Ski Resorts > Vancouver's Local Ski & Snowboarding Resorts

Vancouver's Local Ski & Snowboarding Resorts

By LEONARD MCGAVIN
Published: March 24, 2008

There are three resorts considered local to Vancouver; Cypress, Grouse and Seymour. All of which are around 20 to 30 minutes drive from downtown. Although they pale in comparison to the size of Whistler Blackcomb, which is another two hours drive away, they offer enough to keep all levels of skiers and riders happy.

All three resorts offer night riding with most green runs and some blue runs lit up. This tends to pull the after work crowd and lots of teens. Check with the resorts for hours of operation as night riding doesn't last all season. Weekends can be pretty busy with beginners but if the conditions are right snow-wise the mountains can open up and give everyone a lot of room to play.

Cypress MountainCypress is the largest by far of the three locals. With the recent 40% terrain expansion it's really becoming a first-class resort. But size certainly isn't everything. If you are boarding you'll find that without a nice dusting of fresh snow you'll only be able to utilise a small fraction of what there is to offer and advanced riders and beginners will be packed into the same space. The price of entry also reflects that they are the largest of the three and must therefore be offering more than the other two.

Grouse MountainOffering the torturous Grouse Grind in the warmer months, Grouse Mountain offers a sizable skiing area in the frosty months. It is the only resort that cannot be accessed by car instead relying on an industrial sized gondola to get the patrons from car park to resort. The ride itself takes about 8 minutes and offers a magnificent display when the skys are clear.

There are only two chair lifts servicing the slopes. The majority of beginners stick to the Screaming Eagle quad leaving the Olympic Express quad for the rest of the crowds. Fortunately the Olympic Express gives access to most of the skiable terrain where there is plenty of action to be had.

Mount SeymourThe runs on Seymour can be pretty short if you are just wanting to flat-line from top to bottom. But, if you are willing to take your time and play on the banks and other natural terrain or practice your turns or even learn to turn then Seymour is a great place to be. The mountain really is wonderful for beginners as it's cheaper and has some varied terrain despite it's size.

When the weather is clear all three resorts offer amazing views of Greater Vancouver day and night. Whether you're learning, practicing or just cruising, don't feel you have to travel to the big names to get your fill, these mountains can definitely be the way to go.

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