Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vancouver: A Skiing Paradise

Oh sure we Canadians love to talk about how cold it is and complain about the winter but look on the bright side of sipping hot chocolate in front of a cozy fire, warm fuzzy slippers, snowball fights and skiing!

The Hip and Urban Girl's Guide ventures out to Vancouver, the Canadian skiing mecca to check out some winter fun. Conveniently located within an hour's drive from the city are three ski mountains - Cypress, Grouse and Seymour. If we keep heading further north for two hours, we arrive at the Number One Ski Resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb.


Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics and rising a mile above the valley are two incredible mountains that need no further introduction: Whistler Blackcomb. There is something here for everyone with its unparalleled prime mountain terrain - including 12 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers and more than 200 marked trails! Oh and did we also mention the luxurious resorts and hotels often adorned by celebrities and jet setters, world class spas to relax and rejuvenate after a hard day on the slopes, shopping and dining in The Village and of course, the breathtaking backdrop of the Valley.

But if you are just here to experience some incredible skiing, nothing compares to the PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience! This truly is a one of a kind journey - an exploration between the Mountains where you get a 360-degree view into Whistler Blackcomb’s alpine environment, its surrounding peaks and wildlife habitat. It is definitely a magical experience not to be missed!

Of course a trip to Whistler including lift ticket and equipment rental can be as steep as the mountain peaks themselves but remember, you are paying for the ultimate winter playground.


Grouse Mountain is a local mountain situated right in the middle of The North Shore Mountains. Grouse has a variety of mountain terrain for both newbie snow bunnies and expert skiers. There are 25 trails, 13 of which have lights for a romantic late night rendez-vous on the slopes.

Another bonus at Grouse is you can ride the 2800 vertical ft Sky Ride Tram to the top of alpine paradise and dine at The Observatory restaurant - the crown jewel in the resort and one of Pacific Northwest's best-known landmarks.

Priced reasonably and conveniently accessible by the North Vancouver bus, Grouse is really a great ambassador to metropolitan skiing. I personally love this mountain because it seems almost surreal to be skiing above Vancouver's skyline and city lights!


To the left from downtown Vancouver, towering above West Vancouver and overlooking Horseshoe Bay is Cypress Mountain. Cypress offers the highest vertical and claims the most serious skiing experience on The North Shore at over 600 metres!

There are 38 downhill Runs and most are lighted for night skiing. If you are a dare devil you'll definitely enjoy the steep runs through tight little Christmas trees that will make your heart pound and legs burn. From the trails you get spectacular views of Georgia Straight, Vancouver and English Bay.

Cypress is also a major Cross-Country Skiing Centre and offers snowshoeing, snowtubing, winter walking trails and a quaint tea house located in a magical forest setting. Perfect for warming up those frozen toesies!


Mt Seymour is located eastward, to the right of Grouse Mountain when looking at The North Shore Mountains from downtown Vancouver. It is more family oriented as it is the smallest mountain and least expensive. Snow is plentiful at Seymour so if downhill skiing is not your thing, they offer many other winter activities like cross country, snowshoeing, snowtubing, tobogganing, an in ground half pipe for snowboarding and a snow slider park.

While you are here, enjoy the beautiful views of Vancouver, the ocean, Mt. Baker, Washington state and Vancouver Island.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget how great the Grouse Grind is in the spring/summer. You get to hike up to the top, nearly pass out at the top due to exhaustion, grab a drink at the mountain top chalet and then enjoy the Gondola down with an amazing view of the lower mainland, if you can time it with the sunset, its pretty stunning!