With Cypress Mountain now open, the North shore is ready for winter

Cypress Mountain is a key geographical feature and attraction in West Vancouver. The mountain opened its runs this week for skiers and snowboarders after massive snowfall on Monday, and several days of man-made snow being laid.

“It went from green to white kind of overnight,” Joffrey Koeman, Cypress’s spokesperson told the North Shore News.  “We were making plans to open Wednesday on snow-making alone, and then Monday morning we came to work and there was 31 centimetres.”

This year Cypress has something major planned, a landing pad or air bag that skiers and snowboarders can land on when launching from a jump, to stay safe but still enjoy the sensation of jumping high. “It’s a 45 by 33-foot air bag that snowboarders and skiers can take a jump and land on,” Koeman told NS News.

What the ramp and landing pad combination might look like. [Image from Cypress Mountain’s website.]
One jump will cost $2, 5 jumps for $8, and the participants have to pass a jump test in order to prove aptitude. (Like a swimming test to go in the deep end at the pool, I suppose.)

The mountain boasts its popularity with the most ride-able terrain, best cross country skiing routes, and is trying to provide the best possible snow coverage with all their man-made snow machines. Which are really cool when you think about it – science has gotten to the point where mountains can just be covered in snow not made by nature. Think of the how easy Bob Ross makes snow in his paintings: that’s (almost) how easy snow is to make in real life.

Grouse Mountain opened this week as well thanks to natural and fabricated snow, and Seymour will probably open in the next week or two, if mother nature helps. Seymour is the only North Shore mountain that doesn’t use snow machines, the other two do.

While I’m not the kind of person to exercise willingly, I did have a great experience in high school snowboarding for a few weeks. It made me realize how cool snowboarding is, and then very quickly how expensive this hobby is.  I probably won’t hit up the slopes this year, but I’m sure I’ll hear others talk about how great the slopes are on the Skytrain pretty soon.


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