Brunswick Retreat and Cypress ski
June 16 2008

Words and photos by Lee Lau

Due to a miscommunication Gregor, Trevor and I missed a Monday good weather opportunity to ski the N face of Brunswick. Undetterred by rational thought and a dicey weather forecast we headed off at 4am to try to ride up from 290m at Lions Bay to the end of the Brunswick Trail at 1100m then ski off Brunswick's N face from approx. 1750. We never did get the chance as a low cloud deck was encountered at 900m. None of us wanted to ski off a steep N face in a whiteout. We turned back - perhaps another day?

Gregor crossing Magnesia Creek - we turned around after climbing to the cloud-deck at about 900m

N face of Brunswick - picture by Zoran Vasic

I thought the skiing was done (at least for that day) and jokingly told Trevor that I'd be into going for a skin up Cypress if it was bluebird. It turned out to be bluebird and by 6pm we were skinning up Cypress. You can't quite skin from the parking lot all the way to the top continuously anymore. There is a large patch of skinnable snow from the ticket booths to the top of the rope tow. Then you have to hike another 200m distance where you can then skin to Sky Chair - but its finally getting thin now. Soon it'll be a lot more hiking.

Trevor on the skin up from Cypress parking lot to the peak of Mt Strachan at the Sky Chair.

It's going to be at least another couple of weeks before the snow really starts getting patchy from the middle of the Collins green run to Sky Chair. There's still more then a metre at the top of Sky Chair where the snow is most sun-exposed and at least 2m or so in some other parts of the run. Of course there's melted patches but there's a lot more snow then there are patches.

We were at the peak at 7.15 and had plenty of time before the light show of sunset started in a couple of hours.

Views of the ridge from Grouse Mtn to Goat and Crown looking E

Views looking S towards Pt Grey

Still about 1m+ of snow at Sky Chair

Snow under the Sky Chair was actually still corn at about 7.30

We skied a run under Sky Chair and then went looking for and found a nice 100m pitch where the light was good and the snow even better. Ski pen and foot pen was minimal. Later on we found that it's been cold enough for at least the surface to re-freeze at night so there's still a corn cycle. That's pretty amazing for such relatively low elevations in later June. Not wanting to look a gift corn cycle in the mouth we did some photogenic runs.



Then we went back to the peak and settled in for sunset.

Suncups on the solar-exposed ridge - view looks W towards Bowen and Sunshine Coast

View looking NNW towards the Lions and Meslilloet

Drifting clouds make for a spectacular sunset over Howe Sound

Purple-red skies over Bowen