It’s winter and the snow is falling. It’s a good time to be a UBC student.
Skiing and snowboarding attracts thousands of snow stoked-students year after year and rightfully so. Lucky for us, UBC is in close proximity to a Mecca of world ski terrain. If you haven’t hit the slopes yet this season, you are truly missing out on a world of fun.
See those distant snow-capped peaks when you look North outside your window, the ones looming over the city? That’s the North Shore, home to mountains Grouse, Cypress and Seymour. These local hills have unmatchable views of our beautiful city constantly in sight while riding and are adored for their varying terrain and famous night skiing.
If you’re looking for a quick break from studies and have an appetite for adventure, these local favourites offer a wide range of beginner to expert terrain, satisfying the most diehard park rats to first timers.
The conveniency is one of the best things about the North Shore mountains with Grouse taking approximately an hour and a half via bus from campus, while Cypress and Seymour take closer to two hours on transit. If you're lucky enough to have access to a car, your travel time will be cut in half. Hint: make friends with vehicles.
Full equipment rentals will cost around $40 per day, while the day ticket prices for Grouse, Cypress and Seymour ring in at $58, $39 and $54, respectively. Night skiing tickets are slightly less and multi-day ticket deals minimize the cost. University students can grab a full pass at any of the ski areas for between $700-800.
While the North Shore offers fantastic skiing and riding for all levels of expertise, there's simply no match for BC’s most popular resort destination — Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia’s legendary family resort.
It’s no secret as to why Whistler is often dubbed as the “Best Ski Resort in the World.” It totes an impressive 8,171 acres of skiable terrain and the famous Peak2Peak Gondola. Whistler remains a timeless favourite.
There’s something for everyone in Whistler. In the wee hours of the morning, you might be getting unlimited fresh powder in the backcountry trees only to find yourself hitting some of BC’s biggest man-made jumps and rail features in the afternoon over in the terrain parks. Snowfall this season has surpassed six metres already. To put that into perspective, Whistler already has more snow this year than it received throughout the entirety of the year.
Equipment rental shops in Whistler are a dime a dozen and expect to pay somewhere around $60 for quality ski and snowboard packages. Lift tickets are not cheap either, going for over $100 per day. Tickets become cheaper for five, six and seven day passes, but the student pass costs only $600. It's worth your money if you only go riding six times — a no brainer for the more dedicated.
Travel options to Whistler from the university are copious. EpicRides bus service offers round trips for only $35, picking you up right outside Walter Gage Residence. Rideshares are also extremely popular for students for their cheapness and the camaraderie involved. There’s nothing better than sharing the stoke with fellow mountain goers crammed in the back of a 2002 Subura Outback. If your looking for a rideshare, check out HitchPlanet.com or the UBC Whistler Ride Share group on Facebook.
These are just four of the 20 locations in the province to go skiing or snowboarding, so stop reading this already and go explore.