British Columbia

Cypress and Grouse open Friday for ski season

Winter has come early to the North Shore mountains, with Cypress and Grouse kicking off the new ski season.

Ski and snowboard season starts early on the North Shore thanks to cold weather and snow making

Cypress Mountain Resort is opening to skiers on Friday. (Norm Stack)

Winter has come early to the North Shore mountains with both Cypress and Grouse opening for the season starting Friday.

Cypress spokesman Joffrey Koeman says it's the third earliest opening in the mountain's history. Cypress received 30 centimetres of snow last week and crews have taken advantage of recent cold weather to make even more.

"There's a lot of action on the hill right now getting ready," said Koeman.

Cypress is open Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.

Over at Grouse Mountain, cold weather has also kept the snow guns humming. 

"We're thrilled to be able to tie our earliest opening day in 40 years," said spokeswoman Julia Grant.

"Early forecasts are pointing to another La Niña winter so we're excited about that, and looking forward to a nice, snowy season." 

Grouse begins welcoming skiers and riders at 3 p.m. PT, and closes at 10 p.m. PT.

Both mountains are only opening limited runs to start the season. 

Meanwhile, the folks at Mount Seymour are still waiting for a bit more snow to arrive. The hill doesn't use snow-making machines, but there were already 18 centimetres on the ground by Tuesday, according to spokesman Simon Whitehead.

"We're just waiting for Mother Nature to deliver the goods," he said.

Last year, the hill opened on Nov. 30, its earliest start in six years, but if the current weather pattern holds, Whitehead expects to beat that in 2017.

Elsewhere in the province, other hills are planning tentative 2017 openings for late November and early December:

  • Sun Peaks: Nov. 18.
  • Whistler Blackcomb: Nov. 23.
  • Silverstar: Nov. 23.
  • Big White: Nov. 23.
  • Fernie: Dec. 1.
  • Revelstoke: Dec. 2.
  • Mount Washington: Dec. 8.
  • Kicking Horse: Dec. 8.
  • Panorama: Dec. 8.
  • Whitewater: Dec. 8.
  • Kimberley: Dec. 9.
  • Red Mountain: Dec. 9.