Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is part of the North Shore mountain range in North Vancouver in British Columbia. The mountain can rise up to more than 4,000 feet or 1,200 meters, making it an ideal site for alpine skiing. The Grouse Mountain resort is also open year-round and transforms to a site for lumberjack competitions, a hiking trail and a wildlife sanctuary during the summer months. The resort features the Grouse Grind, a very well-known steep hiking trail that attracts a lot of sportsmen and other active people. The resort opens its facilities for winter sports from December to April.

The resort started with the efforts of Scandinavian immigrants who were working in the lumber trade in the area. They already marked the primary trails and runs used in the resort since the 1920s and 1930s although only a simple ski lodge and a rope tow were present then. The Super Skyride system, by far the most well-known of Grouse Mountain's features, began operation in 1966. It is like a larger version of the cable car system, with bigger gondolas carried by thicker and stronger cables.

The Grouse Mountain ski resort has a skiable terrain of 212 acres or 85 hectares with 26 ski runs. The highest accessible point is 365 meters or about 1,200 feet up. It receives 305 centimeters (10 feet) of snowfall each year. The resort also uses several snow guns to add to the natural snow covering its ski runs, and to extend the snow season in the resort well beyond winter. Its slopes are suitable for all types of skiers.

The resort is not much of a popular destination for serious skiers although a lot of people who want to learn to ski go there. This is probably why the resort employs so many efficient ski instructors. This also makes The Cut, one of the few runs designed for novice skiers, very crowded indeed. However, Grouse Mountain terrain is more suitable for intermediate skiers and those with more advanced skills. There are several blue level ski trails on the backside and numerous black diamond ski runs.

Nighttime skiing is a very popular activity in the resort because of the view it has of Vancouver, and here is really the major appeal of Grouse Mountain. The resort is designed in such a way to make the view of the city a highlight so trips in the resort usually revolve around expensive journeys on the Skyride and more-affordable rides on the chair lifts. Although there are no complaints about these, there is not much activity in store for people who have ridden to the top of the mountain except when you are planning on skiing. You should know that there are no pubs on the mountain top. However, the resort's lodges there serve great food.

Rave reviews of the resort are usually concerned with the view of Vancouver city, so if you are into that, then put this resort in the places to have your ski trip. For travelers with not so good skiing skills, you may want to pass on this one.