Sasquatch Mountain vs Cypress – A Side by Side Comparison

December 15, 2023Lorilee Nipkow0 Comments

With world-class terrain and abundant snowfall totals, British Columbia offers prime destinations for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Two leading resorts in the Vancouver region are Cypress and Sasquatch Mountains, each delivering unique advantages.

This article provides a detailed side-by-side comparison of the mountains to help riders better understand the offerings at each. With Cypress and Sasquatch less than two hours from Vancouver, city dwellers have the good fortune to easily access these resorts. However, even locals may lack a full perspective of how the mountains differ.

By evaluating categories like skiable acres, lift networks, vertical rise, annual snowfall, and more, we aim to showcase a complete picture of how Cypress and Sasquatch stack up. The goal is to arm readers with the knowledge to determine which mountain best matches their individual preferences and skiing style.

Cypress – About Skiing and Snowboarding on the Mountain

Nestled in the North Shore Mountains just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Cypress Mountain Resort offers an incredible destination for skiers and snowboarders in British Columbia. The terrain variety provides an ideal landscape for winter sports enthusiasts, with over 600 skiable acres and 53 marked runs across three mountain faces. This overview covers critical details about navigating and enjoying Cypress’ slopes and lifts.

Skiable Terrain

Cypress Mountain boasts an expansive skiable area covering 600 acres across three mountain faces – Black Mountain, Mount Strachan, and Cypress Bowl. There are 53 named runs marked for a range of ability levels.

  • Terrain Distribution: The runs consist of:
    • Beginner: 6.6 km (13% of total)
    • Intermediate: 22 km (43%)
    • Expert/Difficult: 22.4 km (44%)
  • Vertical Rise: Cypress has a vertical drop of 610 meters (2,010 feet) from its base to its summit. This allows for long, uninterrupted descents.
  • Summits: The base elevation at the Cypress Creek Lodge is 915 meters (3,000 feet). The mountain reaches higher terrain like:
    • Mount Strachan Summit – 1,440m (4,720 ft)
    • Black Mountain Summit – 1,200m (3,940 ft)
  • Notable Runs: Some of the most popular advanced runs include the 1 km Top Gun run and the 4.1 km Collins run from Mount Strachan, that includes a 610-meter vertical drop.

Lift Network

Getting uphill access to all of Cypress’ terrain is easy with its comprehensive lift network:

  • Total Lifts: There are six chairlifts, with two high-speed lifts.
  • Capacity: The lift system can transport up to 9,540 skiers per hour.
  • Details: Chairlift types include:
    • 2 High-Speed Quads
    • 2 Triple Chairs
    • 1 Double Chair
    • 1 Platter/Magic Carpet Lift

This varied lift infrastructure helps Cypress move skiers and riders to optimized terrain across the mountain.

Sasquatch Mountain Resort – Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Nestled in the Douglas Ranges between Mission and Agassiz, British Columbia, Sasquatch Mountain Resort (previously Hemlock Valley Resort) offers skiers and riders a more intimate but varied winter sports experience. With 121 hectares (300 acres) of terrain and a 1,099-foot vertical drop, there are options for all ability levels.

Skiable Terrain

Sasquatch has over 30 named runs across 300 acres of skiable terrain, facilitated by a lift network of:

  • Lifts: 1 high-speed quad chair, one triple chair, one double chair, one magic carpet
  • Vertical Rise: 335 meters (1,099 feet) from the 1,317-meter (4,321 ft) summit down to a base elevation of 980 meters (3,220 ft).
  • Longest Run: The longest trail stretches 2.3 km (1.4 miles)
  • Terrain Distribution: 34 total runs with options for beginners up to advanced.
  • Backcountry Access: 13 km of cross-country and backcountry ski trails are also accessible from Sasquatch.

Snowfall & Conditions

With an average annual snowfall of 900 cm (30-35 feet), Sasquatch provides plenty of powder for winter sports enthusiasts to enjoy across its skiable terrain. The resort aims to be open December through March, but opening and closings may vary based on snowpack levels each year.

Comparing Cypress & Sasquatch Mountains

While Sasquatch Mountain Resort offers a more intimate experience, Cypress Mountain boasts more expansive terrain and additional amenities. Here is a side-by-side overview of both Vancouver area winter resorts:

StatisticCypress MountainSasquatch Mountain
Skiable Acres600 acres300 acres
Summit Elevation1,440m (Mount Strachan)1,317m
Vertical Rise610m335m
Total Lifts6 (2 high speed)4
Longest Run4.1km (Collins Run)2.3km
Average Snowfall622cm900cm (30-35ft)
Night SkiingAvailable on certain runsAvailable on certain runs

The table shows Cypress is the larger resort regarding skiable terrain size, vertical rise, lift network, and most extended trail length. However, Sasquatch sees substantially higher annual snowfall totals, averaging 900 cm yearly.

Both Vancouver region mountains offer night skiing options under the lights, trails, and lifts suitable for beginners through experts. Cypress provides more overall terrain at higher elevations, while Sasquatch delivers more of a classic, quaint resort vibe.

Ultimately, it comes down to the individual skier or snowboarder’s preferences – towering peaks or cozy snow-covered glades? Larger mountain or fewer crowds? Cypress and Sasquatch each offer unique experiences less than 2 hours from Vancouver.

Cypress Mountain Accommodations

For weekend visitors looking to ski or snowboard at Cypress Mountain, finding lodging options close by can optimize travel time and enjoyment. Many look to stay near pickup/drop-off locations for the Cypress Coach Lines shuttle bus.

Popular places near the Lonsdale Quay bus stop include:

  • Lonsdale Quay Hotel is a convenient, affordable hotel right on the harbor. Low-season deals provide options under $100/night.
  • Hotels along the North Vancouver shipyard marina – Properties like the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront and City Suites Hotel offer scenic views and access to transit.

Other recommendations are:

  • Cabins between Cypress Lookout and the mountain itself – Privately owned but sometimes rented out. Offer a cozy, slopeside option.
  • Hotels near Hwy 1/Hwy 1A – The Super 8 Hotel by Capilano Suspension Bridge and Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites North Vancouver provide budget-friendly alternatives. However, they are further from direct bus routes.

No matter where visitors stay, it’s wise to check recent snow conditions and pack accordingly before heading to Cypress Mountain for the weekend. With proper gear and reasonable lodging, the resort makes for an epic getaway from Vancouver.

Sasquatch Mountain Accommodations

Over 80 different cabins in the Sasquatch Mountain region, positioned within 4 minutes of lifts to provide slope-side lodging. Options range from cozy 1-2 bedroom getaways to sprawling luxury escapes that welcome groups.

The premiere Black Diamond Hemlock Cabin is a breathtaking new 4-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot retreat with luxury amenities amidst natural surroundings.

In addition, groups and families can browse rental listings on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO to find the perfect fit for the many cabins and houses available near the slopes.

With the stunning new Black Diamond Lodge leading the way, Sasquatch Mountain delivers abundant lodging choices for an unforgettable mountain vacation tailored to any group’s needs. Visitors can’t go wrong when choosing cabins offering comfort, views, and ski-in/ski-out convenience.

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