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Skiing in Metro Vancouver
Although British Colombia’s largest city, the Vancouver metropolitan area yields impressive ski areas – including B.C.’s largest ski area, Whistler Blackcomb.
Just 125 kilometers north of Vancouver, and 60 kilometers north of Squamish, Whistler Blackcomb is a record-breaking ski park – and is one of the largest and most visited ski areas in the world.
The area consists of Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Peak, connected by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola – the world’s largest longest and highest unsupported cable car distance.
Whistler Blackcomb features a combined skiable area of over 8,000 acres, and includes over 200 runs including the 11-kilometer Peak to Creek trail.
Some ski areas – like Cypress Bowl, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour – are set near North Vancouver across the Burrard Inlet. Cypress Bowl Ski Area features 53 runs on 600 skiable acres, while Mt. Seymour offers snowshoeing, snow tubing, and four terrain parks.
For a great view of the Vancouver metropolitan area, head to Grouse Mountain this winter for 212 skiable acres, and 26 runs – 13 of which may be used for night skiing.
East of Vancouver near the city of Chilliwack, Hemlock Valley is an intimate ski area set in the Douglas Ranges. Hemlock offers 34 runs – the longest of which being 2.3 kilometers – on 300 skiable acres. Hemlock also features night skiing, tobogganing, and 13 kilometers of trail for cross-country skiing.
Take a break from the lively city of Vancouver, by traveling north on British Columbia Highway 99, also known as the Squamish Highway.
Travelers along this vital north-south thoroughfare will find the resort town of Whistler. This popular British Columbia town in the Coast Mountains, has become a large urban center not only in the province of British Columbia, but in the entire country of Canada.
This popular town of approximately 9,000 residents receives as many as two million visitors each year. The majority of visitors visit Whistler for outdoor recreation at Whistler-Blackcomb, North America's largest ski resort.
This impressive ski resort features the highest vertical skiable distance, more than two hundred ski runs and the Peak 2 Peak Gondola system, transporting passengers between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains.
Whistler-Blackcomb hosted the bobsled, luge, Nordic, skeleton and alpine events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. While on Whistler Mountain, be sure to capture a picture of the statue of Llanaaq, the mascot of the 2010 Olympics.
During the summer, Whistler Mountain Bike Park is home to an average of 100,000 mountain bikers ready to ride more than 47 trails.
Vancouver area visitors ready to escape the busy city and enjoy time outside have plenty of options. Travel fifteen minutes north of Vancouver to reach North Vancouver's Grouse Mountain – where a variety of outdoor fun awaits.
The first recorded exploration on the mountain dates back to 1894, when hikers reached the summit. By 1951, a chairlift was built, allowing easy access to the mountain for skiers.
Visitors to the mountain enjoyed riding the scenic 45-passenger Grouse Mountain Skyride, opened in 1966, along with the conveniences of two restaurants, gift shops, and parking at the mountain station.
Whether skiing or snowboarding on the resort's 26 ski and snowboard runs, cruising through the air on a zipline, paragliding or hiking there is plenty of fun to be had. Enjoy the view from the Eye of the Wind, and watch a nature film in the Theatre in the Sky for one-of-a-kind experiences.