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“A naturally awesome escape”

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Callaghan Country's Journeyman Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 4, 2013

First and foremost, the lodge has excellent and hardworking staff. We were very well cared for at every step of our time at the lodge - right from the moment of booking our stay, arrival at the check-in desk and ultimately at the lodge itself. Well done.

The food was superb and plentiful.

Our room was clean, very comfortable and with a beautiful view. This is a backcountry lodge, not a hotel. For a backcountry lodge, The Journeyman Lodge far exceeds my experiences at other remote accommodations. The rooms are small by hotel standards because it's a lodge, not a hotel. Knowing the difference between a true lodge and a hotel will determine if this is the right place for you. I am writing this because I cringed at reading an earlier review of someone who complained about the communal "family style" dining, the normal social aspect of being with other people in a ski lodge, the possibility of pine martins trying to get into the building, and complaints that there isn't electrical power 24/7. A backcountry lodge is off the grid and exposed to all the elements of the wilderness. It's a beautiful escape from the noise and clutter of the city. We had a quiet restful sleep on a comfy bed in a fully private room.

The sauna is wonderful and exactly how it ought to be - period.

If I had to complain about anything, it would be the grooming (or lack thereof) on the ski trail both in and out. The ski in was okay (on the Mainline trail) but the last few kms toward the lodge the grooming was quite spotty. On the ski out there was no grooming done at all on the Wild Spirit trail which made for a bit of an unnecessarily challenging ski out. I would have hoped or expected the trails would have been well maintained after paying for our trail passes.

All in all, we loved our stay and are planning to return as soon as possible to stay for several nights. The backcountry touring potential of the area is unbelievable. The total price is comparable to staying at many other backcountry "fly-in" lodges. The difference here is that there is no need for a helicopter flight in. Many of the other fly-in lodges really do not offer much privacy even in the sleeping quarters and the toilet is often an outhouse. The chance of a shower at these other places? Probably not until you fly out at the end of your trip. At Journeyman Lodge, the cost savings of no helicopter is made up in quality of the lodge, rooms, food and care of the staff.

We felt at home, relaxed and can't wait for our next trip to the lodge. Thanks for an excellent experience.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dave H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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70 - 76 of 93 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2013

If you want the feeling of having truly escaped to somewhere 'else', yet be only a few hours from Vancouver, this is the place.

We are a family of ex-dowhillers and current cross-country skiiers (future backcountry skiers?). Over the holidays we were looking to extend our experience of being in the mountains, but we still wanted comfort! Journeyman Lodge met all our requirements. The lodge is well-named because ski-in feels a journey – but managably so on a well-groomed trail– a 5 month pregnant, first-time cross country skiier skied in the same day as us).

A warm welcome, lovely food. We really felt that we were their personal guests. The stand-alone, wood-fired sauna a few hundred metres away which the braver followed by a plunge in the fast running creek was added adventure.

The lodge is light and airy. You get the sense that it is a labour of love --from the hiring of the charming, capable and attentive small staff to the understated good quality furnishings – thick wool rugs, comfy chairs, bed and bedding.

The lodge is a working example of how to build sustainably and run a business with a light footprint. Jeff, an onsite owner and former park ranger of the area, is an accommodating host and fount of information on the terrain.

The 'library' has an eclectic range of books . We poured over an album of ski trips taken up the surrounding peaks and glaciers. We didn't see them on this visit, as it was snowing heavily, but we will be back for sure. Highly recommended.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
Thank windknows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We did a one night trip xc ski in and out, had a wonderful stay, lodge hosts were friendly & welcoming. Food was not gormet, but we could see that care was put into the preparation by the cooks. Hand built sauna by the creek was a great experience. Wish we had done a longer trip with some touring in the surrounding mountains, terrain looks awesome and the amount of snowfall was unbelievable. Unfortunately there was too much snowfall on our second day to use the xc trails in the meadows near the lodge, but it must be a beautiful place to ski on a clear day. The time at the lodge was quiet and relaxing. Will definitely return for another visit

