This year, Marc and I bought the Silver Pass from Cypress Mountain. This pass allows you to ski as much as you want when it’s off-peak times. We have used it on several weekends and even more for a few hours ski practice after work. Now we have had a Silver Pass for (almost) a season, it is time to decide if we should buy one again next year. So, I thought I should look back over the last few months of fun, and decide if spending money on a Cypress Mountain Silver Pass was worth it or not. If you’re considering purchasing a lift pass for 2019- 2020, hopefully this can help you decide too!
I should probably mention, I have not been sponsored for this post in anyway.
Cypress Mountain Silver Pass – what is involved:
$349 (during the spring sale, until mid-April)
This gives you access to ski as much as you like, excluding some blackout dates
You can buy it here.
Silver pass blackout dates:
26th December to 2nd January 2020 as well as weekends in January and February
Picking up your pass:
Arrive early the first day you want to pick up your pass and ski! The lines to collect ski passes were crazy at the start of the season.
- 40% Discount on your lift ticket during the blackout dates
- You get one complimentary day of skiing/riding at Revelstoke Mountain Resort
- There are a bunch of places where showing your pass will get you discounts.
Cypress Mountain Skiing – the basics
Cypress Mountain isn’t really a mountain. It is actually the name of three mountains, Black Mountain, Mount Strachan and Hollyburn Mountain. The first two, Black Mountain and Mount Strachan are covered in ski slopes. Then there is an area for cross country skiing and snowshoeing over near Hollyburn Mountain.
You can see a full Cypress Mountain Trail map. There are 4 speedy quad chairs, as well as two smaller chair lifts. The two mountains are covered in a variety of slopes for different levels. There is a super easy bunny slope, as well as four fun green runs (where we learnt to ski – read more here about skiing lessons on Cypress Mountain.)
– It is 25-30 minutes drive from North Vancouver
– There is a shuttle bus from various locations in the city
– You can rent equipment from the lodge (although there are often long queues)
– The is a cafe, a restaurant, a coffee shop and a shop for clothes and equipment.
We always seem to start (and often finish) our days on Mount Strachan. There is a fantastic, long-ish green run, Collins, which is the perfect place to learn to ski. Just be ready to dodge other learners as it is always busy.
The mountain changes massively depending on the snow conditions and how it has been groomed. The photos above are about a month apart, both from the Lion’s Express quad chair. There is more new powder in the photo on the left, but it was a thin layer. In the photo on the right, there is far more snow, and it has been groomed much more recently. I found I can cope with more difficult blue and black ski slopes after they have been groomed OR when they are very powdery.
Once you’ve graduated from the green slopes, Cypress Mountain is even more fun. There are normally far fewer people on the blue and black runs, and the views are spectacular. The view below is from Horizon.
Top of Mount Strachan
I only started to venture to the top of the mountain this year. All the ski runs from the top are blue or black, and it can get very windy and icy up there. BUT if you head up on a sunny day, the view is spectacular! I love this view of the Lions.
The view down to Howe Sound and the mountains beyond can be gorgeous too.
Can you see why I like it?
Black Mountain is also fantastic! The runs feel like they are a bit shorter, but they are great fun, and often less busy that the slopes on Mount Strachan. When we first learned to ski during evening classes last year, we spend a lot of time on this mountain at night, so I am always excited to see it in daylight!
Black Mountain has a gorgeous view down to Vancouver, so at night time, you can see all the sparkling lights of the city below.
Raven Ridge Area
One side of Black Mountain is covered in more advanced, blue and black slopes. Last weekend I finally built up the courage to ski in this area. Just be aware, it is best to explore the Raven Ridge area in the morning. It is in shadow later in the day, and the Raven Ridge quad chair always closes at 3pm.
This was easily the quietest part of the mountain. I found myself alone on the slopes quite a few times. Plus the views were beautiful. Now I know I can manage it, I’ll definitely come back to ski in this area again on other visits to Cypress Mountain!
Skiing at peak times vs off-peak
One of the things I really like about the Cypress Mountain Silver Pass is that it allows us to ski when it is not too busy. I realize this may not suit everyone, but I *like* skiing when I have room to swoosh down the slopes without bumping into other people. I have also found that skiing later in the season (in March rather than Janurary or February) is more fun. There is more snow built up, and far fewer people.
We did pay extra to ski at Cypress during peak days a couple of times, but it was soooo busy that we spent more time queuing for lifts than actually skiing. Those days didn’t seem like value for money, even with 40% off.
Cypress Mountain food:
I think the food at the lodge on Cypress Mountain is better than the food on the other local Ski Hills (Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour.) I mean, it’s not perfect, the Kale Cesar salad had the worst stale, soggy croutons I have ever eaten, even if the salad was good! If you stick to unhealthy food like burgers, they are pretty decent. My favourites are the Whiskey Jack burger or the Chicken Crunch burger.
Cypress Mountain Silver Pass – Was it worth it?
Silver pass plus points:
- Being able to pop up after work to practice has been fantastic
- You have the pass, so you can waltz straight over to the slopes as soon as you arrive
- We had so much fun skiing on the off-peak weekends so far
- There were “bring a friend” days when if you come with a pal, they’ll get 50% off their ticket.
- 40% off if you’d like to ski on the peak days
Silver pass less good points:
- If you want to get 40% off and ski on peak days, there is no way to load these extra days online. You are forced to stand in line. We may have been unlucky, but both times we tried to do this, their system went down and we had to wait about an hour to pay for tickets.
For me, the Silver Pass was perfect!
This year our Cypress Mountain Silver Pass was totally worth it. This is only our second year on the slopes so we still have a lot to learn. The range of ski slopes at Cypress Mountain have really stretched my abilities, so I have slowly moved from green to blue and black slopes. This has given me the confidence to try skiing at other mountains… so I get to see even more pretty views.