Grouse Mountain Skiing – Mountain review

Grouse Mountain Skiing – Mountain review

Grouse Mountain Skiing - what is it likeSkiing on Grouse Mountain is a fantastic option if you live in Vancouver and want to reach a ski-hill with very little effort. It is incredibly easy to get up to the Mountain on public transit and on clear days you’ll be treated to fantastic views of Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet.

Marc and I wanted to try out all the Ski Resorts on Vancouver’s North Shore, so last weekend we finally had a chance to explore Grouse Mountain with our skis. Here is my mini review about Grouse Mountain Skiing facilities.

Grouse Mountain Skiing overview

The Grouse Mountain ski resort covers one side of the mountain, with ski slopes right up to the summit of the mountain at an elevation of 1250m. There are two long chairlifts, as well as two smaller chairlifts and a magic carpet for newbie skiers.

How to get to Grouse Mountain:
You can take public transit the whole way. If you’re coming from downtown, take the Seabus, then jump onto a #236 bus. Or take a #232 from Phibbs Exchange on the North Shore.
If you drive up, come early as by 9am all the parking spots were already full.
Facilities:

There is a cafeteria, a restaurant, a shop and washrooms in the lodge. There is also a beaver tail stand on the slopes (although it is not always open)
Ticket Prices:
$69 (or $49 for night skiing)
This includes the cost of the skyride up the mountain.

Grouse Mountain Skiing – getting started

If you can, buy tickets online before you get to the mountain! We did try to do this, but their online system didn’t work for us, so we had to get in the queue. We arrived half an hour before the ski slopes were due to open, and the line up was not crazily long BUT there were only two members of staff serving people, and they were very slow. They also kept disappearing off into the back office, leaving no-one at the desk.

This means, if you need to buy a ticket, don’t expect to get started straight away. It took us almost an hour just to buy a ticket and ride the skyride up the mountain.

Grouse Mountain Skiing – the slopes

There are 24 downhill ski-runs. The majority of them are blue (intermediate), with a handful of black diamond (difficult) runs, and a couple of easier green runs. See the full map here.
If you’d like to visit, but you’re not into skiing, you can go snowshoeing on the Grouse Snowshoe Grind, or wander around the light walk. Plenty of people visit Grouse Mountain for non-ski related fun.

Grouse Mountain – How busy is it?

We visited on a Saturday morning in February. When we first arrived, it was not too busy at all. It was snowing, so we couldn’t see very far off in the distance, but there seemed to be plenty of space on the slopes.

More and more people arrive as the day goes on, but it never felt too busy. We did have to wait for lifts, but not for long. Grouse seems to be far busier than Sasquatch Mountain, but not quite as crazy as Cypress Mountain.

Grouse Mountain – Green runs

“The cut” is the main green run on Grouse Mountain. It is a really fun place to practice as it is wide, and not too steep. In the afternoon, the clouds lifted slightly and we could see the pretty views down to Vancouver. If you are a beginner, this is where you’ll spend your time. There is also teeny hill with a magic carpet for total snow newbies.

Grouse Mountain Blue runs

There are a wide range of great blue runs on Grouse Mountain. Some are steep with moguls, some emerge through trees, and some have gorgeous views. “The peak” is the name of the (blue) slope that everyone can see on Grouse. If it looks a bit steep and scary for you, there is a second, easier (also blue) run called “heaven’s sake” that winds around the back of the mountain. I found the piste on “the peak” quite icy and difficult, but it gets easier if you try it multiple times.

Most of the other (blue and black) ski slopes lead towards the Blueberry Bowl and the Olympic Express chairlift.

This is the view from the Olympic Express. It is gorgeous, even on a snowy cloudy day.

Mogul Skiing

Do you know about Moguls? As a newbie skier I had never heard of them, but they are mounds of snow that are formed when skiers and snowboarders do sharp turns. Overnight they harden into icy bumps on the pistes. Up until this weekend I have just avoided pistes that are covered in moguls. I find it really difficult to ski around them. Marc and Tim are both better at skiing than me, so they showed me how to handle moguls. At first I’d watch them, then ski down on easier routes(!)

I wanted to try this myself. I started off by trying to slowly ski around the newly formed moguls, or the smaller ones at the edge of the ski slope. Now I can sort of navigate my way around these difficult slopes.

Grouse Mountain’s Back Diamonds

I have written about my failures attempting black diamond-level ski runs previously. Last time I tried, I ended up sliding head first and upside-down down the slope. This meant I wasn’t overly keen to try again. Still, I figured if I don’t try, I’ll never get to see the views from any black runs. So… I took a deep breath and started sliding down a black diamond called “blazes”. You can see my joy face halfway down. I can totally do it!

