Originally Posted by Gurpy
My sister lives in vancouver and i'll be visiting there a fair bit next year, where do you think are the best places to ski other than whistler? (whistler will be a once a year thing for me...too expensive)
I'd rate 'em like this:
Grouse Mountain: 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver by car, or about 1/2hr by city bus. Some decent terrain, if short runs (about 1200 vertft). Awesome night skiing, and just plain fun. About 4 or 5 lifts, including 1 hi-sp quad. Night skiing give the best view of the city from anywhere.
Cypress Bowl: about 30 minutes from downtown by car. About 1500 vertft, 4 or 5 lifts including 1 hi-spd quad. Longer runs than Grouse, terrain just fine for everyone.
Mt. Seymour: Again, 4 or 5 lifts. Short runs. Some okay little steeps, but lots of flats. About 1/2hr from downtown by car.
Hemlock Valley: About 2 hrs from Vancouver by car, in the Fraser Valley. Cheap, and well worth it (plan substantial time for chair stoppages). People here still use straight 210's and wear 1 piece dayglo's, but they can ski better than you can. The road is scary, and when they say chains are mandatory, they ain't kidding. About 1300 vert, open Thurs-Sun. 3 chairs, and some challenging terrain.
Mt. Baker: About 2 1/2hrs from Vancouver. This hill is actually in Washington State to the South, so be prepared to deal with US Customs agents. This hill rocks! Double or triple the snowfall of Whistler, and plenty of challenging terrain. About 1600 vertft, 7 or 8 chairs. A bit more expensive, but you get a better deal if you pay in Canadian cash.
Manning Park: About 3 hrs from Vancouver. The snow's a bit lighter, as getting away from the ocean influence. 2 chairs, the tallest about 1200 vert ft. Good value.
All these places (with the exception of Manning) have heavier, but more plentiful snow than Whistler, and lift tickets will be about 1/2 the cost. There are no on-hill accomodations, for all practical purposes. In the 4-6hr-from-Vancouver category are some superb resorts: Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star, Apex. A full day's drive will get you to Panorama, Red, Kicking Horse, blah, blah, blah....
However, if you can afford Whistler, it's definately the best bang for your buck.