Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain

Snowy

On New Year's Eve, after a year of dating, Karen and I finally went snowshoeing together. This time, after a bit of confusion with buses (because of a bus waiting for a CN train to pass, we missed the shuttle bus from Phibbs Station to Seymour Mountain) we instead went on the 232 to Grouse Mountain. Standing in line for about 20 minutes and the $30 gondola lift price were the low points. Granted, the view is amazing, and gets you on the mountain to do whatever you like, be it ski, snowboard, ice skate or snowshoe. We only went up to the black pole-marked trail on Dam Mountain, thinking that visibility was lower than we would have liked, and that there were plenty of downhills to bum slide down.

Karen introduced me to the ... what is it? A sport? Leisure activity? Punishment? Whatever it is, it's a good workout on the way up, and fun on the way down. I'm going to buy some cheap snowshoes so I don't have to stand in line and besides, after about 5 times, the snowshoes will pay for themselves. I can go alone or, like the time I went snowshoeing on Hollyburn and on Seymour, I can go with a local hiking club. Or I could go and take a silly picture with my girlfriend, but only when she comes to visit, and only day trip. There's no way I'm snowhoeing on flat Ontario land, because I'm a snob and am spoiled by British Columbia's hilly bounty, or for an overnight trip, because I'm a wussy. But I enjoy snowshoeing enough to go in the evening after work or during the day on a weekend.

Comments

"On New Year's Eve, after a year of dating, Karen and I finally went snowshoeing together." This sentence suggests that you know something I don't about snowshoeing or dating or both. Regardless, it is awesome up on Grouse.

Hey Richard, Leftantler and I have passes for Grouse (means we can get you up the mountain for half price, our own snowshoes and a car to pick you up from Lonsdale Quay or Phibbs Exchange. Anytime you want to go just say the word, it would be great to do some bum slides together ;-) Check out this picture on my flickr stream and the ones around it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leftantler/115142708/

I was just wondering if there are any clubs or groups that go out snowshoeing on some kind of a regular basis, or if there is a place I can go and go on my own. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks Mel

Mel, I took off your email address, since I'm sure you get enough spam as it is. If by local, you mean the Lower Mainland, then the Hiking Club at http://www.hikingclub.ca/ goes snowshoeing regularly (and sometimes skiing), and I've gone with them twice, and they're a jovial bunch. Cost is usually just the rental fee, plus a small donation for gas. They also go hiking during the non-winter months. They're local to Vancouver, and usually meet by the PNE on weekend mornings, but sometimes weekdays. Sign up for weekly mailings which announce where they're going and when.

Hi Richard, I am only about a year late, but I came across your snowshoeing post and your musings of going in the eve. Well, stop right here...unless you go with the organized groups at Grouse, you cannot go on the snowshoeing trails after dusk. My friend and I were turned around today. It was just getting dark and we had the misfortune of running into the first of the guide groups returning from dam Mountain. We were stopped by the guide and asked if we were alone (not sure what that was supposed to imply - no, there were two of us). We tried to talk our way past them - politely, mind you - the first guide seemed pretty lax, but the second, a women, started threatening that if we get caught our passes could be revoked. We DID not cross any barriers or out of bounds signs. We were well prepared for the short hike up Dam Mountain with headlamps, extra clothing, food, a bivy bag, emergency blankets and even flares. We know the area well and did not plan to head off trail or beyond Dam Mountain. Since we are the obedient type, we did turn around, but I am fuming and do wonder what jurisdiction Dam Mountain falls under. Grouse owns the ski hill, but what about the back country beyond that? What if a well prepared outdoor enthusiast wants to go and dig a snowcave for the night somewhere beyond Dam Mountain. Anyway, the pass RightAntler refers to is an annual Gondola pass. It cost about $100 and gets you unlimited gondola rides for a year, plus discounts for guests. It does not allow you to ski (neither does the $30 Gondola ride as you mentioned in your post. Ski day passes are somewhere around $47. Skiers are best of to buy the Y2Play pass on sale now (almost sold out), which is the best deal going...and I shouldn't even advertise that, since I am so ticked off about their talk about liability and snowshowing in the dark! If only they would be that concerned when it comes to out of contol skiers and boarders that try to take as many skiers out as possible.... That's it, that's my rant for the day! I guess I'll snowshoe Hollyburn or Seymour in the dark.

Thanks for the comment, Turtlepace. You're quite right, the gondola doesn't include a lift pass for snowboarding or skiing, so I struck those two out. The annual membership you mention is very tempting: it pays for itself after 3 trips. Plus, transit gets you to the gondola, whereas you have to take a shuttle to get to either Cypress/Hollyburn or Seymour. And now that she's back living in Vancouver, I don't have to wait for my girlfriend to visit so that we can go together!