Grouse Mountain in British Columbia is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Grouse Mountain, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsGrouse Mountain, conveniently located 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, attracts more than 1.2 million visitors every year. The resort draws in skiers and outdoor lovers of all sorts, with a wide range of activities including skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, sky rides, a Theatre in the Sky and breathtaking views of the city below. Grouse Mountain is open 365 days a year, pulling in enough visitors to make it Vancouver's most-visited four-season attraction. Although the resort offers endless activity options, skiing takes center stage in the winter, with 26 ski and snowboard runs, 14 night runs and two terrain parks.
The MountainThe ski season at Grouse Mountain begins in November and lasts through March, with the mountain enjoying an average of 102 inches of snowfall a year, and also boasting top-notch snowmaking technology to guarantee snow-covered runs. The mountain is covered in a packed, powdery snow, typical of West Coast mountains. Grouse Mountain reaches 4,100 feet at the summit and has a vertical drop of 1,260 feet. The runs at Grouse Mountain vary, with the longest run measuring one mile, which is ideal for beginning or intermediate level skiers but may not be long enough for advanced skiers.
Trails And LiftsGrouse Mountain includes 26 runs, with 14 of them open at night. Forty percent of the runs target beginners, 40 percent are intermediate level and 20 percent are advanced. The Cut is Grouse Mountain's signature trail, which is a well-groomed slope that is great for beginners and offers a breathtaking view of Vancouver's cityscape below. The mountain includes four chairlifts and two terrain parks.
In The NewsGrouse Mountain has attracted celebrities taking breaks from filming locations in picturesque Vancouver. A-Team star Bradley Cooper set out to beat X-Men star Hugh Jackman's record of scaling the mountain in 35 minutes. Jackman decided to climb the scenic yet steep trail while on break from filming X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Cooper took up the challenge and met his goal, completing the 2.5-mile climb in 28 minutes in 2010.
CostA full-day lift ticket, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., costs $58 for adults and a night ticket, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., costs $48, with discounts for children and teens up to age 18 and seniors ages 65 and older. Children 4 and younger are free. A winter pass offers unlimited skiing and snowboarding for the season and costs $825. Equipment rental costs range from $20 to $42 per day for ski or snowboard packages, with discounts for seniors and children. Grouse Mountain carries high performance equipment as well as skate helmets and regular helmets for safety. Private ski or snowboard lessons cost $135 for two hours, a four-session group clinic is $159 for adults and a half-day of Ski Wee lessons for children costs $57.
Apres-SkiGrouse Mountain provides a peaceful oasis amid the convenience and splendor of bustling Vancouver. The mountain itself affords plenty of winter attractions for visitors, including hiking, snowshoeing, ice skating, mountain zip lines, sky rides and the Theatre in the Sky, a cinema on the mountaintop featuring shows on the local wildlife and habitat. There are several restaurants to satisfy hungry skiers on the mountain, including Grouse Grind Coffee Bar and the Observatory, a mountaintop eatery that serves fresh, local cuisine and provides spectacular panoramic views of the glowing city below. For shopping enthusiasts, Grouse Mountain sells the latest in high-tech outdoor gear at the Outfitters store as well as souvenirs from British Columbian culture at the Spirit Gallery Gift Shop.
WATCH: Grouse Mountain
Take in some of the breathtaking views of the mountains and Vancouver from Grouse Mountain.