Ski and snowboard season is here.
Cypress Mountain Resort is opening its slopes on Saturday at 9 a.m.
To start 2022-23 winter operation, the resort is opening its Eagle Express Quad chair accessing Upper Fork, Jasey Jay, Panorama and Windjammer. The Easy Rider Quad will also be open, accessing Runway.
Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday, then open Wednesday onwards 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cypress noted that there will be limited daily tickets available at reduced rates, and must be bought online.
It’s an early start to season – a week earlier than last year’s opening day – said Joffrey Koeman, director of marketing for the West Vancouver ski hill, adding snowmaking has been key to building up enough of a base to start things off on Saturday.
The resort added 15 new tower snow guns over the summer, bringing the total number of snow guns to 77. Most of the snow guns are automatic – meaning they can turn on and off automatically when the temperature dips low enough.
“Our team will continue working to open more terrain as we make more snow and when more natural snow falls – hopefully very soon,” reads a statement from resort president and general manager Russell Chamberlain. “The Nordic Area will require more natural snow to get started but stay tuned for updates on opening dates for activities and terrain throughout the resort.”
Season opening dates for the other two local mountains – Grouse Mountain and Mt. Seymour in North Vancouver – aren't yet available.
Grouse Mountain wants to open as soon as possible, explained spokesperson Madelaine Twomey.
“Our operations team has been working hard to get the mountain ready, and our snowmaking team partners up with Mother Nature so we can be open as quickly as possible,” she said via email. “We’ve already seen multiple dustings over the past two weeks and the forecast continues to look promising.”
Mt. Seymour's scheduled opening date is Dec. 9, said marketing manager Simon Whitehead, but he's hopeful that the hill could open sooner if more snow sprinkles the forecast.
"We are patiently waiting for mother nature to do her thing," he said. "Ideally, we will open with around 100 centimetres of snow in the base area, we currently have around 59 centimetres."
Last year, Cypress’s season ran Nov. 19 to April 10; Grouse opened Nov. 20 and closed May 15.
A week ago, Grouse received 28 centimetres of snow in a 12-hour period, while Cypress received 26 centimetres.
Local ski hills are hitting the weather jackpot with a third La Niña season in a row, which generally brings cooler temperatures and more snow to the south coast of B.C.
This article has been updated to include comment from Mt. Seymour.
With files from Jane Seyd