Do you like the idea of a ski resort that is within easy reach of Vancouver, that is pretty, has powdery snow and that is faaaar cheaper than Whistler? Well, it’s worth having a look at Sasquatch Mountain.
Sasquatch Mountain is located in the Fraser Valley to the East of Vancouver (past Mission and near Harrison Lake.) Up until 2017, it was called Hemlock Mountain, and although it is a similar distance from Vancouver as Whistler, few of my friends seem to have heard of it. This means even at the weekend, the slopes are wide and empty, even when the snow conditions are fantastic!
Sasquatch Mountain overview
Sasquatch mountain has two main peaks with two long ski lifts, as well as a smaller lift for beginners, and a magic carpet on the bunny slope for total beginners. There are 35 downhill ski-runs, with a range of green, blue and black diamond runs.
How to get to Sasquatch:
It’s a pretty easy drive from Vancouver – 2 hours East on the Lougheed Highway (7). There is plenty of parking when you get there. Alternatively, there is a shuttle bus from Abbotsford, Mission or Sandpiper Golf Course
There is a cafeteria, a pub, a shop and washrooms in the lodge.
$64 (or $48 early in the week)
Amazing deals on tickets:
Mondays = Man-day $20 for blokes to ski all day
Tuesdays = 2 for 1
Wednesdays = $20 for students and first responders
Thursdays = Ladies day $20 for women to ski all day
Friday = $20 for a family of four (from 4pm-8pm)
I read online that if you have a seasons pass for Cypress Mountain you’d get a 25% discount at Sasquatch. We did try this, but the lady at the ticket office refused to give us the discount. 😞
I took a photo of the Sasquatch trail map above, but you can see this online here.
Sasquatch Mountain – How busy is it?
The best thing about Sasquatch Mountain is how calm it is! We are used to crazy queues in Whistler and Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains, so it was a pleasant surprise to arrive at Sasquatch and be able to buy tickets without waiting at all! Then, once we made it over to the closest ski lift, there were only a few people waiting in front of us (and more than half of these people were there to set up equipment for ski clubs.)
We arrived when the mountain opened at 9am. Things did get a little busier a couple of hours later, but we never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for the lifts.
Sasquatch Mountain – the lifts
We started off on the Sasquatch Triple, and then spent a while exploring the other side of the mountain on the Skyline Double. The lifts are quite slow compared to the ones we are used to. They all seem a little old and creaky. BUT we didn’t mind this as we didn’t have to spend time waiting for the lifts, we still had more time on the slopes.
I used the time on the slow moving lifts to take photos…so I have loads of lift piccies!!
Sasquatch Mountain – Green runs
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I only started learning to ski last year. I am still a bit of a newbie, so sometimes I forget how to ski(!) I get a little nervous at the start of the day, so we began by exploring the long green run, “East View Road”. It is a really lovely ski slope that winds it’s way around down the mountain. The green runs are really well groomed and smooth, so I quickly gained confidence to move onto the harder runs.
Sasquatch Mountain – Blue runs
The blue runs on Sasquatch are not scary at all. We started on the appropriately named “Big Foot” run, and then explored my favourite run, “Roddy’s”. These slopes are all quite wide, so you can have great fun zooming down the mountain with wide curves.
Just look at these views! Can you see why I liked it!? The blue runs were even less busy than the green runs so I often had a whole slope to myself!
What is the snow like?
It snowed the previous night, and there was still a bit of snow falling when we arrived in the morning, so we were really lucky with the conditions at Sasquatch. The snow feels quite different to Vancouver’s North Shore mountains, mostly because it is less wet (as it is further inland.) This means it is a bit less icy, and more powdery. We found that there were some big clumps of snow, especially on the blue runs, but they were not hardened into ice, so you can smash through them.
We did try to find a run called “Snags,” but we found ourselves stuck in such deep powder! This is the one moment when I fell over quite a lot! I’m not used to skiing in deep powder, so my skis kept getting stuck in snowdrifts! We gave up and made a sideways path back to Roddy’s! I did see other snowboarders having a blast in the powder, so I guess I just need to learn how to cope in those conditions!
Some of the blue runs join up with the green runs for learners at the bottom of the mountain. So, just be aware that you need to be careful and go a little more slowly once you reach those sections of the mountain.
Ski or Snowboard?
Normally, it seems like there are half and half skiers vs snowboarders, but Sasquatch mountain was reeeally popular with snowboarders! I think snowboarding must be harder than skiing, as they seem to sit down a lot. They sort of treat the mountain like a giant bed, and sit or lie down at the strangest moments! I have learnt to be careful if I ski behind a boarder, as I have to be ready to go around them if they sit down suddenly!
Next we headed over to the other side of the mountain, on the Skyline Double lift.
So many Black Diamond Runs!
The other side of the mountain is a bit steeper, so there are quite a lot of black runs. Now, I have attempted a black run on Mount Seymour, but I failed spectacularly, so I wasn’t sure if I should could manage more of that.
However there is one black diamond run called the “ridgeview,” that goes along the top of the mountain, dropping down to several other slopes. It turns out, I *can* manage that black diamond!
The ridgeview leads onto a couple of blue runs, which were sooo pretty. I love stopping to take in the mountain views! The other blue runs on this side of the mountain were also awesome. I especially liked the “timber cruiser” with its undulating slopes.
Sasquatch Mountain Lodge
There is a lodge where you buy your tickets when you first arrive. It also houses a cafeteria, a pub, washrooms and a shop full of ski/snowboarding gear.
Molly Hogan’s Bar & Grill
I really liked the pub. It is cozy, has super friendly staff and had a decent range of pub food to warm you up after several hours in the snow. I thought it was great that if you order a burger, you can choose to have it with soup or fries.
To be honest, the quality of the food isn’t amazing. The burgers we tried are not as tasty as the epic Whiskey Burger on Cypress Mountain. Having said that, it is way better than the terrible grub on Mount Seymour!
All in all, we all had a fantastic time visiting Sasquatch Mountain. I hope we can come back on a clear day so I can attempt some more of those black diamond runs, and see the views without so much mist!
If you like non-busy slopes and bargain prices, you should definitely give this ski resort a try too!
Or, if you prefer people watching on busy slopes, here are some other places to ski within easy reach of Vancouver:
- Whistler Blackcomb – I have posts about being a beginner, late season skiing in spring and skiing at Christmas.
- Cypress Mountain – I have posts about skiing lessons as well as normal ski days
- Grouse Mountain – We didn’t ski there yet, but you can see what it is like in the snow.
- Mount Seymour – I have a post about Skiing lessons at night Mount Seymour