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It looks like I should be in Vancouver around the start of November, and I may even have a whole day free (plus the odd half day for some sightseeing!).

I was thinking that if possible, it might be nice to try to get a day's skiing in on that spare day. What I'm not sure is if it can be done?

Some basic research has shown that there are ski resorts that can be visited for the day from Vancouver, and that BC has ski resorts that normally have some snow in early November. While the snow level will vary from year to year, so no-one can ever say in advance when the season will start... In a typical year though, are any of the ski resorts that can be visited in a day from Vancouver normally open and skiable in early November?

And possibly related, I'm unlikely to already have a car, so, are there buses from Vancouver out to any of these resorts? (if any!)

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my brother lives in Vancouver and routinely skis by public transit. So yes, what you want to do can be done, in general. Whether it can be done in November is the issue. Do the web sites of the ski resorts help you at all? –  Kate Gregory Jul 31 '11 at 17:29
    
@Kate Do you know which ones he finds easy to get to? That'd let me narrow down which ones to try to investigate in detail –  Gagravarr Jul 31 '11 at 21:20

3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Cypress Mountain has announced that it is opening November 14, 2012, though it is only at higher elevations with artificial snow, and not suitable for beginners. (In 2011, opening day was November 9.)

Grouse Mountain, reachable by TransLink bus 232 or 236, opens November 13, 2012.

Whistler, reachable by private coach, opens [November 17, 2012].

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Looks like this is the earliest they've ever opened, and they're the earliest to open in BC this year, so it can be done just not every year! –  Gagravarr Nov 9 '11 at 22:40

Here's a quote from my Vancouver informer, with a little copying and pasting from their websites:

You can go to Cypress http://cypressmountain.com/ by bus:

By Public Transit - Take Skytrain or Bus to Waterfront Station, connecting via Seabus to the Cypress Mountain Shuttle Bus at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.

If you only have a few hours, go to Grouse http://grousemountain.com/ by public transport.

The public transit system offers regular service to and from the base of Grouse Mountain every half hour. Catch Bus 232 - Phibbs Exchange or Bus 236 - Lonsdale Quay.

The public transit system website is http://www.translink.ca/

Update: my informer ski-ed for the first time of the 2011-2012 season at Cypress Nov 25th. Not sure if that's the moment it opened but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

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Looks like Cypress Mountain normally gets some snow in early November, but isn't open until late November, from checking their archives. Can't find as good info on Grouse Mountain, but it looks like it might well be similar –  Gagravarr Jul 31 '11 at 23:21
2  
Just found that the Cypress Mountain site says they don't normally fully open until the 1st of December –  Gagravarr Jul 31 '11 at 23:28

Whistler is probably your best bet for skiing. You can get to it by bus from Vancouver.
As you say, it depends year to year whether they have snow that early or not. It will be the best skiing around if it does have snow.

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I've checked for a few years, and in 2009 it partly opened on the weekend of the 14th/15th November, fully the week after. In 2008 it was the 26th November, and in 2010 it was the 23rd November. Looks like I'll be a week or two too early... –  Gagravarr Aug 27 '11 at 14:09

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