Do you fancy skiing or snowboarding on beautiful North Shore Mountains, all within view of Vancouver? Well, skiing on Cypress Mountain is a really good option.
Last year we took skiing lessons on Cypress Mountain after work, so we spent quite a lot of time up on this mountain in the dark. This year, we went back to see this pretty ski area in the daytime. It turns out, I LOVE it when you can see the views. We also made it right to the top of Mount Strachan, so I’d like to share those misty views with you all.
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.
– 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.
You can get cheaper tickets by purchasing them in advance online. If you are planning to buy a season ticket, we found they were cheaper, the earlier we looked at them!
Cypress Mountain Skiing – Queuing
Cypress Mountain lifts open at 9am, but on busy days, it is best to arrive before 8:30am. In the week before Christmas, we were stuck in a queue on the road for just over 30 minutes, just to reach the car park! Once you’re up at the lodge, if you need to line up for tickets, it’s best to be there early! When we last visited all the credit card machines broke, so this took a loooong time!
Despite the queues, by the time we made it to our first lift of the day, there were hardly any people waiting, so we zoomed straight up the mountain.
Cypress Mountain – Great for beginners
There are quite a few black and blue ski runs on Cypress Mountain, but there are also plenty of fun places to practice for skiing newbies. When we first started learning, we spent most of the time on the Easy Rider chairlift and the Runway. Once you gain a little confidence, the Colins run on Mount Strachan and the Panorama run on Black Mountain are both great fun.
Top of Mount Strachan – Intermediate & advanced skiers
This year Marc and I finally made it onto the Sky Chair up to the highest part of Mount Strachan. This part of the mountain only has blue and black runs, so this week was the first time I dared take the lift up. At the top, we had a slightly misty view of the Lions.
The blue ski runs up at the top are short, but so fun! I found them a bit steep and scary, but the views were gorgeous. Plus, I am just excited to manage the slightly harder slopes.
The Sky Chair is a bit older than the other lifts, so you can only ride two at a time.
There is one main green run on Black Mountain. This means it gets pretty busy sometimes. Especially at this pretty view point where you can look down to Vancouver. If you visit Cypress Mountain for skiing at night, this view is gorgeous when you look down onto the lights of the city.
I love the second half of the Panorama slope is so fun! It opens out and you can really zoom down the hill.
Black Mountain – Advanced skiers
There are also a bunch of black runs in the Raven Ridge area of Black Mountain. This aea wasn’t open this week, but there are a couple of blue runs too, so I’ll try to take a peek and report back next time we visit Cypress Mountain.
Warm up at the Lodge
We stopped for lunch here a few times and the food isn’t bad. The Whiskey Jack burger is actually one of the best burgers I have had in Vancouver…but then the croutons on the kale salad were so terrible that I couldn’t eat them! Basically, you should order the least healthy items because they fail less often.
Cypress Mountain Skiing in the afternoon
We went back for a few extra runs after lunch, and the slopes slowly get less and less busy as the sun starts to set.
I hope you liked my mini tour to show off what it’s like skiing at Cypress Mountain. If you liked this, you might like to peek at my other posts in this area:
- Snowshoeing at Hollyburn Mountain – in the Nordic section of Cypress Mountain
- Learning to Ski on Cypress Mountain – This was our evening classes for adults
- Learning to Ski on Mount Seymour – This was our first ever skiing experience
- Black Mountain Hike to Eagle Bluffs this was also in the snow
- The snowshoe Grind – If you fancy visiting Grouse Mountain instead