Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Checking out alpine skiing at Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, B.C.

 by Keith and Heather Nicol
Cypress was an Olympic venue for the recent 2010 Winter Games
     On our recent trip to Vancouver, B.C.  we decided to check out the skiing at Cypress Mountain which is just a 30-45 minute drive from many parts of the city. We were accompanied by our son Michael and daughter Kristie and one of her friends.  Because the base is at over 900 meters when ever it is raining in Vancouver it is often snowing at Cypress during the winter months. So in one way it is the best of all worlds, you can play in the snow without shoveling it! We headed up on Saturday, January 26th and the weather started out with high overcast conditions but quickly changed to cloud and flurries as we arrived that morning. Cypress has the most vertical (610 meters) of any of the local ski areas on the North Shore Mountains. It has 53 runs served by 6 chairlifts, 2 of which are high speed quads, as well as 2 surface lifts. Cypress Mountain has snowshoe trails that wind through part of the alpine resort and we saw quite a few people taking advantage of this.  Cypress Mountain was also the site of the freestyle skiing and snowboard events for the 2010 Winter Olympics and we noted that the 5 rings at the base the mountain were a frequent backdrop for people posing for pictures.
Michael skiing through the soft snow on Rainbow run at Cypress Mountain
         Cypress Mountain has runs on both Mount Strachan and Black Mountain and had an impressive 380 cm of snow when we skied it in late January.   Mount Strachan is the highest in elevation (1440 meters) and we skied mainly off the Lions Express high speed quad where there were several intermediate and expert runs. There had been 20 cm of new snow over the past few days which made for great skiing. We also skied runs on Black Mountain which is served by the Eagle Express and the Raven Ridge chair. Some of the longest black and double black diamond runs were located off the Raven Ridge chair and we particularly liked First Sun and Black on Black. We can see why Cypress Mountain is so popular since it features lots of winter options from alpine skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and even tubing. For more information check out:       

Kristie skiing down Black on Black off the Raven Ridge Quad

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