Squeeee! It was a little scary, and I was definitely the least elegant skier on the mountain BUT I managed to ski down Grouse Mountain, on green, blue and black diamond slopes. This means I am happy to confirm Grouse Mountain is a really fun mountain to explore!

Although, as I managed them, it might mean the black diamond runs are not too hard!

We finished our day back on the easier slopes near “the cut”. Once the clouds lifted it was really nice to see the views, and the pistes through the trees are incredibly fun to explore. If you visit Grouse Mountain to go skiing, “paper trail” was the ski run I liked best.

Learning to Ski near Vancouver

If you fancy learning to ski in Vancouver, then Grouse Mountain is a great place to visit. It is quite expensive, but makes up for it by being so easy to get to, and having such pretty views. I have a bunch of other posts about learning to ski in (or close to) Vancouver if you’d like to read about other options…

Grouse Mountain Skiing - what is it like Grouse Mountain Skiing - Vancouver's North Shore Grouse Mountain - Learn to Ski in Vancouver

49 thoughts on “Grouse Mountain Skiing – Mountain review

  1. Stunning pics. It’s refreshing to see snow as we’re having something of a heatwave over here (nice but alarming).

    You’ve taught me something new. I always thought that beavers grew their own tails, I didn’t realise that they buy them from beaver tail stands. Do they have different ones for different occasions? 🙂

    Well done for braving the black runs!

    1. I have heard about your heatwave… “Nice but alarming” sounds like the perfect way to describe it!!

      Hehehe I should have explained beaver tails! They are sweet treats (a cross between a pancake and a doughnut) I’ll add a photo to show you what I mean later! 😉

        1. I have a feeling a real beaver’s tail would be waaay less tasty! Plus I wouldn’t want to leave a beaver tail-less! They are such cool little dudes!

    1. I remember your heli-skiing post! I am noooowhere near good enough to try that yet, but it did sound amazing!

      Woah, Colorado is pricey like Whistler then!? If you don’t buy your ticket in advance, Whistler costs $170 per day(!)

    1. Oooh now your a skier you can come! <3

      The following day we went to Amercia to ski on your side of the boarder...it was even more beautiful there (near Mount Baker)

  2. Wow – it looks like fun. It’s been a number of years since I’ve skied. We used to live near Lake Tahoe so we skied quite often when we lived in California.

    I’m glad you attempted the black diamonds. Some of them are very narrow, steep and scary, but some really aren’t so bad, as you found out.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Lake Tahoe looks amazing! You must have had so much fun!

      I found the mogul-y black diamonds really tough (doable, but tough!) The following day I found some that were not too bad at all though! 😀

      Do you have any plans for more skiing?

  3. I haven’t yet skied in Canada but it’s definitely on my list. Grouse Mountain looks gorgeous based on your photos. And I am pretty sure my son would be all over skiing there once I tell him about the beaver tail stand. Ha!

    1. I blooming love Beaver tails too! I normally use them as a treat to get me to hike up the mountain in summer…I did plan to have one while skiing too, but we were having so much fun on the slopes that i totally forgot! Oops.

  4. Living in a tropical climate, I don’t get to experience snow at all. Skiing is definitely one of the things I am yet to experience for the first time. Excited to try it out after seeing your pictures!

    1. Oooh I hope you get to try it. The cold isn’t as bad as you expect once you are bundled up warmly in ski-gear!

      If you are unsure though, you can always try snowshoeing first. That is even easier, and the trails on Grouse are pretty stunning. 😀

  5. Unfortunately, I cannot sky, but your post is really exciting and it looks like there is more to this place than skying! Besides that I always enjoy watching picture of nature in winter. And I’m glad that you have enjoyed your self!

    1. Don’t worry! I was a ski-newbie last year so if you *want* to learn as an adult, it’s totally possible.

      If not, there is still loads to see…and the lift tickets are even cheaper if you are planning to just pop up, explore and see the views.

  6. As usual, great information for those planning a trip, and pictures that make me want to jump on a plane right now…because of the incredible snowfall this year in Southern California, one of the few local ski areas has announced they will be open through July 4th weekend – come on down for spring/summer skiing in 65 degree sunshine!

    1. Well, if you head to Vancouver and want to give skiing a go, let me know. I’m always happy to help make plans. If I am around I can even come with you. 🙂

    1. Oooh where are you based Christy? I am always keen to visit more mountains, so I’d love to hear your advice for exploring the snow here!!

