Snowboarders love Vancouver. Freeride, alpine and extreme boarders alike will find plenty of challenges in this snow-capped playground of gorgeous plateaux, stunning ridges and awesome vertical drops.
Add to this some of the deepest snow on Earth, an all-natural Snowboarding Park and several impressive peaks.
And after all this you’ll need to recharge your batteries, so instead of booking at bigger hotels, snowboarders can check out offers on Hostelbookers.com. Save your money for lift passes!
Here's our mini-guide to snowboarding in Vancouver: See you there!
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is just 25 minutes from downtown and is served by over 40 international airlines. Flight times vary from just 1 hour from Seattle to 9 hours from London to 14 hours from Sydney.
Motorists coming from other parts of North America can use the Trans-Canada Highway and the Interstate 5. Most of the resorts mentioned below are 30-35 minutes from downtown.
Where to Go
Mount Washington is consistently snowy from early winter through to late Easter and in 1995 broke the world record for deepest snowfall: 21 feet. Daring freestylers will want to test their mettle on the professionally-maintained pipe grinder, while freecarvers will be drawn to the 40km runs through icy meadows.
The high-speed chair lifts take you up to the amazing vistas of the Sunshine Coast and the orderly queue of the Coast Mountains.
Sited beyond the 2nd Narrows Bridge, Mount Seymour is a jibber’s delight. File down your edges and soften your flex for the x-large rails and boxes of the Young Guns and Northlands parks. Everyone from newbie to veteran will benefit from the snowboarding lessons on offer.
With a vertical drop of 1,655 feet, Cypress Mountain was the official freestyle venue of the 2010 Olympics. Its 600 acres comprise first-rate facilities including over 50 downhill runs, 7 chair lifts and a ‘magic carpet’ area where kids can learn the basics. This resort lays on a convenient bus service to and from Vancouver, 5 times a day.
Taking advantage of the cheap Vancouver hotels, 1.2 million people a year visit Grouse Mountain, with snowboarders heading to the southern slopes for the double-black diamond extreme runs.
The nightriding is great here too. Overall, the terrain is easy-going and the snow conditions unreliable – beginners will love it, experts will run out of challenges quickly. The Skyride aerial tramway is a thrilling way to get around; it takes less than 8 minutes to travel just 1 mile.
Many of the resorts already mentioned offer accommodation ranging from cheap hostel rooms to deluxe chalets.
Other options include the Fairmont, a 5-star hotel located in downtown that arranges lifts to the major circuits. After a long day’s riding enjoy their spa treatments.
By contrast, HI-Vancouver Central is a no-frills hostel amid the city’s vibrant nightlife zone. It’s handily close to the Skytrain which whisks many a boarder to the gnarliest peaks.
Bored of boarding? Try a scenic seaplane trip to the heritage draws of Victoria Island, amongst them one of North America’s most intriguing Chinatowns. Or how about spotting grizzly bears and orcas (killer whales) in the mysterious glacial landscape of the Johnstone Strait?