,” adds Lyster.
And once you get out on a trail, it is easy to see why. Lake Trail is the loop Lyster and I took – a 12 k (7.5 miles) piece that travels well into neighboring Stathcona Provincial Park, that winds through old growth forests and serves up views of the Georgia Straight. The forest is so dense, it is like something out of a fairy tale – trees with thick trunks and covered in green moss which signifies good air quality.
Stuff this thick only grows in conditions of top-notch air quality. As I was skiing, I am almost looking for a ladle to lap up as much of the fresh air as I could.
Panoramic views after a perfect day
Back at the lodge for the end of day snacks – Thai Chicken Wraps with yam fries and a beer – we met up with a few guys who looked out of place in their downhill ski boots. The cross-country area is tucked just outside of the downhill area with its own space known as the Raven Lodge.
“It’s all about the views here,” said Joe Shorrocks of Comox. “We come down here at the end of our day because, well just look at the views off this deck.”
And he’s right. From the deck of the Raven Lodge, you are looking out over Stathcona Park and into some of the signature peaks that make this area an impressive sight.