I’ve already written a couple of posts about the famous Grouse Grind. The Grind is normally closed during the winter, but we decided to go the North Shore anyway to see Grouse Mountain in the snow. My sister, Emmy came to visit, so we were keen to show her lots of Vancouver’s prettiest sights, but she is not quite as keen a walker as Marc and I. We needed to find easy walks, with pretty views. Grouse Mountain in the snow seemed like an excellent option!
Getting to Grouse Mountain:
As we live south of False Creek, it can be quite an adventure to reach the Mountains of the North Shore! We decided to take the Sea bus to the North Shore, and then a second bus up to Grouse Mountain. This gave my sister some gorgeous views of the city on the way!
The Grouse Skyride
Even in the summer, if you don’t want to spend an hour and a half sweating your way up Grouse Mountain, there is a gondola that can rush you to the top in just a few minutes. Marc and I have never taken the skyride *up* the mountain before! It is certainly a much easier way to see some pretty views!
Grouse Mountain in the snow
We emerged into a snowcloud, but the sky soon cleared to give us these views of Grouse Mountain in the snow. There were quite a few skiiers and snowboarders zooming around, but we could walk over to some areas, even with normal hiking boots.
The first thing we did was teach my sister about Beaver tails. We shared one between the three of us as they have sooo much sugar. Beavertails are halfway between a doughnut and a pancake. We chose the lemon, sugar and cinnamon flavour.
My next plan was to hire some snowshoes and see how far we could walk with Emmy. But before I could suggest it, Emmy saw a snowplow that was giving people lifts, so we took a ride on that instead.
I’d seen a sign for a “light walk” and I assumed that meant it would be an easy walk that Emmy could do with us. So, we all followed the signs to take a peek at it. It was actually a walk that is normally all lit-up (rather than a light walk in the sense of a brief stroll! Oops!)
There were trees with fairy lights dangling from them in all directions. It must look gorgeous at night!
I thought it all looked pretty magical in the day time as well! Lots of people must have trampled through this walk, as the snow was completely packed into a hard walkway. We didn’t need snowshoes as we could walk easily with hiking boots.
I had sooo much fun! I even got Emmy involved in a jump shot!
It seems like Grouse Mountain is well set up for snow-lovers. The walk was easy to follow and had a few little surprises. A couple of times we came around corners to hear music. They’d hidden speakers behind the trees. There are also some cool sculptures if you watch out for them.
There was also a large sparkling reindeer!
Some Grouse Mountain staff were showing off a beautiful owl, right by the sparkly reindeer. We arrived just as they were leaving with her, so we didn’t find out her name. Isn’t she lovely though!? I think she is a barn owl, rather than a snowy owl…but she does look good with snow for a background!
It looked like there was a longer trail for people with snow shoes. I’ll have to go back! This time, we headed back through the lovely snow-covered trees.
We decide to leave Grouse Mountain, and head through the mist to the sunny day below.
Once we’d made it back down the mountain, we took a bus down the hill to Cleveland Park. This is one of the first places Marc and I explored on the North Shore, and I LOVE the views from the Cleveland Dam and the Capilano lake. I *think* Emmy liked it too… but what she liked best was all the doggies out for a walk! Emmy owns a dog-sitting business in France, so she is happiest once she meets barking, four legged friends.
We got really lucky with our timing and the clouds lifted just enough to show us a brilliant view of the Lions. Emmy had a good chat with the owner of a poodle while I ran off to take this photo!
Capilano Suspension bridge
We had one more stop off on the way home. A few months ago, Emmy’s partner, Vincent, had shown me a photo of the Capilano Suspension bridge, and suggested it might be a good challenge to get her to walk over it. Emmy seemed up for it, despite her slight fear of heights. The bridge is 70m above the river and 137m across.
Emmy was actually completely fine, even on the highest parts of the bridge. I saw her making friends with dog owners and cuddling puppies, rather than worrying about heights!
We stopped off for some hot chocolates and Emmy had a rest while Marc and I zoomed around all the tree-top walks that I really, really love! I have a much longer post about the gorgeous walks around the Capilano Suspension bridge, so peek here if you’d like to see more about it!
It looked like the walkways must all be lit up in the evening here as well. But we left pretty close to closing time, and none of them were switched on, so it might be a Christmas activity!
So, that was our first day walking with Emmy. We didn’t actually walk very far at all, but we did get to show her a lot of gorgeous North Shore sights!