Grouse Mountain holds a special place in my heart; it is where Tyler proposed to me. I have been so anxious to return, as I know there is an abundance of activities to do here in both the winter and summer. As Tyler and I sat on the couch last weekend trying to brainstorm a fun Saturday night activity, he suddenly bolted up and said we should give night skiing on Grouse Mountain a try. That sounded amazing and I rushed to grab my gear. I found my snow pants, gloves, jacket. Tyler winced and asked if I was joking. “You snow pants are as thin as track suit pants.” I told him this is what I wear when I go skiing in Wisconsin. Then, he reminded me this is a real mountain – not a hill (no offense to the “hills” in Wisconsin) – and it is about 1,000m higher than what I’m used to. After a short moment of fearing I was completely unprepared clothing-wise, we borrowed a snowsuit from his sister and we were officially off to the mountain!
parking and paying for your lift ticket
When you arrive at the bottom of Grouse, there is tons of space in the parking lot – just be sure to pay at the parking station so you don’t get a ticket. To purchase a lift ticket, you simply go up to the lift ticket window which is conveniently right next to the entrance of the gondola. You simply purchase a night ski lift ticket (night skiing on Grouse Mountain costs about $48 a person and includes skiing from 4-10pm. What a steal!) and then wait in line for the first part of the adventure – the gondola ride up!
We were fortunate it was such a clear night. As you take the 6 minute gondola ride to the peak, you get amazing views of Vancouver down below. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of Washington’s Mount Baker. Once you get to the top, you can either start skiing and snowboarding right away if you have all of your equipment with you! I was in shock at how efficient and effortless this all was! If you’re like me and didn’t pack skis with you, you just go to the rental building and within fifteen minutes you’ll be ready to start your adventure! You can rent virtually anything you need – skis, poles, helmets, even ski jackets. Finally, we could start the fun!
One of the best things about Grouse is that the trails are all very clearly labeled. One of my biggest fears is accidentally going down a black diamond thinking it’s an intermediate run (this happened to me in The Alps and I have not recovered!). In fact, there are 15 runs open at night! If you’re night skiing on Grouse Mountain I suggest to make your first run on “The Cut” trail. This has gorgeous views of the city and is even more beautiful as the sun sets.
quick food break
Once you need a food break, head to the chalet for different food offerings. There is anything from pizza to poutine to burgers to ramen. Make sure you grab a Granville Island beer to refuel your spirit! There are also plenty of restrooms, a coffee bar, a gift shop, a viewing deck, an ATM, big chairs to lounge in near the fire…you get it.
finally what you paid for – night skiing on grouse mountain
Once nightfalls, there is a completely different feel to the mountain. This is not time to look cute in your little ski outfit. It’s time for some real thrills and adrenaline while you’re masked my the darkness. It’s time for true night skiing on Grouse Mountain. Fair warning – it is less crowded and a bit chillier, but the lights below make it a show stopper. There were several points where I had to stop as I was skiing down the trails because the views were unbelievable. When you can’t feel your legs anymore because you’re so exhausted, just drop off any rental equipment and then back down the gondola you go!
Night skiing on Grouse Mountain was incredible! I had so much fun. We will definitely be back to try and get a few more runs in before the season is over! If you enjoyed Grouse, maybe step up your game and give Whistler a shot! Read my post on Skiing in Whistler.