And how do the five ski hills compare overall? Which ski resort is the most expensive? Which mountain gets the most snow? Which Vancouver ski hill has the most runs, lifts and terrain? And which resorts are locally-owned? Continue reading and you’ll find out.
This article contains information about the following topics:
(Note: Exact details may vary. Information given is accurate to the best of our ability and understanding as of the latest updates.)
Comparing Lower Mainland Ski Hills and Ski Conditions
The Lower Mainland is home to five major ski hills. Within Metro Vancouver there is Grouse Mountain, Cypress and Mt. Seymour. All three are on Vancouver’s North Shore. Less than a 2-hour drive up the Sea to Sky Highway is Whistler-Blackcomb. A couple of hours in the other direction, in the Fraser Valley, there is Sasquatch Mountain.
All five ski hills are great for different reasons. A couple of the resorts are larger, others are more affordable, some have more challenging terrain, most but not all offer night skiing, and some are better for beginners and young families.
Most Lower Mainland ski resorts offer extra activities ranging from tubing to sledding, snowshoeing, skating and even movies. Also, depending on where you live, some are closer and more accessible than others. Between the five, there is something for everyone.
2021 Ski Conditions
Final day of the 2021/22 season for Cypress was April 10th. Grouse Mountain closed on Ma 15th. Whistler-Blackcomb closed for the season on May 23rd. The season on Seymour ended on April 10th. Sasquatch Mountain resort closed on April 3rd.
Below are the conditions at the various resorts as of May 24th, 2022.
North Shore Mountains
- Grouse Mountain – the 2021/22 season ended on May 15th. The skill hill had 0 cm of new snow in the last week. The plateau by the lodge had 290 cm of snow and there was 420 cm at the summit. On May 17th the temperature was around 2 degrees and there was unlimited visibility.
- Mt. Seymour – on April 10th (the final day of the 2021/22 season), the mountain reported cloudy skies with unlimited visibility. 31 of the mountain’s 41 runs were in operation with most having machine groomed conditions. There was 359 cm of snow at the peak and 285 cm at the base. 0 cm of new snow had fallen in the previous 24 hours.
- Cypress Mountain – the final day of the 2021/22 season was April 10th. As of that morning the resort reported that it was -2 degrees and cloudy that morning. There had been 0 cm of snow in the previous 24 hours and 91 cm in the previous week. Total snowfall for this season was around 804 cm.
Other Lower Mainland Ski Hills
- Sasquatch Mountain – the ski hill closed for the season on April 3rd, 2022. On that day the resort reported temperatures between 1 and -3 degrees with cloudy skies and more clouds in the forecast. 7 cm of snow had fallen in the past 24 hours. There was 283 cm of snow at alpine levels and 750 cm of snow for the season.
- Whistler-Blackcomb – the ski hill closed for the 2021/22 season on May 23rd. The mountain reported 195 cm of snow at the base as of May 17th. 0 cm of snow had fallen in the previous 24 hours and 1,149 cm fell over the whole season. As of the morning of the above date, it was 2 degrees and mixed skies at higher levels. It was also 8 degrees and cloudy near the Village.
The following weather box contains the current and immediate upcoming weather forecasts for each of the mountains listed above. Click the downward arrow to switch between the different mountains.
How Vancouver’s Ski Hills Compare
Below is a snapshot of how the five Lower Mainland ski hills compare in a number of categories.
Ticket Prices at the Gate in 2021/22
If you bought a one-day adult ski ticket online in early January, 2022, below is what you would have paid (before discounts like advanced purchases or special memberships).
As you’ll see, Mount Seymour is the most affordable with Sasquatch and Grouse close behind. However, most prices are based on demand so these relations may change depending on the day. This is in comparison to last year where Sasquatch was by far the most affordable, especially on weekdays early in the week. As would be expected, Whistler is by far the most expensive of them all.
- Sasquatch Mountain – $49 to $89
- Mt. Seymour – $69
- Grouse Mountain – $75
- Cypress Mountain – $80 to $112
- Whistler-Blackcomb – $159 to $189
Numbers of Ski runs and Lifts
Below is a snapshot of the number of runs and lifts at each of the ski hills serving Metro Vancouver.
- Whistler-Blackcomb – 200 runs and 2 dozen chairs and gondolas with over 1600 metres of vertical drop and close to 8200 acres of terrain.
