Vancouver has 3 'local mountains'. (approx travel time from downtown 30 min)
Cypress Mountain is the biggest of the locals and has a tonne of great terrain. One powder day in the trees at Cypress and you will be hooked for life.
Grouse Mountain is known for its spectacular views of the city. Its a popular mountain with tourists. The terrain is decent and the amenities are great. To get to the top of grouse you have to take a gondola from the parking lot at the base of the mountain.
Mount Seymour is the smallest and cheapest mountain. Has always been very supportive of the snowboarding community and on a good powder day has lots of fun options. They usually have a great terrain park.
A little farther away from Vancouver (approx. 2hrs) are some much bigger mountains.
To the north is Whistler/Blackcomb an amazing mountain with endless possibilities. 2 Mountains and the most terrain of any mountain resort in North America. They get tonnes of snow and the villae offers lots of entertainment options after a day on the slopes.
To the south just across the border in Washington State is Mt.Baker which is the world record holder for most snowfall ( 1,140 inches (95 feet) / 2,896 cm (29 meters) 1998-99 season)
Big mountain riding but minus the crowds of places like whistler.
Overall Vancouver is a great place to visit if you are into skiing or snowboarding. That being said weather is unpredictable so you never know what kind of conditions you will get. Lots of fog, slush, ice.... that being said the blue bird powder days which do happen are freaking amazing.
Equipment: Water proof is good. If you go back country better have knowledge and equipment, don't respect these mountains and you could die..people do every year.
Going skiing while staying in Vancouver is easy. As long as it is winter.
Cypress Mountain is the bigger of the 3 ski hills one can visit from vancouver within an hour's transport from the city.
Cypress Mountain runs buses from the city through to cypress several times a day. Cost as of March 2007 was $20 return
Equipment: Bring your ski gear, heck every other local packs their board and boots onto the bus. It's expected.
However if you're here just for a short time and are wanting to hire gear you can. The have a massive ski hire building.
Try though to time your visit on a day which is not warm and wet. That will mean you're only going to get wet with rain. If though you do get a rainy day they sell disposable raincoats in the shop for a mere $1. Best money ever spent.
Ski pass for period out of the Xmas rush and school holidays cost me $45 for the day.
Cypress Mountain offers night skiing on several runs.
This is a great mountain. Cypress will be hosting the freestyle skiing and snowboarding halfpipe compition during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Its the largest of the 3 local mountains with a verticle rise of 1000mt. It has 5 chairlifts and the widest variety of runs on the North Shore. Best Free riding on the North Shore.
Snowboard Park? Yes (helmets mandatory)
Night Riding? Yes
Other Activities and services? Cross Country Skiing, Snow Shoeing, Snow Tubing,
Mt Baker is Vancouver's hidden Gem. (Ok its actually in Washington State but its the same distance from Vancouver as Whistler and it's a mountain that is absolutly worth checking out). During the 98-99 season Mt. Baker set a world record when they recieved over 1140 inches (95ft.) of snowfall. Smaller then Whistler but still big mountain riding with lots of powder to be found.
Half Pipe? Yes
Snowboard Park? Yes
Whistler Blackcomb is one of the worlds best mountain resorts. It offers up a huge variety of terrain and a tonne of snow. This mountain is a must if you are in the area and enjoy skiing or snowboarding.
Halfpipe? Yes - A few including a fullsized super pipe
Snowboard Park? Yes - Some say the best in the world.
Mount Seymore is a cool little mountain. Alot of great snowboarders have developed thier freestly skills here. The local riders (seymore skids) are world famous for thier progressive riding skills. The mountain it self isn't the biggest on the north shore, but still lots of fun.
Halfpipe? Yes (however it never seems to be maintained nowadays for some retarded reason)
Snowboard park? Yes - ussally lots of rails and a few big hits.
Whistler and Blackcomb mountain is one of the best places in the world to ski or board. And it is not very strange that it is so famous: this is just heaven if you like snow! Almost 100 tracks and you can ski here all year round. 1 con is that it is pretty expensive. The village of Whistler is full of very expensive hotels and a skipass is twice as expensive as in the Rockies. But it's sure worth it for a couple of days!
We have 3 beautiful North Shore mountains to choose from, all within a 20 minute drive of the city (buses too).
Starting in the east, Seymour is generally considered a 'beginner' mountain, with some nice slopes and a great inn to crack peanuts onto the floor and sip hot beverages between runs.
Grouse is in the middle, with the most spectacular view, especially at night. Easiest to access too, the parking lot is at street level, then take the tram up the mountain. Some more challenging runs (the Peak), but mostly mid-level.
Cypress to the west is my favourite. Two separate mountain peaks to ski, mostly mid to advanced runs. In the spring (Mar-Apr), dubbed 'Cypress Beach', and people actually ski in their shorts and bathing suits. No joke.
Equipment: Cypress Mountain Sports in Capilano Mall has rentals and a shuttle to Cypress mountain, or you can rent gear at any of the mountains.
Do be sure to wear flexible pants, layered tops, thick gloves or mitts, goggles or sunglasses, and a hair tie for long hair.
With the North Shore mountains so close by alot of people in vancouver frequent the slopes. My favourite local mountain is Cypress. It has a great view of the city and the runs are fun, varied, open for night skiing/boarding and alot cheaper than driving up to Whistler. Cypress has a high-speed quad chairlift so you get to do a lot more runs here than the other North Shore mountains. It is, however, likely the busiest of the 3 mountains. I would say that skiiers out-number boarders on this mountain (but likely not for long). Cypress also offers snow tubing, which is supposed to be a blast!
Equipment: You can rent all the major stuff you will at the mountain if you don't already have it with you (boad, boots, helmet) otherwise gloves and goggles are a good idea to have it can get pretty cold and windy up there. It's not cheap to rent ($20 for boots, more for a board) so if you can bring your own or borrow from a friend.
Whistler Resort-internationally renowned, year-round resort offering some of the best skiing in the world, as well as excellent shopping, dining, golf, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and water sports.
In addition to winter sports, the summer has lots to offer the outdoor enthusiast-4 golf courses in the area and more planned, great hiking, tennis, mountain biking, heli-fishing, horseback riding, rafting, canoeing, paragliding, glacier skiing and just plain hanging out in the village.
Equipment: over 7,000 acres of ski and snowboard terrain, with 12 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, over 200 marked trails and 33 lifts.