Deals! Deals! Deals! on local mountains.

It’s Spring, and there are lots of deals happening in the local mountains. here’s a few.

Grouse Mountain

Y2Play Pass: $355.00 (purchase now! it will sell out soon)

– a popular pass that includes riding and skiing for the rest of this season as well as all of next season.

– All Y2Play purchasers receive $35 off an Air Grouse Mountain Zipline tour.

– Bonus for Adult Y2Play passholders: $25 Grouse Mountain Gift Card. Family passes will include a $50 Grouse Mountain Gift Card. Buy online and receive a complimentary lift ticket valid until April 2010.

Adopt an Athelete:

Support one of Grouse Mountain’s adopted athletes and you could win one of three great winter packages:

1. Three pairs of 2010 Olympic Winter Games tickets and a high performance ski or snowboard package for two

2. Two Adult Y2Play Snow Passes valid through the end of the 2009/10 winter season

3. Two adult 5-Day Snow Packs valid for use through the end of the 2009/10 winter season.

Alternatively, you can enter the draw for the prizing for no donation amount. To do this, please write us a 200 word letter on either of the two following topics:

a) Why Vancouver is the ideal city to host the world in 2010

b) How winter sports have inspired a common passion that unites our province.

click on the link to find out more

Cypress Mountain

Women’s Week:  (March 2-8)

– any weekly drop in lesson – 20% off for women, Women only Terrain Park Jam

Mount Seymour

$99 Spring Pass: March 1 to end of this season

-I would not call this the “best deal in town” as they advertise it, for $255.00 more, you can get 5 more months of skiing and riding at Grouse Mountain.

– But if you love riding the big terrain park Seymour has, maybe this is the pass for you.

GPS from Baker

It’s been 2 weeks since Baker, as I was going through my GPS data from my trip, I found something quite interesting, for 1 second, I was going 50 km / hour, which is pretty damn fast on a snowboard.

Mount Baker Snowboard Trip GPS from Google Earth (Feb 9, 2009)

If you see it on the map, it is #4.  When we just got off the chair lift, there’s a few cliff drops, I guess that was how fast I was freefalling down a drop into powder.

50 km/hour on Snowboard at Mt. Baker - right after drop in from Chair Lift - #4 on Map

I bring my GPS with me whereever I go especially when I go hiking or kayaking.  Not so much for snowboarding because batteries die really quickly when it is cold out, my batteries died about half way through our trip at Baker.  My GPS is Garmin Etrex Venture HC.  It does not tell me the altitude, but tells me how fast I am going and the direction I am going as well as backtracking to where I was, i.e. my car from the hiking trails.

Day 38 – Vancouver appearing through the clouds

Well, it’s been a few days since I last posted.   The conditions on the mountain has been too perfect in the last few days that I’d rather stay on the mountain all day (and all night) than to be at home writing a blog.

January 19, 2009 East Hastings @ Boundary in Burnaby

Burnaby was completely clear and sunny (though a bit chilly) this morning while downtown was still covered in fog.

Vancouver from Cypress Mountain Lookout, January 19, 2009

Vancouver from Cypress Mountain Lookout, January 19, 2009

I could not resist stopping by the Lookout point at Cypress Mountain before going up for some sick riding.  It was amazing ! Yesterday downtown and parts of south Vancouver/Richmond came out of the fog.  Today , even the Lionsgate bridge and many parts of Vancouver came out of  the fog.  It was so beautiful  There was a long line up of cars waiting to park in the Lookout Parking lot.

Photographers on Cypress Mountain Lookout, January 19, 2009

There were so many photographers with big SLRs and huge expensive lenses at the Lookout.  I expect to see lots of Vancouverites posting their photos of today on Flickr and on their Blogs.

January 19 Cypress Mountain

It was a bit cold this morning as expected because the fog / cloud had cleared a bit letting the cold air come up the mountain.  Cypress Mountain became really hot by noon.  It was a warm and beautiful day with soft snow and few skiers/riders on the mountain, but the snow is melting fast.  There were lots of rocks and mud showing in some of the trails, pretty soon, most of the black runs will have to be closed.

Rocks and Mud showing on Cypress Mountain (January 19, 2009)

Like the last few days, there were many people that came up not to ski or play in the snow, but purely for the pleasure of suntanning.