- Cypress Mountain – 53 runs and 6 chairs with 600 acres of terrain and 610 metres in vertical drop.
- Grouse Mountain – 33 runs and 4 chairs with a vertical drop of 365 metres and 212 acres of terrain.
- Mt. Seymour – 40 runs and 3 chairs with 330 metres of vertical drop and 200 acres of terrain.
- Sasquatch Mountain – 36 runs and 3 chairs with 335 metres in vertical drop and around 200 acres of terrain (which we think might be less than it was a few years ago).
Who Owns the Mountains?
As of a year or so ago, three out of the Lower Mainland’s five ski hills are locally-owned and managed. The two largest ones, however, are both owned by multinational corporations.
Located in a provincial park, Mount Seymour has been owned and operated by the Wood family since the mid-1980s. Sasquatch Mountain is another locally-owned ski resort. It’s run by Berezan Hospitality which is a family-owned business based in Langley.
Grouse Mountain used to be a family-owned business until a few years ago. It was purchased by GM Resorts Limited which is a partnership between a group of Canadian investors and a Chinese investment company. In 2020, however, Vancouver-based Northland Properties Corporation bought the resort.
Cypress Mountain is located in a provincial park but the resort itself is owned by Boyne Resorts which is a major American ski resort company based in Michigan.
Vail Resorts is an American company based in Colorado. It owns Whistler Blackcomb.
(Note: The above information is subject to change and may be different at the current time.)
Past and Typical Ski Conditions
Ski conditions on the different mountains tend to be fairly similar. Whistler and Sasquatch tend to get slightly drier and better quality snow. Mt. Seymour and Sasquatch Mountain, meanwhile, don’t rely on artificial snow-making equipment like the others do, which can be good or bad depending on the season. In years with especially cold weather and lots of precipitation, it usually means they have nicer (i.e., more natural) snow.
Of the three North Shore mountains, in some years Cypress gets the most snow and in other years it’s Mt. Seymour. Almost every year though Grouse Mountain is the first of the three to open (except for 2018, 2020 and 2021). It’s also usually the last to close (although they all ceased operations within a couple of days in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Of the five ski hills, Whistler-Blackcomb has the longest season, with Blackcomb staying open most years well into May. Late-in-the-season snow conditions are rarely ideal, but the warm temperatures and spring sunshine make up for it!
Whistler-Blackcomb usually gets an extra metre or more of snow each year than Cypress, Grouse or Seymour. In 2017/18, however, Sasquatch got the most for the season at just over 13 metres total!
2017/18 Season Stats
Total snowfall and season-closing dates for the various ski hills during the 2017/18 season were the following:
- Cypress Mountain: 1168 cm (April 15, 2018)
- Grouse Mountain: 1072 cm (May 6, 2018)
- Mt. Seymour: 1023 cm (April 15, 2018)
- Whistler-Blackcomb: 1229 cm (April 22 for Whistler and May 21 for Blackcomb)
- Sasquatch Mountain: 1309 cm (April 3, 2018)
2019/20 Season Stats
Total snowfall and season-closing dates for the various ski hills during the 2019/20 season were the following:
- Cypress Mountain: 690 cm (March 15, 2020)
- Grouse Mountain: 692 cm (March 16, 2020)
- Mt. Seymour: 831 cm (March 16, 2020)
- Whistler-Blackcomb: 834 cm (March 14, 2020)
- Sasquatch Mountain: 724 cm (March 16, 2020)
2020/21 Season Stats
Total snowfall and season-closing dates for the various ski hills during the 2020/21 season were the following:
- Cypress Mountain: 1123 cm (April 11, 2021)
- Grouse Mountain: 915 cm (May 2, 2021)
- Mt. Seymour: 963 cm (April 11, 2021)
- Whistler-Blackcomb: 1064 cm (March 29, 2021)
- Sasquatch Mountain: 1359 cm (April 5, 2021)
To learn more about Vancouver’s different ski hills click Lower Mainland Ski Hills.
For information about specific resorts, click any of the above links (of ski hill names in blue).
Another website you might be interested in is WhatToDoInWhistler.ca.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Winter Activities
- Vancouver’s December, January, February and March calendars
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver Ski Swaps