Today’s adventure (which I’ve popped into my Day Tripping category) started out with a goal in mind: head up Grouse Mountain and go ziplining. Waking up at 7:30am on this drizzly Sunday morning, we knew that might not happen. Still, we packed up, donned our Gor-tex, and headed for the bus up the mountain regardless of the downpour.
If you’re like us and you don’t own a car, you can easily get to the base of Grouse Mountain by transit. We took the Sea Bus from downtown and on the other side hopped on the 236 bus at Lonsdale Quay, which took us the rest of the way in only 20 minutes.
Parking lots are at the base and everyone needs to ride the Skyride gondola up to the lodge, where there is much more to do than just ski (especially in the summer).
The adventurous (and physical) types may want to walk up the 3 vertical kilometers to reach the lodge and there were quite a few people our on the soggy trails this morning. Of course this is not an option in the winter but during the spring/summer season it’s a bit of a trek (with quite the pay off).
John and I were guests of Grouse today so we picked up our passes and headed up the Skyride. Upon reaching the lodge we couldn’t see further than 200 meters down the mountain. It was the first time that I had ever been up this local hill and the only views we had were of the rainclouds that were unleashing their goods upon us in buckets.
However, the good thing about Grouse is that even on a rainy day in the summer there are still several forms of entertainment high above the city.
We got some Saltspring Coffee (the Grouse Mountain roast) and took in the free movies at Theatre in the Sky. The footage in the movie was slightly outdated (false creek was not bursting at the seams with glass structures) however I can see its merit for tourists as it highlights areas of interest along the Pacific coast. I was more interested in the history of the mountain, which the first part of the movie touched upon.
There certainly wasn’t a lack of eateries and you can check out the website for the photos of the views we missed today. I really wish the Beavertails place would have been open though. If they are anything like the chocolatey goods you can get at Mount Washington, I would have devoured a couple.
We browsed the store and watched the screen that displayed a live log of Grouse Grind participants reaching their destination. Some people completing the vertical hike in 45 minutes, others in 1 hour 45 minutes – on a really crummy day in the rain it was nice to see everyone finish. (Note: If you do hike up, the only way down is the Skyride so you’ll have to purchase a one-way ticket to head back to the parking lot).
John’s highlight that, “made the whole day” for him, was seeing the grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola – who were orphaned and now live in a conservation area on Grouse.
We love walks in the rain and especially exploring our local parks and mountains. We weren’t too disappointed today, mostly since we’d both never been up we didn’t really know what we were missing – except for the sensational views I’ve seen in pictures.
Taking the transit bus back to downtown we were pretty soggy, jeans soaked up to the knees and my hair completely frizzed-out. Despite not being able to do the activity that lead us up the mountain, we still really enjoyed ourselves and are now planning our trip back up for the near future.