Got Snow? Cypress Opens Friday!

Photo: Flickr, Zac McDougall

Dust off those boards, tweak those bindings and dig out your long undies because it is snowing in the mountains! Like most winter enthusiasts, this is the time of year I longingly watch our magnificent Lions for that first dusting of white. With bated breath, I diligently monitor temperature and precipitation predictions. Anticipation builds! While commuters curse, I gleefully thank Mother Nature for the early season storms and unexpected blast of winter. I visualize fresh tracks and apres ski! Well, Vancouverites, the wait is over. It is official; Cypress Mountain kicks off the season this Friday, November 10th.

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Got Snow? Cypress Opens Friday!

Ode to North Shore Search and Rescue

Snowshoeing Photo: Rob Weiss

With headlamps, crampons, climbing rope and first aid kits on hand, the brave volunteers of  North Shore Search and Rescue have become regular fixtures on our local mountains.  These local heroes routinely put their lives at risk to provide help to those injured, lost and sometimes misguided hikers, skiers, and mountain bikers who encounter difficulties while playing in the hills.  Saving lives for over 50 years, our incredible group of rescuers is one of the oldest search and rescue teams in the country.

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Ode to North Shore Search and Rescue

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

Ready for North America’s Biggest Ski, Music and Arts Fest?

Photo: Mike Crane / Tourism Whistler

Photo: Mike Crane / Tourism Whistler

Ready for some spring skiing, free live concerts and mind-bending ski and boarding competitions?

North America’s largest “winter sports, music, arts and mountain culture” festival is coming to Whistler, April 11-April 20.  The World Ski and Snowboard Festival features 10 days of world-class competition, free hip hop and electronic dance music shows and, of course, all the skiing and boarding you want at one of the continent’s highest-rated resorts – all just two short hours from Vancouver.

Here’s a peek at what’s in store:

WSSF | Dave Humphreys / dhump.ca

WSSF | Dave Humphreys / dhump.ca

Live sportsSpectator sports offerings range from the heart-pounding to the goofy and absurd.  At the World Skiing Invitational, see competitors face off in an adrenaline-packed slopestyle competition and truly jaw-dropping big air jump competition. Equally impressive, the Shred Show sees the world’s best snowboarders compete on a huge, 70-foot table jump.  Meanwhile, furry mascots do battle in Mascot Mayhem, while local pets participate in the Whistler Dogfest and roller-skaters face off in roller derby on Super Brawl Sunday.

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Ready for North America’s Biggest Ski, Music and Arts Fest?

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

Metres of Fresh Snow on Vancouver Mountains: Exploring Grouse

Photo credit: lawrence's lenses | Flickr

Photo credit: lawrence’s lenses | Flickr

After a snow drought most of the winter, the floodgates have opened.  The last several weeks have seen the Vancouver mountains blanketed with metres of fresh snow.  For skiers who have waited patiently, the time is now to hit the slopes.

I checked out Grouse Mountain over a recent weekend, on a day when it was pouring rain in downtown Vancouver.  Up on Grouse, however, all that precipitation was light, fluffy snow; in fact, the mountain had been dumped with nearly 25 centimetres of white stuff in the last 48 hours.

Situated only about 15 minutes from downtown, Grouse is known as the “Peak of Vancouver.” It offers 26 runs serviced by four chairlifts, plus two terrain parks. While the mountain may not have the biggest vertical drop or most technical trails in the area (that distinction generally goes to nearby Cypress), it is a great setting for people (like me) still learning to ski, with more than a half-dozen easy green and blue runs.

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Metres of Fresh Snow on Vancouver Mountains: Exploring Grouse

Beginner’s Quest for Spring Skiing on Grouse Mountain

GrouseSki-21While cherry blossoms may be blooming on the streets of downtown Vancouver, a few thousand metres above the city, there’s still plenty of snow on the mountains.

It’s spring skiing season on the North Shore mountains.  That precious window of time when you can hit the slopes in a t-shirt and get a tan by the time the day is out.

Or so I’ve heard.  This is my first season on the slopes, so I’ve never actually experienced Vancouver’s legendary spring skiing myself.  But on a recent sunny Saturday, I decided to head to Grouse Mountain to see what all the excitement is about. Continue reading:
Beginner’s Quest for Spring Skiing on Grouse Mountain