Call me crazy, but Ryan, Corrie and I picked the coldest day thus far on the Vancouver Winter calendar to head up to Cypress Mountain to partake in some evening snowboarding under lights. I haven’t actually done any night skiing before so I was really looking forward to it and also quite curious as to how good visibility was going to be.
The plan was to get up there around 6pm, meet up with Dan and Candace at the bottom of one of the Quad chairs and then just kick around the resort for a few hours. The place was pretty much deserted when we arrived in the carpark which was a great sign. It meant that the slopes would be open and the lift line-ups minimal – desirable conditions by anyone’s standards.
Everything was AOK until I looked down and strapped into Ryan’s old board (which I was borrowing for the night) noticing that the binds were actually set up for a “goofy footer” (left hand rider) which Ryan is. I know, I’m left-handed and this should have been spot on for my needs, but due to the same quirk that renders me a “right-hander” when playing cricket, soccer etc I actually board “regular”. Soooo… after a small amount of consideration at the top of the first chairlift to heading back down and switching the binds over, I figured I’d give it a shot down the first slope and just see how it felt. Thankfully (in terms of saving time), it felt ok and I was able to keep up with Ry and Corrie to the bottom so I decided to just wing it for the rest of the night.
As expected, across the two peaks only the long intermediate trails were lit which meant, after having met up with Dan and Candace, we spent the best part of 3 hours hurtling down the hills with reckless abandon. It was actually kinda tricky conditions as the recent combination of fine sunny days and cold clear nights have created a pretty icy cover and finding edges was sometimes difficult. But… I managed to stay upright the entire night and only called it quits along with everyone else once the cold started to penetrate both my boots and gloves. It got to the point where tucking into a few pitches of beer and some nachos and chili fries were a more appealing prospect (like you really need much more motivation) so we headed to the lodge for a little late night Apres Ski!
Considering the close proximity (30-40 minutes by car) to Vancouver downtown and the quality of trails, Cypress is a great location for night skiing and I hope to get up there a few more times under lights before the season wraps up in a couple of months.