One of the best rules of thumb I learned also helped me fall in love with Vancouver winters. The advice was simple: if the temperature is seven degrees Celsius or lower and it’s raining in Vancouver grab your skis or snowboard and uphill because it’s snowing on the North shore mountains.
Now I warn you, this isn’t a scientific, peer-reviewed statement. It’s an urban myth I heard from a boss who also happens to be a mega-skier. But for the winter of 2011/2012, this simple mantra worked, I headed uphill whenever the weather got cold and rainy and nine times out of ten my boss was right. That season I took more snow days in than I ever had in my life.
Another key to that very successful winter was the early bird pass I bought alongside a bunch of my snow-loving senoritas. As soon as the snow fell, we hit the hills as much as possible on week nights, weekends and the odd week day. “This is the winter I am becoming a snowboarder,” I warned my ancient Burton twin tip.
By late November, carving down Panorama and Crazy Raven at Cypress Mountain faster than you could say, “Winter ale and nachos for après?” My snowboarding improved that season in equal if not better proportions to my beer-and-nacho-eating skills.
All of this to say, in a roundabout way folks, carpe diem and grab an early bird season pass before prices go up soon. You too can entertain fantasies of becoming the next Bilodeau or Ricker on the local mountains.
Cypress Mountain has six chair lifts and consists of 600 acres of skiable terrain. For Cypress Mountain lovers there are three different kinds of season passes: G8, Silver and Onenighter.
The Cypress G8 pas lets you ride all day, all night, all season. The Silver gives you seven-day-week access to the hill until December 25-January 2 (the exclusion period). For Jan/February the Silver pass allows you to skill all day/night Monday – Friday and then 40 per cent off on the weekends and/or exclusion periods. The Onenighter gives you access to the hill one specified night that you need to decide at the time of purchase. All passes are for sale for discounted rates until November 1, 2013.
Grouse Mountain is the North shore’s most all-season mountain. In the summer you can climb the Grouse Grind or watch a lumberjack show. In the winter the mountain includes four chairlifts, 26 ski/snowboard runs and two terrain parks.
Grouse doesn’t have any early bird offers on right now as they sell the Y2Play passes in the spring and this year the pass is sold out. Never fear, Grouse still offers daily, night and one night passes for super reasonable prices.
Located the furthest east of the three North shore ski mountains, Mount Seymour offers 200 acres of downhill terrain and five lifts (one high speed quad, two double chairs, one covered magic carpet and one Tots Area magic carpet).
Mount Seymour, on the other hand, has one kind of season pass. A Mount Seymour season pass is good for as long as the mountain is open and does not have any exclusion/blackout dates. You have less than a week to buy a Mount Seymour early bird pass because the sale ends October 31, 2013.
So bust out your wax, dust off those bindings and buff up your goggles. Soon enough it will be pouring and less than seven Celsius downtown Vancouver and subscribers to this urban myth will be making their way North, uphill.