Sitting in Lawn chair admiring the beauty of fog covering Vancouver on Cypress Mountain (January 19, 2009)

Day 21 – Last day of 2008 @ Grouse Mountain (Video)

Song is Mos Def – Wylin Out

Day 21 – Last Day of 2008 @ Grouse Mountain

This morning started out with high winds so the chair was not open to the public until 10 am.


Canceled Morning lessons due to High Wind

We all stood around the base waiting to hear whether the Tram will be open or not.  Some of the Instructors started shoveling and salting the ice on the ground.  Lots of customers decided not to wait and went home instead.

Instructors Shoveling

Great Team Effort !!

Instructors Shoveling

The staffs got to the top of the mountain right before 10 am, it was the most amazing view I have ever seen.

Grouse Mountain - The Cut @ 10 am December 31, 2008

Beautiful Scenery from the Tram

Grouse Mountain - The Cut @ 10 am December 31, 2008

Grouse Mountain @ 10 am December 31, 2008

Ally and Eileen

After the general public started getting on the mountain and the staffs finished setting up the signs, we decided to go for a run.  Since most of the general public went home instead of waited for the tram to open, the mountain was pretty empty the whole morning even though the tram was open to the public.

Fresh Tracks at Grouse Mountain

My friends and I went out and rode around for 2 hours.  We did the green run, the blue runs, and then the black and the double black diamond runs.  When we went down Purgatory (Double Black Diamond Run), the powder was so deep my friend C. decided to go for a big jump (see video).

Purgatory @ Grouse Mountain (Scott & Chrystal in the photo)

C. got really big air then landed right before a tree and banged her forehand on the tree.  Her forehead was pretty swollen afterward.  She also lost her goggles so we had to stop to look for it in the deep powder.


Half way down purgatory, we decided to cut to the left to see what Outer Limit was like.  When we got down to the bottom of Outer Limits we saw beautiful untouched powder in the trees on the other side of the cattrack.  It was not roped off so we know the fresh powder in the trees is still considered inbound and there probably won’t be any avalanche danger.  We decided to go for it and it was amazing. We got to a part where the trees were too dense to board in and realized the only way back to the chair lift was to hike out.  My friends had one foot out and tried to skate out.  I made the mistake of taking off my board and stepping into the snow.  I sunk to my waist in the powder.  It took awhile to climb back onto my board and eventually climb back to the trails that led to the chair lift.

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching against the beautiful backdrop of Vancouver

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Staff got onto the cover of the newspaper

My friend got onto the cover of a newspaper.

Pikachu visiting Grouse Mountain

and finally, Pikachu came for a visit of Grouse Mountain.

Day 19 – Carving Turns

This morning we got 11 cm of new snow and was -3 Celsius, which is quite warm considering how cold it was a week ago.  We got to the top and found out that there were so much fresh stuff to ride on.  I got my first level 4 lesson today for this season.  I was excited at first because level 4 means blue runs and powder!! but it turned out my student wanted to learn how to carve.  I was the only CASI 2 instructor there so I had to take the lesson and skip the powder.  My student was an experienced skier from Philadelphia.  He said that the mountain he skis on during the winter are all man-made snow at about 5 degrees Celsius.  The man-made snow he skis on are usually pretty icy so he got really good at carving on skis, and today he wanted to learn how to carve with his snowboard.  Since I had my bindings set to the back to ride the amazing powder condition, I had to spend a few minutes readjusting my bindings back to equal distance from the center so I can show a proper carving technique.  Man, is it tough to adjust bindings when I couldn’t even feel my fingers, let alone trying to fit the screws into the holes on my board.

We started the day off with “pee” and “poo”, an exercise to keep the back vertical while getting on edge with the board.  That reminded me of what was taught in my evaluator’s precourse last year about different terms to use for different students.  I would definitely phrase the exercise differently if I was teaching kids, and in another way if I was teaching teenagers.   The fog became really dense half way through so it was hard for me to demonstrate so I had him followed behind me while giving him tips after every few turns.

My second lesson was with a student from Switzerland who speaks Italian.  It was interesting because a few days ago I just hung out with 2 girls from Switzerland that spoke only Swiss German.  My student tried snowboarding once 10 years ago and has been skiing ever since.  On her first run down the hill on a snowboard in 10 years she was already turning both on her heelside and toeside without falling down.  We only had to work on a few minor issues with her posture before she was riding with confidence again.  There was a city-wide power outage so we had to end our lesson early.

