Cypress Mountain in British Columbia is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Cypress Mountain, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsLocated just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Canada, Cypress Mountain is a major draw for hardcore skiers and snowboarders as well as casual winter sports enthusiasts simply seeking the total Vancouver experience. With 600 acres of skiable land and trails covering all levels of difficulty, Cypress can accommodate many skill levels and is quite popular despite its close proximity to nearby competitors. The resort also offers an express bus to help visitors reach the slopes without the hassle of driving.
The MountainAnnual snowfall at Cypress averages 415 inches, and the resort employs snowmaking machines to ensure adequate levels of powder. With a vertical rise of 2,010 feet, Cypress is the tallest of the North Shore Mountains, and the longest run at the resort is 2 1/2 miles. In addition to skiing, Cypress Mountain resort offers snowshoeing, tubing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding options. The mountain's schedule depends on conditions, but opening day typically falls in the first week of December. Cypress is usually open until mid-April.
Trails And LiftsCypress Mountain has 53 runs, four of which are double black diamond (experts only) and seven are appropriate for beginners. Most of the runs -- 19 -- are black diamond for advanced skiers, while 18 are rated blue, for intermediate skiers. Cypress Mountain has four freestyle terrain areas. The resort has a jib park and offers nighttime skiing until 10 p.m. every night. A total of nine lifts -- six chair and three surface -- accommodate 9,000 skiers per hour. Snowboarders enjoy Bell Power Park, which offers jumps, rails, boxes and stalls as well as an area just for novice freestylers called Lili's Garden.
In The NewsAs one of the most prominent resorts on the west coast of North America, Cypress Mountain is a logical choice for professional events. In 2009, Cypress Mountain hosted six World Cup events, and the following year, Cypress Mountain was the official snowboard and freestyle skiing venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. The latter event proved to be a historic one, as Team Canada won 14 gold medals -- the world record for golds attained by a host country.
CostThe best deals at Cypress Mountain are accessible with the purchase of a Gold Medal Card since this membership card reduces prices by 20 percent. Otherwise, a day pass for skiing and snowboarding costs $59 for adults, $45 for youths 13 to 18 years old, $25 for children 6 to 12 years old, $8 for children ages 5 and younger and $39 for seniors. Reduced prices are available from 2 p.m. to close and 5 p.m. to close. Tickets for snowshoeing are $10 for adults. Tubing tickets are $10, sold separately. Equipment can be rented by the day or seasonally; costs for daily equipment rentals range from $8 for a helmet to $48 for a full set of ski or snowboard gear. Alpine group lessons start at $50. The resort offers a variety of lesson packages, including multiday packages.
Apres-SkiCypress Mountain offers a variety of dining options -- including the Nordic Base Cafe and the Crazy Raven Bar & Grill -- for guests looking for warmth and fuel after a full day of action. The resort also has a corporate meeting space and the Big Bear Sports Retail Store. For those wishing to combine eating and entertainment, Cypress Mountain offers a chocolate fondue tour and a cheese and chocolate fondue tour, both of which involve snowshoeing and a warm menu of delicious food.
WATCH: Cypress Mountain
Cross-country skiing is just one of many attractions at Cypress Mountain. \