Grouse Mountain...and Grinder and Coola the rescue bears

Vancouver Travel Blog

 › entry 6 of 8 › view all entries
Anybody wanna come and give me a back scratch????
    Okay so it is still May 24th, Saturday evening...and we a head up to Grouse Mountain to see the resuced bears who call this place home, also to have a great dinner, watch the sunset..see the evening lights and then call it a day..
We had crammed quite alot in the few hours of saturday...but it was fun to play tourist, then come to this spot, and enjoy the end of a great day.   The weather was perfect, the bears were a sight to behold, dinner was great, and then the ride back down the moutain was awesome riding in those cable cars...it was a fine day!!!!

So come with me to see this great place.  I have much to tell about Grouse Mountain...the Twin lions peaks...and a story about a couple of orphaned cubs called Grinder and coola, there is also a wolf orphanage there but I did not see it at this time.
Anybody??
..My favorite animal on earth is a wolf and I have never had the pleasure of seeing one in the wild.  Although we have them here on the Island, on my secret trail...they have been elusive to me.......so here goes.

Grouse Mountain story

Grouse Mountain is virtually only about a 15 minute drive from Downtown Vancouver. Grouse Mountain is the "Peak of Vancouver" and provides some of the best viewpoints of the area as well as many year around activities.
Grouse Mountain is located on Vancouver's north shore.  The mountain is easily accessed via the Famous Lions gate bridge from Georgia street in Vancouver...just follow the signs.
The mountain is on the fringe of wilderness and civilization.
Okay fine then.....
  You can escape the city to pristine alipne wilderness with over 110 years of great scenery and many activities.  These include skiing, snowboarding, sleighrides, ice skating, snowshoeing (that is me), hiking, wildlife ecounters (grin), falconry demonstrations, theatre shows, ranger talks, eating (grin), shopping, and the list goes on and on...
It is also home to Vancouver's famous hike, the Grouse Grind, which is often referred to as Mother Natures Stairmaster.  This fully rigorous 2.9K hike, takes you straight up the face of Grouse Mountain. (This is in case you have loads of energy and don't want to take the skytram).  By the time you reach the plateau, your ascent will have gained 853 meters (2,800 feet).  And yes it is quite some hike!!!!

Some History

The first hikers to Grouse Mountain were in 1894.
Anyone wanna come for a swim???
  They embarked on a three day journey to the summit.  The hardy group of hikers slogged through snow, scrambled over rock and up through dense forest.  Along the way they hunted a blue grouse and honored the plentiful game bird by calling the park Grouse Mountain.....(gee I never knew).

In 1929 the Tyee Ski Club was formed, which is now the oldest ski club in Canada.  By the mid 1930s, the mountain had its first rope tow.

On september 2nd 1929, Grouse Mountain was proud to host Winston Churchill, his son Randolph and his brother Jack for dinner in the original chalet.

In 1949, the world's first double chair lift was built.

In December 1966 the 45 passenger skyride was opened.

In 1974, the Mclaughlin family purchased controlling interest in Grouse Mountain Resorts Ltd, and provided the necessary funding to construct a second tramway.
Gesh chicken.......


THE TWIN LIONS PEAKS

These pair of pointed peaks are probably the most visually striking and distinctive formation among the North Shore Mountains.  Along with the Lions Gate Bridge named in their honor, these twin summits have become one of the most recognizable Vancouver landmarks.  The city's BC Lions CFL football team is also named in their honor.
Geologically The Lions are composed of hornblende diorite, the oldest plutonic rock on the West coast of Canada....(gesh how do they know that)....

According to an article by Steven Threndyle, the earliest recorded climb of the West Lion in 1889 happend almost by accident.  A group of hunters following a herd of goats found themselves at the top with no place to go but down. (Hmmmm.
Im just hanging around...what you doing?
....what goes up must come down).  The hunting party was guided by the native chief Joe Capilano.  One of the members of the hunting team was Doctor Henry Bell-Irving, who asked Capilano if he could time one of the chief's young natives to see how long it would take him to run from the base of the West Lion to the summit.  the youth, stripped completley naked, made the round trip ascent and descent in under 20 minutes.  (darn that is fast).

With its steep granite face East Lion was believed impossible to scale.  This of course did not deter John Latta and his two brothers from setting out to climb the East Lion in 1903.  Hearing climbers often used ropes for mountaineering ascents, they packed one along, but actually did not know how to use it.  the Latta brothers also climbed the West Lion on their way out.
....(Now that takes some energy).

To the Indigenous people the Lions are known as the Sisters.  These mountains remain sacred to these people for their history, and spiritual value.  In their history, these sisters transformed by the Sky Brothers, or transformers, after the sister created a path for the war to end between them and the Haida.  Sometimes around 1890, Judge John Hamilton Gray proposed that the name be changed due to the peaks resemblance to lions. (gesh go figure).

GRINDER AND COOLA ORPHANED BEARS

Grinder and Coola were found in different parts of British Columbia at around the same time and when they were about the same age.
  Coola was found near Bela Coola, on the coast, abandoned after his mother was killed when she was hit by a car.  Grinder was found in a rocky mountain forest, alone and nearly starving in the interior, near the alberta border.  (I believe Grinder is the lighter color of the two).  Before their new habitat was ready on Grouse Mountain, the two cubs were housed on a farm.  This close quarters and feeding by humans meant that once they reached their fenced-in new territory they'd be too accustomed to humans to ever be set completley free.

Grouse Mountain is however a great home for the orphaned bears.  They spent the first few months eating, exploring, playing, getting fat for winter.  By the time winter did come around they were more than three times their size.  Despite not having their mothers to teach them, they instinctively got ready for hibernation.

They are quite a sight to behold these two now grown bears...both with completly different personalities....



MelissaBeth says:
Thank you for the wealth of information in your blog. It is really informative is making me much more excited for my trip in a couple months!
Posted on: May 16, 2013
alicegourmet says:
The bear looks so cute in the wild. I always like to see the animals from distance. And the scenery is very awesome there!
Posted on: Jun 14, 2008
hummingbird50 says:
Thanks Elke...again for your great reading and editing skills...I know you are reading the whole thing...thanks very much...I appreciate it.:):) Yes it is definitely a add of things to do...you may have to come here for a while to fit everything in Elke...thanks Enrico for all your smiles too!!!!! It is awesome there....I loved it and will go back:) I want to walk the Grouse Grind...:)
Posted on: Jun 13, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Anybody wanna come and give me a b…
Anybody wanna come and give me a …
Anybody??
Anybody??
Okay fine then.....
Okay fine then.....
Anyone wanna come for a swim???
Anyone wanna come for a swim???
Gesh chicken.......
Gesh chicken.......
Im just hanging around...what you …
Im just hanging around...what you…
Come closer...come on I dare ya!
Come closer...come on I dare ya!
The Twin Lions...
The Twin Lions...
Hey were just haning out hee in th…
Hey were just haning out hee in t…
Twin Lions
Twin Lions
Roar...
Roar...
There is still lots of snow on tha…
There is still lots of snow on th…
Looks like rain....
Looks like rain....
Rain?
Rain?
Somewhere over the rainbow...
Somewhere over the rainbow...
Way up high!!!!
Way up high!!!!
City lights...
City lights...
Night...night.....
Night...night.....
Vancouver
photo by: Browser