Skiing, Night Skiing and Cross-Country Skiing
Snow seldom falls in the city, yet Vancouverites enjoy some of North America’s best downhill and cross-country ski facilities. The twinkling lights of the neighbouring ski slopes – Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour – attract the city’s residents and tourists alike, urging them to drop everything and hit the powder just a few minutes from downtown.
Venue for the 2010 Olympic snowboarding and freestyle skiing events, Cypress (www.cypressmountain.com) has the largest vertical drop and a superb track set for cross-country skiing. Grouse (www.grousemountain.com) features tremendous summit views and easy access, while Mount Seymour (www.mountseymour.com) specializes in lessons for first timers and is popular with families. Each facility also offers evening skiing options where many of its runs are floodlit and include twinkling cityscape vistas.
Just over 90 minutes north of the city are the twin internationally renowned ski mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb (www.whistler.com), which attract skiers from all over the world for downhill, cross-country and helicopter skiing. Whistler was the “host mountain” for several outdoor events during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Cypress Mountain (www.cypressmountain.com) upgraded many of its facilities for the 2010 Winter Olympics and it’s a popular snowboarding destination for boarders of all abilities. Grouse Mountain (www.grousemountain.com) also offers great snowboarding options, as well as private lessons and schools for those trying it out for the first time. Rentals are also available at Mount Seymour (www.mountseymour.com), where a wide range of lessons for boarders is on offer.
Grouse Mountain (www.grousemountain.com), Cypress Mountain (www.cypressmountain.com) and Mount Seymour (www.mountseymour.com) all offer snowshoeing opportunities less than a half-hour drive from the city. Grouse offers equipment rentals and guided tours on its forested snowshoe trails as well as night-time snowshoe/fondue packages. Cypress also has marked trails for snowshoers, as well as day and night-time guided tours.
|Story idea |
Consider a story on experiencing Vancouver’s ski resorts at night. You could focus on what visitors can do at Grouse, Seymour and Cypress in the evening, ranging from skiing and snowboarding on floodlit runs to guided snowshoes treks through the forest and lighted sleigh rides and ice skating activities. Your story could also review the drinking and dining options available for evening visitors – including Grouse’s fine dining, Cypress’ new lodge and Seymour’s laid-back pub.
Vancouverites love to ice-skate and there are eight indoor public rinks across the city, each administered by the Vancouver Park Board (www.vancouverparks.ca). These include the family-friendly community centres in Kerrisdale, Kitsilano and the West End, each offering lessons to skaters of all skill levels. In addition, the Vancouver Olympic Centre was converted to a legacy facility after the 2010 Olympics, delivering an NHL-sized ice rink to the community. For an alternative approach, check out Grouse Mountain (www.grousemountain.com), which runs a charming little kid-friendly outdoor rink during the winter season. And don’t miss the free winter outdoor rink at downtown’s Robson Square.
One of the most popular new trends in winter activities for families is snow tubing and both Cypress Mountain (www.cypressmountain.com) and Mount Seymour (www.mountseymour.com) have stepped up to the plate. Cypress offers some heart-pumping, tree-flanked tracks for those who like to speed though the snow, while Seymour attracts snowy speed demons of all ages – plus they offer an additional Toboggan Park for those who bring their own equipment.
|Story idea |
Consider a story on Grouse Mountain’s Sno-Limo tours. Take a seat and let your guide do all the work of pushing you through the snow as you glide downhill on one of several dedicated runs while videoing your ride. Warm-up at the end of your trip with a fireside fondue in Grouse’s city-view bistro.