Cypress is a fun-filled playground that offers wide runs, swooping trails, jumps, bumps, easy runs, challenging runs, and everything in between. It is the largest of the three local ski fields and is open until 10pm in the depths of winter. This is a great mountain to learn to ski or snowboard. Rentals are available from the lodge, but cheap second hand gear is also available at Sports Junkies and Craigslist.

There are two main chairs at Cypress, Lions Express and Eagle Express. Both sides offer great green and blue runs. At the top of Lions Express Chair there is the Sky Chair that has magnificent views over Howe Sound. The Sky Chair is a basic two-man chair that is not an express chair. This means it picks you up swiftly and shouldn’t be used by beginners, unless you have a desire to be dragged through the snow by your feet in a tangled-up mess.

Night skiing is an amazing experience. Both the main chairs are lit up well, which makes for easy visibility. The Sky Chair is open for night skiing as well and is the best place in Vancouver to watch a sunset. There is nothing quite like gliding down a run, with the wind in your hair and the cold nipping at your cheeks after a hard (or not so hard, we are in Vancouver after all) day at work.

The Raven Ridge Quad Chair offers great blue and black runs, but isn’t open for night skiing and is the first chair to close when the snow coverage becomes more limited. If you are lucky enough to go when it is open, it will have much shorter lines, and some great challenging runs.

The weather at Cypress can be variable. In the Spring you can get rainy days on the mountain, which can make for a damp and uncomfortable experience. The upside is that it’s generally quiet on days like these and you can have the mountain almost to yourself. Who hasn’t dreamed of a private ski field? In a good year the season can run from early December to late April, but snowfall does vary and in drier winters the season can be much shorter.

Cypress is only 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver. There is no public bus service, but there is a private bus run by Cypress Mountain a couple of times a day (http://cypresscoachlines.com/). Car share is also a great option to get up there and the road is of good quality and plowed regularly on snowy days.