Nope, not just yet, but a new ski resort is coming to the North Shore in the next few months. Once-vacant land on the banks of the Squamish River where Crystal Mountain will hold a resort will provide a variety of activities and is expected to draw new guests to the entire district. Of course, much of that will depend on weather, but the potential is there.
Water ski operations at Winter Fern — or where ever it gets named — will be operational in the late summer/early fall when the rest of the North Shore is coming into its autumn lull. This, and a large number of other local skier and snowboarders, brought Crystal Mountain to life 20 years ago with its beginner programs, indoor water skiing, fat biking and other outdoor activities. Many of those customers will be hitting Winter Fern, not that they should have expected the Olympic-caliber conditions of Crystal Mountain in any case. But this is another high end area, which is typical when resorts spread out.
The biggest difference with Crystal Mountain was that it was built on the slope side of an old-growth forest on the Trans-Canada Highway. As a result, the ski area was tangle free. The skiable area covers 6,750 acres and with 90 ski trails (27 cruising and 97 medium-length black diamonds), hundreds of good trails and even more intermediate and advanced ski runs for the advanced level.
Crystal Mountain caters to intermediate skiers and riders who don’t want to do a lot of learning, but want expert techniques, tube a bit, and something to do in the summer.
Two ski bowls at Crystal Mountain
Danger Peak runs are level at Park Stage and visitors will find the riding excellent in both configurations as well as advanced mogul park at Monster Peak which runs 2570 vertical feet.
The Eddies’ stands to gain if new ski resorts are built
A run called the Fairmont Webber opens to sea level above. 3,200 vertical feet, then gets lifted down to bottom and turns into a total 2,400-foot vertical drop. There are also numerous other places to climb.
There are tons of intermediate runs with many intermediate run in between. The oncoming winter season is when the bikers start to show up in force at the Ghostriders. The views are as good as they get in the season and summer, especially when the Banyan Skiers ride on, making for an awesome moment in the moment during cross country skiing.
For those who don’t want the hassle of renting skis or equipment at a large resort or resort-quality ski area, there are many reasonably priced multi-resort rentals. For quick quick bag-picking, skip the big stores and just head to the local ski shop. You’ll probably be more successful that way.
These rentals aren’t for the faint of heart, it’s for the big bikes and base-level skis, and if you’re on your first outing or have just arrived from another ski area, check out the terrain parks and Vail-style swerve ramps.
You can take advantage of Crystal Mountain, but there are higher-end resorts just outside the district that are also worth visiting and dropping in on. Mel’s Big Bear Winter Sports has a variety of rentals, and the shops inside Epic Cafe is a great place to grab a snack or grab a seat on the snowy planked deck which offers views of the main ski area and town just across the street. And if you’re looking for a well-located place with a café and a prime view, like the one on the side of Vancouver Mountain, this is a great place to sample these additional amenities.
For beginners to advanced skiers looking for a new mid-mountain experience, Winter Fern is a great place. For those looking for some lift tickets to keep warm and explore a different region, there are plenty of options with the simple click of a mouse.