SELF-PROPELLED LODGE ACCESS
Trailheads: Alexander Falls Base Area, see Getting Here >> for directions
Distance: Mainline route = 13.4 kms (8.3 miles); OR Real Life route = 12.4 kms (7.3 miles)
Calories burned: 3000-4000 depending on personal weight and travel time
Total elevation gain: 560 meter gain (1,837 feet) not including gains after losses
Allow: 3-4 hours (by XC Ski) 4-5 hours (by Snowshoe) depending on equipment, conditions, and experience
Admission Requirements: Ski Callaghan Admissions >> are required for all visits to Journeyman Lodge via the trail access routes
Maps available: Google Map View >> (GPS track download), Free trail map available at adventure desk during check-in, Clarke Geomatics and John Baldwin Topographical maps available for purchase at Access Callaghan Ski Shop >> during check-in
ROUTE DESCRIPTIONS: There are two main access routes to Journeyman Lodge during the Winter season…
Mainline Trail (ski route only) – The most popular route to Journeyman Lodge is via Mainline, Parkway, and Upper Wild Spirit groomed ski trails. For safety reasons, snowshoers are not permitted on this route. For skiers however, it features longer, but more gradual climbs and is quite open for sunshine and mountain vistas.
Mainline trail is a Blue Square rated, 8.4 km intermediate trail. It begins with an initial long climb of 3.5 km that follows the original Callaghan Forest Service Road on its way up to Callaghan Lake. The first part of the trail is the toughest with moderate terrain in the middle section and even a downhill slope to Callaghan Lake.
Along the way, skiers will enjoy amazing views of Metal Dome, Brandywine and Powder Mountains. Once you reach the lake you can continue on to the lodge via the forested Parkway trail, a Green Circle rated 1.8 km ski to the final climb of Upper Wild Spirit trail (3.2km). The return trip from the Lodge following this route affords skiers a fantastic view of Black Tusk, a volcanic spire that has become one of Whistler’s most famous landmarks.
Real Life Trail (snowshoe, ski, and luggage transfer service route) - As the primary service route, this is usually the first lodge access route that opens each winter season. For those opting to snowshoe in and out of the lodge, Real Life trail, to the Wild Spirit trails is the only lodge access route. It is also preferred by those heading in on touring equipment looking to shave off the extra 1.6 kms of travel.
Real Life trail is accessed just off the first few hundred meters of Mainline trail. The first kilometre of real Life trail is blue rated because of a steep pitch that must be climbed before reaching the pleasant 3.5 kms of gently rolling terrain that soon turns into Wild Spirit trail.
The journey up the 4.1 km of Wild Spirit trail is a classic introduction to the West Coast forest ecosystem. Majestic old growth Hemlocks and Yellow Cedars tower overhead as the trail crosses over several creeks, including the fast-flowing Callaghan Creek.
Advanced and expert skiers LOVE this trail; an aggressive black diamond rating with some of North America's steepest hills. As the trail winds its way up the valley to the lodge along the Upper Wild Spirit trail (3.2km), snow-laden trees give way to sub-alpine meadows and breathtaking mountain views.
WINTER TRIP PLANNING SUGGESTIONS & TIPS
Believe it or not, strong athletic types have been known to ski up in an hour and out in 30 minutes!! No matter which trail you take, adventuring into Journeyman Lodge is a truly rewarding experience. Pack a lunch, start early, bring your camera and make a day of it!