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History (60) Top Level

History: The back country area around the Callaghan Valley Road was traditionally one of the foremost destinations for back country skiing in winter. In the 1970's and 1980's numerous trips in this area were regularly on all the club trip schedules, such as the BCMC (British Columbia Mountaineering Club), the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC), Alpine Club of Canada and countless private parties.

However, in the 1990's most of the Callaghan valley became overrun with snowmobiles, particularly machines with highly modified two cycle engines and no mufflers. These screaming machines soon dominated the area, and displaced the traditional self-propelled backcountry skiers.

Leading up to 2007, the government built an extensive nordic facility in the valley, in preparation for the Vancouver Olympics. It was referred to as the "Whistler Nordic Center" until the facilty was opened in 2007. and then the name was "Whistler Olympic Park".

Most importantly, the snowmobiles were finally restricted from dominating the area, and so the area was restored to being attractive to self-propelled sports like cross country skiing and back country skiers.

After the 2010 Olympics, an organization called "Whistler Sports Legacies" took over operation of Whistler Olympic Park after the Olympic Games. Since then, there have been a number of schemes to charge back country users, similar to what the operators of Cypress Bowl tried to do in the 1980's for people accessing Hollyburn. Initially there was a plan to charge everybody $6.00 to cross the trails to gain access to the backcountry. See Possible Charge of $6.00 to access backcountry from Whistler Olympic Park.

Then in 2012, the scheme was that all backcountry users must pay a $10 fee whether they use the XC ski trails or not. This excessive charge was not successful, and tended to discourage everybody and give the place a bad name.

In 2013, Bivouac member Scott Nelson and the FMCBC continued to work on the issue, and worked out a procedure with the Nordic center whereby back country skiers would no longer be charged individually, but only the car would pay a $10 fee for parking. The way it works is you get a yellow waiver form from the person at the gate, and leave it on the dashboard.

As of 2017 the fee was raised to %15/car for parking. This is the current scheme.