Many cities — Denver,
Salt Lake City,
Calgary, among others —
have ski areas within easy driving distance. Grouse Mountain
Vancouver, Canada, has a resort
right in its metropolitan area, just 15 minutes from downtown.
Grouse Mountain Ski Area rises over 4,000 feet above sea level, with a vertical drop of 1,200 feet. The base area is even lower, at 900 feet above sea level. From here, skiers and snowboarder share a Skyride Tram with diners riding to the top to eat and drink at Grouse Mountain Lodge. A visit to Grouse Mountain Lodge is worthwhile even if you do not want to hit the slopes. From the top of Grouse Mountain Vancouver presents an awesome cityscape. On the slopes, it really is a special view to see a shining megalopolis below.
There has been a ski area at Grouse Mountain since the late 1940s. When the original Grouse Mountain Lodge burned down in the 1960s, the provincial government decided to invest heavily in Grouse Mountain Ski Resort, developing the unique urban ski area that exists today.
Grouse Mountain Ski Resort will never challenge Whistler,
Blackcomb or the larger British Colombia ski areas as
a destination resort, but for its convenience and unique
location Grouse Mountain has quite a variety of terrain.
Skiers and snowboarders of all levels will enjoy the famous
green slope The Cut. Some good intermediate terrain falls
from the side of this run: Side Cut and Centennial are
both gentle blue runs. For advanced terrain, head up the
Olympic Express high-speed quad and try the double-black
descents of Devil’s Advocate and Purgatory. Inferno
and Blazes are more manageable single black diamonds.
There is also a small terrain park for snowboarders.
Over 75% of Grouse Mountain Ski Resort is covered by snowmaking, so the mountain can stay open for most of the winter. Vancouver is also notoriously wet, so there is often a good supply of natural snow.
Grouse Mountain Vancouver really is a unique place. In addition to the Grouse Mountain Ski Area, there is a fine dining restaurant at Grouse Mountain Lodge, a small skating pond, and the “Theater in the Sky” high-definition theater. From across the mountain, you can see the lights of Vancouver, Lion’s Gate Bridge, and out into the city harbor. If you are in Vancouver in ski season, a visit to Grouse Mountain is a must.