Know Before You Go - School Programs
Whistler Olympic Park School Programs - Know Before You Go
Nordic Sport for Schools
Once a school program is confirmed, we invite you to view our "Know Before You Go" video and information for teachers and parents. These tools have been carefully curated to assist educators and admins, ensuring a smooth process from pre to post trip.
Preparing For Your Trip
When your trip is confirmed, a Booking Confirmation email will be sent to all contacts provided. Upon receiving this email:
- Review your confirmation email and booking details. Carefully read our Booking Policies. Understand your booking obligations, including deposits, payments, changes, and cancellations. A 50% deposit is due as soon as possible.
- Visit our "Know Before You Go" pages for teachers and parents.
- Show students what they can expect by sharing our video and Physical Literacy resources.
- Help us learn more about your group!
- Guided Lessons/Tours: Determine skier skill levels and divide students into groups of approximately 10-12. Include boot sizes for ski rentals. A sizing chart, skier levels cheat sheet, and lunch order form are included with all confirmation emails. Groups, boot sizes, and lunch orders (where applicable) must be sent two weeks in advance of your trip. Sizing is not required for snowshoe rentals. Any additional information about your students will be helpful, e.g. behavioural cues, adaptive needs, etc.
Self-Guided Trips: Send boot sizing only for ski rentals.
Determine Skier Skill Levels
Teachers, please share our handy sizing chart and skill levels cheat sheet with parents/guardians. This will be attached to your confirmation email.
- Never-Ever – Brand new to skiing or snow sports. Show me the way!
- Beginner – Student has cross-country skied at least 3 to 5 times with school or family, stays on beginner terrain – green trails/flats and low-grade hills.
- Low-Intermediate – Student has cross-country skied more than 5 times, classic or skate (but not both), or is a confident alpine skier. Prefers to stay on intermediate terrain green/blue trails, and moderate rolling hills.
- High-Intermediate – Students has cross-country skied many times, can classic and skate ski, skis in a Nordic club program or with family/friends regularly. Comfortable skiing on intermediate/advanced terrain blue/black trails with steeper hills. Let’s Race!
Intermediate and advanced alpine skiers often transition easily into cross-country skiing. If a child is an experienced alpine skier we recommend classifying them as a low-intermediate cross-country skier their first time out.
Divide Students Into Lesson/Tour Groups
For ski lessons, instructors are reserved on a 1:10 ratio based on the number of students booked. Ratios are approximate. For example, if you book 50 students for a lesson we will do our best to schedule 5 instructors. Please divide all students into groups of 10 to 12 based on skill level and provide boot sizing for ski trips.
For snowshoe tours, we reserve approximately 2 guides per class. Sizing is not required for snowshoe trips.
Assigned groups are not required for self-guided trips.
Arrival & Departure
All vehicles must stop at the gate on arrival. Please provide a final head count at the gate - this will be communicated to our ski school team.
Schools participating in a lesson or tour proceed to Parking Lot 3 (signs for “P3”). Buses will drop students off at the Cross Country building. Our coaches will be outside waiting for you! Wait on the bus, a staff member will come to greet you. Students will meet their instructor(s) as they step off the bus. Drivers can then proceed to park in one of our available lots.
Schools participating in a self-guided program proceed to the bus loop at the south end of parking lot 3. Wait on the bus, a staff member will come to greet you. You will receive directions for ticket and rental pick-up.
Lesson/tour programs run from 9:30 am – 1:30 pm or 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. You are welcome to continue skiing or snowshoeing on your own after your program ends. If you choose to continue skiing after your program, the school must ensure all rental equipment is returned to the rental shop before departure. The park closes at 4:30 pm. Arrival/departure times will also be confirmed with self-guided groups to avoid confusion at the gate and rental shop upon arrival.
Whistler Cooks Catering provides an optional hot lunch program for lesson/tour groups. Order forms are included with your booking confirmation, orders must be summarized and submitted to us pre-trip. All options include a side of veggies, dip, and hot chocolate.
Grade K - 7 menu: Choice of individual pizza, grilled cheese, veggie chili
Grade 8 - 12 menu: Choice of chicken and bacon panini, vegetarian/vegan sandwich, two grilled cheese, or upsized veggie chili
Please send a representative to the cafe for payment and order confirmation on arrival at the park. Lunch orders will be delivered to the Cross-Country building. We kindly ask that schools distribute lunch orders.
Self-guided groups are welcome to order food and beverage items at the cafe. For larger groups, please let us know if you plan to buy lunch on-site.
What to Wear/Bring
Light snow pants
2 (light) pairs of gloves or mittens
A (light) toque
Waterproof layer for rainy/snowy days
Dress for the weather, with comfortable clothing, and layers of synthetic or wool blends – allows moisture and sweat to evaporate and adjust the temperature as the body warms up and cools down while skiing.
Avoid cotton (including jeans), it absorbs and holds moisture.
A full water bottle, snacks, and lunch
DO NOT bring valuables.
Participants can bring their cross-country ski gear – program fees help cover instructional costs and will not be reduced for those with personal gear.
We use .22 calibre rifles in our biathlon programs. If you require a risk management plan for trip approval, please contact us for our Biathlon Safety Policy. All staff participate in an annual training program, and the range is supervised by licensed range safety officers. There is zero tolerance for horseplay on the range.
Luge is the fastest sport in the winter Olympics! Snow luge, also known as "natural luge", provides a safe and controlled environment for youth to try the sport before moving on to a traditional ice track. Snow luge sessions operate in the Whistler Olympic Park toboggan area using specially designed sleds. Our luge coach will teach students about the equipment, steering, and body control using various drills.
Students must bring their own snow sports helmet for this activity, all other equipment is provided.
We can facilitate approximately 1 class per 1.5 hour snow luge session, followed by a snowshoe tour after lunch. For two classes, students will rotate through snow luge and snowshoe activities.
For on ice luge, bobsled, or skeleton activities and field trips, please contact our colleagues at the Whistler Sliding Centre track.
We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our guests, staff, and community. Whistler Olympic Park operates within health & safety protocols to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19. For more information on Safety & Risk Awareness at Whistler Olympic Park, click here.
Nordic sports are enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, and skiing involves all major muscle groups, building balance, strength, and endurance. Our school programs combine traditional cross-country ski drills with games and experiential learning on the trail to create a learning environment that is fun and functional. With a focus on developing physical literacy through snow literacy - balance, gliding, speed and body control, decision-making, safety, and learning through play - we strive to help participants gain competence, confidence, and motivation to move and be active for life.
Ski Play & Physical Literacy
Our ski playground is a designated area with terrain features that encourage learning to ski naturally. Click here to see it in action.
"Physical Literacy & Its Relevance to Skiers", article by Michelle Deacon, NCCP CCI and CC Coach Developer, CANSI Level III Cross Country Ski Instructor.
Get Involved In Nordic Skiing, Biathlon, Ski Jumping, Or Nordic Combined
Whistler Olympic Park hosts its multi-sport camps during Christmas and Spring Break, along with multi-sport programs on some Pro-D days. Multi-sport programs may include Nordic skiing, biathlon, ski jumping, snowshoeing, and/or tobogganing. For more information about programs, parents can click here or email us.
Whistler Olympic Park and local Nordic clubs organize seasonal programming for cross-country, biathlon, and ski jumping! Please contact your local Nordic club for club program or racing information: