Ski Canada: Mount Cain

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Written by Cassidy Barnes posted on Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

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Situated at the north end of Vancouver Island, Mount Cain is a beautiful, unique place to ski and snowboard in British Columbia.

Beautiful powder up at Mount Cain ski area on Vancouver Island. (Mount Cain)

Stashes of untouched powder store up all week and await visitors on weekends. The resort has a welcoming atmosphere that is family-friendly and uncrowded.

It is Vancouver Island’s only community owned and operated ski area. Mt. Cain is technically in Schoen Lake Regional Park and is run by the non-profit Mt. Cain Alpine Park Society.

The average snowfall at Mount Cain is about 120 inches (300 cm). The base elevation is 4,301 feet (1,311 m) above sea level and the top elevation is at 5,800 feet (1,768 m), creating a vertical rise of 1,499 feet (457 m).

Most of the lower runs are groomed, while the upper runs off the Upper T-Bar are left to natural powder piles. The 18 trails are broken down into 20% beginner, 45% intermediate and 35% advanced. Two T-Bars and one beginner’s handle tow service the mountain.

The mountain is generally open from mid-December until the end of March or early April (depending on snow conditions). The average mid-season base of snow at Mount Cain is 120 inches.

The slopes are open from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, with a few Mondays as well (when school groups are scheduled). On Mondays, only the lower T-Bar and Handle Tow will be working, because of this, half-day rates apply all day. Call to confirm openings.

Mt. Cain is only about two hours from the north end of Vancouver Island or the Courtenay and Campbell River area. With its varied terrain, reasonable prices and friendly atmosphere, the whole family will love it here!

Mt. Cain is easily accessed from Highway 19, 8 km south of the Woss turnoff. Keep going 16 km on a gravel road from the Highway to the lodge. The roads to Mt. Cain are regularly maintained by the mountain’s maintenance department, assisted by the forest companies, but chain are mandatory.

You must have chains that fit, chains you know how to use, and chains that you intend to use both for going up and coming back down the access road. (Even for 4x4s with good snow tires). Towing service is not available. When road conditions are poor, all vehicles will be stopped and checked for correctly fitting chains. All vehicles without chains will be denied access.

It’s also important to bring bungee cords and shovels on your trip to Mount Cain. Use two strong, short bungee cords at each tire to tighten the chains. Mount Cain often receives 2 to 5 feet of snow overnight, making the shovel is indispensable when you need to dig your own car out of the snow. It might also come in handy on the Mount Cain access road.

On any day when the ski hill is open, uphill/climbing traffic is only allowed from dawn until 1:00 p.m., while downhill/descending traffic is only allowed from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call the resort for further rules/regulations/tips on driving to Mount Cain.

Telephone: (250) 923-3170
Toll Free: 1-888-668-6622
Snow phone: (250) 949-SNOW (7669)

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