Cypress Mountain - West Vancouver
Activity:I remember once when I was small, we went up Cypress Mountain. We drove to the lookout, took a few pictures of the view, got back in the car and drove home. Wow! The next time we visited Cypress we went all the way to the top. It was the summertime and the parking lot was empty, except for us and two other cars. My guess is, people don't know about the neat hikes you can go on up there. Dad took us on an easy hike around Yew Lake. Jen and I found a gigantic plop of bear poop in the middle of the path. Dad even took a picture of it. That wasn't the only thing we saw. Mom and Dad were more interested in the stunted trees, flowers, and floating yellow lily pads. If you want a more challenging hike, you can do that too. Dad once took Jen, Mom and Cole up a mile-long rocky bluff. He was looking for Cabin Lake, which they never did find. And Dad says I have a poor sense of direction!
The real fun up at Cypress I discovered a few years later. For my tenth birthday party we went snow tubing. That was so much fun. Even my Mom had a good time, and she usually doesn't like the snow. Jen and Cole were too small to rent a tube (you have to be 4' 8" tall), so they went toboganning with Dad. You can ski too. I love snowboarding on Cypress, and my Dad says it best of all the local mountains for skiing. Here comes the really exciting news-a mountain biking park is slated to open in the summer of 2005. I can't wait.
Age group:When it comes down to it, I think anybody could enjoy Cypress Mountain. Even if you just went up to look at the view of Vancouver-it's pretty awesome. What you do beyond that depends on what you can handle. I mean I don't think Oma could handle a big hike, and hopefully I won't see Mom and Dad racing down the mountain bike park when it opens.
Expense rating:In summer the hiking is free, but you have to pay to park your car in the parking lot at the top of the mountain.
:What is really cool about Cypress is you can do more than just ski or board. When you ski sometimes you lose touch with the other people in your group. Like when our family goes up I usually shred down on my board and let Dad, Jen, and Cole eat my powder. Dad kinda gets stuck babysitting Jen and Cole, and he never gets to ski fast. I can see how Dad might be ready to pack it in after an hour. Whereas if the whole family goes to the tubing or toboganning park, they can ride down together and have fun. Everyone stays together and everyone has fun (supposedly).
What my Mom likes most about Cypress Mountain is you can drive to the ski lifts. You don't have to pay money to take a gondola up, and wait in line. Dad likes the hiking. I just hope he brings a map the next time he tries a new hike-especially if I'm there.
:If you go hiking I would definitely think about bringing bug spray. A few times we've walked into swarms of small flies. They don't bite, but one time Jen swallowed one whole and we never heard the end of it.
Details:Getting to Cypress Mountain is pretty simple. Just go along the freeway that takes you to Horseshoe Bay and turn off at the Cypress Mountain exit (exit #8). I'd say it takes about 20 minutes to get there from the Second Narrows Bridge. It's about another 20 minutes before you get to the parking lot. The lookout is about half-way up.
For downhill ski information, contact Cypress Bowl at (604) 926-5612.
For cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing information call (604) 922-0825.
For information on hiking trails: (604) 929-1291.
Season:Most people think of Cypress Mountain when the snow starts to fall, or when they want to amaze their out-of-town guests with the view at the lookout. Which is too bad, because there are some pretty cool hikes you can do when the snow goes away.
Educational highlights:Did you know Cypress Mountain is holding the snowboard and downhill skiing events for the 2010 Winter Olympics? Hopefully I can get a job there, so I won't have to pay for the tickets.
Fun for the adult?:I know my parents like Cypress Mountain because they never make up excuses when we ask them to go. Give them a trail and they'll enjoy hiking it. Maybe Dad will even get to enjoy skiing one day.