Day 6 – Cypress Mountain Opening Weekend (Dec 14, 2008)

This morning I got up bright and early and headed up to Cypress Mountain, the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics Freestyle skiing and snowboarding venue.  The new Lodge is done; well…the outside and the offices anyway.

Cypress Mountain Lodge

Cypress Mountain Lodge

The washrooms are definitely an upgrade to the Black Mountain Lodge.  The Retail shop seem to be smaller than before and the items are exactly the same as before: Cypress Brand everything…plus some oakley googles and Heli Henson Ski wear.  I still like Grouse Mountain shop better because it has more varieties and it’s got popular brands for snowboarders such as Quicksilver and Burton. ( I enjoy window shopping in the warm shop when it is freezing outside.)

As expected, it was really crowded, I had to park in the second parking lot, and I was up on the Mountain pretty early.  By next week (Christmas Holidays) people will be parking almost all the way to the Cross Country area and beyond.  It will be an hour walk to the resort from the car, 2 hour wait to buy a ticket, another 2 hour wait to get on a chair lift, and if you need rentals, even longer waits.  There will still be tons and tons of people that go to ski resorts during the Christmas season because for a lot of people, that’s the only time they can enjoy the holiday season with their family and their kids.

There were some brave souls that came to Cypress Mountain not willing to line up with the crowd.  They brought their split boards and snowshoes, ready to tackle the fresh powder beyond the ropes.  They, however, were not properly prepared because only 3 out of 5 riders had back packs on, which means 2 people are without Avi gear.

Backcountry Skiers and Snowboarders at Cypress Mountain

As I expected, there was a huge line up at Eagle Express Quad Chair on Black Mountain.  The lines were about a 10-20 minutes wait, which is not too bad.

Cypress Mountain Opening Weekend 2008

Cypress Mountain Opening Weekend 2008

The one thing I noticed from the above picture is the clothing color choice is completely different from the ones from Grouse Mountain (Day 5 – Grouse Mountain Opening Day).  It seems like a completely different crowd because most people are wearing dark jacket with dark pants whereas at Grouse Mountain, most skiers and snowboarders were wearing bright color jackets and pants with lots of bold patterns.

It made me think…

“A) is the crowd at Cypress more conservative than Grouse with their color choice ?


B) does riders wear different choice of clothing for different occasions? (i.e bright color for the Park, dull color for the groomed run…)”.

feel free to comment below what you think.

I did photographed a few people with bold color clothing…very few.

Cypress Mountain Snowboarder

Cypress Mounatin Snowboarder

and a few more photos of snowboarders from Cypress Mountain…

Cypress Mountain Snowboarder

Cypress Mountain Snowboarder

Panorama and the Olympic Boarder-cross trails were open and pretty tracked out.  I was glad all the old jumps from last year were still there.  The side of the hill was completely untouched so I try to get my board to go on to the right hand side of Panorama to get some air.  Instead of getting air, my board sank into the powder, all 96 centimeters of it and I fell into waist deep powder.  It was amazing !! It just look a long time to swim back to the groomed run.

After a few hours at the green and blue run, I decided to go check out the park.  Since I had such a great time at the Grouse Mountain terrain Park yesterday, I figure Cypress must have set up the park as well.  I was disappointed when I saw the park crew coming out of their hut with shovels just going up for the first time to do some digging.

Cypress Mountain Terrain Park Staffs

Cypress Mountain Terrain Park Staffs

The Terrain Park Staff has new uniforms.  I hope their Park this year will be even better with the Olympics coming and all.  Cypress Mountain created a Media Volunteer Program, which is similar to Grouse Mountain’s blogospondents, but with videos instead of words.

Here’s another picture of the new Cypress Creek Lodge and Black Mountain where the Olympics will be held.

Cypress Creek Lodge


As for the instructors, it’s very similar to Grouse, I only saw 2 lessons been taught today.  There were some trainings happening but there were not too much to do except putting up fences and helping beginners that were having trouble on the hill.  I hope they have been handing out their business cards.  It’s a perfect chance to promote themselves by giving free tips.  A friend of mine got a private lesson request on his first day of work 2 years ago simply because he saw a struggling beginner snowboarder and decided to stop and helped the beginner get down the hill safely.

Cypress Mountain Instructors

Cypress Mountain Instructors

Cypress Mountain Instructors

Cypress Mountain Instructors

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