Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain View
The “Cut” on Grouse Mountain is easily visible from the city.

Grouse Mountain is situated in between Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour in North Vancouver. It’s the ski hill most visible from Vancouver, recognized by the iconic rectangular “Cut” when viewed from the city.

The mountain is a year-round tourist attraction accessible by the Skyride gondola. At the peak times, it’s possible to have to wait more than an hour for a ride down the mountain particularly at the end of the day, as not only skiers and snowboarders are lining up for download, but also tourists checking out mountaintop attractions and restaurant patrons.

On the other hand there are a couple of advantages the mountain has catering to tourists. One is that the amenities at the mountain top are much better than at the other two local mountains, including a comfortable lodge with different dining options. In addition, it’s accessible by public transportation, using the #232 or #236 buses.

In terms of ski terrain, although Grouse is technically 2nd at 212 skiable acres, it’s not really much bigger than Mount Seymour (at 200 acres).

The learning area consists of a magic carpet and slow quad chair. I can’t really say too much about this area since I didn’t spend too much time there.

The Cut, when viewed from the city, seems like quite a boring run. However after skiing on it, it’s actually pretty fun. The slope varies throughout the run providing some variety, and the large width means it’s pretty difficult to be stuck behind slower people. Choose from cruising down (until the slow zone at the bottom), or take it slow and practice skills. Also, the view of Vancouver is always a bonus.

The last pod of trails at the back of the mountain serviced by the Olympic Express chair provides intermediate and higher terrain. I haven’t tried the black and double black diamond runs yet, so can’t comment on those. The blue runs provide a couple different ways down, although they are mostly along the same route. The advantage of this pod is that since there is no beginner terrain, Olympic Express generally is the least crowded when the mountain is busy and the chairlift rarely needs to slow or stop.

Grouse Mountain is probably the priciest mountain among the North Shore mountains, with rates similar or more expensive than Cypress Mountain, but with less than half of the area, plus needing to pay for parking in the lots on each visit. However, there is a variety of fun terrain and other activities that are available at the mountain top does provide for an entertaining time.

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