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kirk P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Perfect 3 day/2 night cross country ski trip. We got a ride up to the lodge on the first morning and after a briefing and lunch, we headed out to ski a couple loops in perfect snow conditions. Visibility was poor but left a nice new layer of snow each day!! There was a friendly and helpful live-in staff of 4. The dinners were outstanding, and the breakfasts, packed lunches and evening appetizers were also very good. The sleeping rooms are snug but well designed. The common rooms are large and encourage guests to gather and mingle. We skiing eached day and borrowed snowshoes for short walks in the late afternoon. On the last day, the skies cleared and we had spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains as we skied the 13 km out to the parking lot!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Judys_travels_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

What I liked about it:
1. the surrounding area, really beautiful.
2. The food, really good, certainly surpassed my expectations! I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out how they got everything they needed up there, since it's pretty remote.
3. The ski up there. Fairly difficult-it's about 13.5 km and the first 3-4 km are largely uphill. This makes for a great ski down there, however!

What I didn't like:
1. Not a lot of privacy. Certainly does not make for an intimate weekend for two if that's what you're looking for. Everyone is expected to mingle. If you're part of a large group, that might be fine, but we were not and it was more than a little weird and uncomfortable. Some people would think this is fine, but I was definitely not one of them--I really hated the shared meal idea. They call it "family-style", but it felt very artificial and forced. The rooms are not really private either. People from the large groups are all yelling at each other from their rooms-it's like staying at a student hostel. .
2. Some rather odd rules. An example was this: when we arrived, someone gave us an orientation speech which included the warning to NOT have the windows open at night or a pine marten would get in (umm...what?). We own a cabin in a remote part of BC and no wildlife has EVER tried to get in at night. Maybe pine martens in this part of BC are just really smart or determined? We also noticed that there were screens on the windows, so do the pine martens chew through the screens or do they just remove them first before climbing in? More than a little puzzling...if they are just trying to save on cost of electricity by not having people open windows, then perhaps they could just say that!?!

Room Tip: If you want to have any privacy at all, ask for the Solitude Suite.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank oolichan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

our group hiked into Callaghan Valley Lodge this summer. The positives - this is a luxury backcountry lodge with gourmet food, nicely packed lunches for daily activities, comfy beds and spectacular scenery. One hikes in, carrying everything one needs in a backpack.

The second day we hiked to Ring Lake which was an arduous journey but we loved the experience. This leads to our one complaint: the brochure says that water (include toilet flushing) and electricity are provided by a generator between the hours of 7-10AM and 4-10PM. Upon arrival we were informed that the hours would be between 8-10AM and 5-10AM. This did not seem like a big deal until we returned from a 6 hour hike and had to wait 2 hours for a shower in sweat drenched, then clammy clothes. Remember you do not have an extensive wardrobe via a backpack - and not everyone can do a sauna. Furthermore, at 8:15 the next morning one of our party finally had to go down and ask that the generator be put into operation.

It is a shame that a great adventure was dampened by the lack of such a basic need - including some who decided that they would not return because of this.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MaxineTC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Our trip at the lodge in March 2012 (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Eq0bxIinc ) was amazing!

Amazing staff in the office, amazing hosts at the lodge, great lodge, great sauna, great food and sublime skiing. We got lucky too: sunny sky, stable snow pack and lots of powder.

We are thinking about returning in 2013 with a few friends of ours.

Alex

Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
Thank Alexandre H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Callaghan Country's Journeyman Lodge

Address: 4 Callaghan Valley Rd | Base area is #4 Callaghan Valley Rd, Whistler, British Columbia V0N 1B0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Whistler
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 55 Specialty Lodging in Whistler
Price Range: $135 - $540 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A reservations based mountain Inn (more commonly known as a backcountry lodge) offering a range of accommodation suited to every adventurer’s budget. Journeyman Lodge retains the charm and warmth of traditional alpine culture. Guests eat together and relax together. They share tales and connect with like-minded people who’ve each just had their own best day ever. Humans have been sitting around a fire telling stories since the beginning of time. Why stop now? ​ Witness awe-inspiring mountain vistas, explore untouched wilderness, and relax in the comfort and safety of our charming full-service backcountry lodge. It's a West Coast Must-Do! ... more   less 

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