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.
SKI HILLS STATUSES
As of the middle of April, only Grouse Mountain remains open. Its final day of the ski season will likely be either late April or the first weekend in May.
As of March 30, 2021, Whistler Blackcomb is closed for the rest of the current ski season. The Village is open; however, no skiing is taking place.
As of April 5, 2021, Sasquatch Mountain is closed for the season as well. Final day of the 2020/21 season for both Mt. Seymour and Cypress was April 11.
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 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
As of Sunday, April 22, 2021, only one out of the five Lower Mainland ski hills is currently open. Skiing continues at Grouse, but not at the other resorts. Below are the conditions at Grouse as well as what they were on the final days of the season at the other four resorts.
North Shore Mountains
- Grouse Mountain – the skill hill had no new snow in the past week. As of April 22, the plateau by the lodge had 313 cm of snow still remaining and there was 432 cm at the summit. In the afternoon it was sunny, with unlimited visibility and +11 degrees.
- Mt. Seymour – on its last day of the 2020/21 season (which was April 11), the mountain reported a mix of sun and cloud with unlimited visibility. 30 of the mountain’s 41 runs were in operation with most having machine groomed conditions. There was 570 cm of snow at the peak and 403 cm at the base. No new snow had fallen in the previous 24 hours.
- Cypress Mountain – as of the last day of its 2020/21 season (i.e., April 11th), the resort reported that it was cloudy and 0 degrees. 0 cm of new snow had fallen in the previous 24 hours and there had been 38 cm in the past week. Total snowfall for the season had been around 1123 cm (which at the time was the most out of the three North Shore ski hills). 272 cm of snow remained at the base.
Other Lower Mainland Ski Hills
The following two resorts are now closed for skiing until the start of the 2021/22 season:
- Sasquatch Mountain – as of April 5th, the resort’s last day of operations, the resort reported temperatures between -2 and +2 degrees with partly cloudy skies and both snow and sun in the forecast. No new snow had fallen in the past 24 hours. There was 467 cm of snow at alpine levels and 1359 cm of snow so far for the season. The downhill ski runs were open 7 days a week. The tubing park and night skiing facilities were also operating, but with tubing only on weekends and select weekdays during Spring Break. Last day of night skiing for the season was March 27th.
- Whistler-Blackcomb – as of March 29th, the resort’s last day of operations, the mountain reported 293 cm of snow at the base. No new snow had fallen in the previous 24 hours and 1064 cm had fallen so far for the season. As of the morning of the above date, it was mostly sunny and -8 degrees at higher levels. It was also -6 degrees and mostly sunny 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 2020/2021
If you bought a one-day adult ski ticket online for December 30th, 2020, below is what you would have paid (before discounts like advanced purchases or special memberships).
As you’ll see, Mount Seymour was 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 – $79
- Mt. Seymour – $69
- Grouse Mountain – $75
- Cypress Mountain – $96
- Whistler-Blackcomb – $161
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 and 2020). 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 (although in 2021 it’s scheduled to close prior to Whistler). 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)
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