      So far we’ve been to the North Shore Mountains, Whistler and Sasquatch.

  7. Beautiful photography! When I was growing up in Portland, we used to travel in the summers up to Whistler. The wintertime scene in the mountains around Vancouver looks like it has a lot to offer 🙂

    1. Oooh you lucky thing! I have only done a couple of hikes around Whistler in the summer, but they were so so beautiful! Garibaldi park is such a stunning area both in winter and in summer.

      I am now in love with these mountains at all times of the year!

  8. This looks amazing! We went on a winter holiday
    last year to Slovenia but I ended up snowboarding. Would love to try skiing and it looks lovely here….what a view!

    1. Oooh I keep hearing amazing things about the mountains in Slovenia. You must have had a blast!

      How did you find snowboarding? I started with skiing as I figured I’d be on my arse all the time with a snowboard. I thought skiing was a slightly easier option!

  9. I haven’t been skiing in the longest time! And the last time I was snowboarding was all the way back in 2017. Your pictures really make me want to get back out onto the snow! This particularly mountain looks so nice too; such nice snow and great views!

    1. Oooh that doesn’t sound too long ago. I chat to my Canadian colleagues about skiing/snowboarding and loads of them have not skied since they were children (even though the mountain is only 30mins away!)

      I bet you’ll have a blast once you make it back out! Do you live near a ski resort?

  10. As a newbie skiier, I’m getting the feeling that I may not be advanced enough for Grouse! I’m from the Midwest, and greens out west are like blues here, blues like blacks, etc. So I would probably need to stick to the greens at Grouse, but it doesn’t sound like there are many. The views are gorgeous though, and I’m going to keep working on my skills and trying to get better so I can take advantage of ski resorts like this one in the future!

    1. I totally agree.

      I am a relative newbie too, and I am glad we waited to visit Grouse as I think I would have been too scared to explore much of the mountain this time last year. If you come to Vancouver, you’d probably be better on Cypress mountain as there are more easy green runs. The views from Cypress are gorgeous too! 🙂

      The main big green run on Grouse “the cut” would be a fun place to practice, but $69 is pretty pricey if you can only take advantage of one slope…

  11. I’ve never been skiing. I’m more of a warm weather kind of girl but haven’t seen snow for so long, it looks really pretty there. However, I feel with my lack of coordination, I’d be absolutely hopeless but it would be fun finding out 🙂

    1. Oh I am totally with you. Before I moved here I HATED the cold, and I had never really ventured out into the snow. It’s funny how living close to somewhere like this can teach you to love it!

  12. I’ve always wanted to ski in Canada and Grouse in Vancouver sounds like the perfect place. I always need a few warm up sessions before getting comfortable on my skis. Proud of you for the black diamond runs and most importantly overcoming your fear. That’s inspirational. Great pics and looks like a fun time!

    1. Thanks Rosemary!
      Where do you ski normally? I have a feeling folks that are used to skiing will find those black diamond runs easy. It’s just a little scary when your first starting out.

      Anyway, I hope you can make it over to Vancouver at some point!!

  13. I visited Grouse Mountain during summer so I didn’t get to see it all covered in snow. Looks beautiful. Would love to go snowboarding here one day

  14. Nice review and great that you had some fresh snow! We frequent Big White Ski Resort as we live in Kelowna , but maybe one day we’ll venture to ski hills closer to Vancouver. Did you see the video of the teenagers that saved a young boy dangling from the chairlift at Grouse?? Google it, it just happened and is amazing! Love beaver tails too…YUM!!

    1. Yes I saw that yesterday! What little stars!!

      I REALLY want to visit Big White too. We couldn’t find accommodation there this year, but I am planning to book earlier and go next season. Do you have any blog posts about it?

  15. Skiing Grouse Mountain sounds so fun! I am from Colorado, so I’ve never actually gone skiing anywhere else, but I would love to visit Vancouver so that could change! I typically stick to green and blues, so good job with your Black Diamond run. I also prefer to avoid moguls usually, they look really intimidating!

    1. YES!! those bumps are so hard to get around aren’t they! I am a newbie skiier, so I have only been skiing on the various slopes in BC. I hope I can explore more ski hills – What is it like in Colorado?

  16. With my dodgy joints, I’d do anything to avoid a mogul field. I skied off through the woods in Whistler when I came across one unexpectedly, although I probably wouldn’t advise it!

    1. Lol that is impressive! Marc did some skiing off through the woods. I am not quite good enough for that yet! I stick to the groomed runs as much as I can!

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