Visit the Ancient Giants – Cypress Mountain Snowshoe Trails

Discover-Outdoors-Snowshoe-Cypress

Photo: R. Weiss

I find it difficult to believe that it has been 6 years since Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It seems like yesterday we were welcoming the world to Vancouver. I am and forever will be an “Olympic Junkie.” The Games, the athlete’s stories, the volunteerism and the incredible display of excellence in sport have a hold on me. Every four years I find myself captivated by the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. As my personal homage to the Winter Games, I felt compelled to grab my snowshoes and visit Cypress Mountain to reflect upon those wonderful moments of 2010.

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Visit the Ancient Giants – Cypress Mountain Snowshoe Trails

There’s no day like a snow day – Cross Country Ski Lessons at Cypress Mountain

Inside-Vancouver-Cross-Country-Ski3

Flickr: Totororo.roro

Interested in cross country skiing? For years I have threatened to learn this fabulous outdoor winter adventure sport. Don’t misunderstand, I absolutely love skiing, but my past adventures have always been of the downhill variety. Despite the balmy, spring like weather this past weekend, the snow-capped North Shore Mountains were calling my name. Definitely time to head to the hills and register for an Introductory Cross Country Classic Ski lesson and rental package. Only thirty minutes from downtown Vancouver, Cypress Mountain, the 2010 Olympic Venue for snowboarding and freestyle skiing, is located in Cypress Provincial Park. On a clear day you can see for miles and savour incredible views of downtown Vancouver, Mount Baker, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.

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There’s no day like a snow day – Cross Country Ski Lessons at Cypress Mountain

Vancouver Winter Date Idea: Snowboarding at Cypress Mountain

Source from Cypress Mountain website

Source from Cypress Mountain Facebook page

My boyfriend (“S”) and I drive to Cypress Mountain in the early morn. We’ve settled into an easy silence and suddenly, we round a bend of the road and enter wintry splendour. Clouds and fog obscure the city below, and it feels like we’re far away from our usual urban environment. When holding an umbrella aloft in the Vancouver rain, I often forget that there’s snow on the mountains.

This is the first time we’ve gone snowboarding together and for some reason, I’m feeling a sense of nervous excitement about this particular winter date. I recall my initial snowboarding at Cypress, which, embarrassingly, was only two years ago when I was single.

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Vancouver Winter Date Idea: Snowboarding at Cypress Mountain

Cycling up Cypress Mountain

Photo: Ben Johnson

Photo: Ben Johnson

By Ben Johnson

Vancouver is the city you dream of. Nestled in-between mountains, oceans and hi-rises. Some of its residents choose to use their bicycle to explore this great city and you’d be amazed at the places you can see and how far you can go. We sat down with Thomas Eleizegui, owner of Musette Caffè, and asked him “What’s your favourite ride”? He rattled off several local rides but we narrowed in on one, Cypress Mountain.

A 10.5km, 6% grade climb, Cypress is locally known as one of the three peaks of the prestigious “Triple Crown” club. Membership requires a rider to climb all three peaks, Cypress, Grouse and Seymour in one ride. 1812m elevation and 27.2 kilometres total climbing distance. To add to the stakes a few brave souls attempt the ride in December when descents get dicey.

The film below captures an integral moment of the climb, First Lookout. A beautiful opening at the first switchback giving the rider a view of the city below.

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Cycling up Cypress Mountain

Farewell Vancouver: My Personal ‘Best Of’ the City

Best place to pause and reflect: Lost Lagoon. || Photo Credit: Miranda Post

Best place to pause and reflect: Lost Lagoon. || Photo Credit: Miranda Post

Flash backward: Expo’86, the #3 Main Street bus, I was a visiting eight year old. I thought every culture in the world lived in Vancouver and the city smelled damp like spring time and green everything. This small-town, interior B.C. girl was as overwhelmed and overjoyed when we stepped off the bus to go to Science World. I remember thinking that Vancouver was the coolest thing since Jem and the Holograms and Kraft Dinner.

Flash forward: every time I step out of YVR or drive home down Davie Street, I still inhale deep Vancouver’s fresh, moist air I loved so much as a kid. And, I still think Vancouver is pretty cool – better even than a Tupac hologram or late night poutine.

For the last few weeks, as my little family and I prepared to cross the Rockies to our new home in Edmonton I’ve been unusually weepy.  Every time I crossed Lion’s Gate Bridge, walked in Stanley Park or visited one of my favourite spots (there are so, so, so many) I became a bit weepy because it could be my last (for a while).

Exactly 10 years, seven months and 16 days ago I moved to Vancouver in search of a job, friends and a home after 15 months of international work and travel. I’ve lived in the WestEnd mostly with appearances in Kitsilano, East Van and Chinatown/Main Street.

It was such a privilege to share some of the places, people, activities and eateries/drinking holes that I admire with Inside Vancouver readers over the past year and a half. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing your views. I’m a list maker, so as a farewell to you and to my favourite Canadian city, here’s my personal ‘Best of’ list.

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Farewell Vancouver: My Personal ‘Best Of’ the City

First Impressions, Part 5: Vancouver’s Mountains

High View Lookout Morning Photo Credit: Anders Falk via Flickr

High View Lookout Morning Photo Credit: Anders Falk via Flickr

Hello again, Vancouver.

In case you missed the last installment of this series, my name is Tom. I’m new in Town.

I just moved here from my hometown of Ottawa. It was a bit of leap of faith because I’d never been to BC before, but it’s all paid off. You see, I’ve already fallen in love with your city.

Vancouver has a lot going for it: great sports teams, delicious restaurants, beautiful parks, and more. But as I clumsily learn my way through its neighbourhoods—all unfamiliar to me—I’m learning that there is so much more to this city than the obvious. As a Vancouver newbie, I’m finding that even the city’s ordinary is excellent. Even the mundane is thrilling. Yes, Vancouver, with my fresh set of eyes, I’m here to remind you to appreciate the little things—the lovely little things—because your city is full of them.

A perfect example? Vancouver’s mountains.

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First Impressions, Part 5: Vancouver’s Mountains

Spring Skiing on the Vancouver Mountains Begins

Cypress2014-17After a challenging season for Vancouver ski mountains, the snow has finally arrived – better late than never. March is serving up some of the best conditions of the year, and ski and snowboard fans are betting on a solid April.  I decided to check out the “spring skiing” vibe at Cypress over the weekend.

Well, I guess it wasn’t exactly spring skiing.  No one was in a t-shirt, let alone a bikini top.  But the sun was shining under a blue sky on Cypress Mountain and the temperature at the base was a balmy 5 degrees.  Better still, the mountain had been dumped with 8 centimetres of fresh snow in the last 24 hours.

I was also on a mission – to ski my first black diamond run. Continue reading:
Spring Skiing on the Vancouver Mountains Begins

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