One of the perks of now living in Saskatoon is the relative proximity to Vancouver, a city I love. On previous trips, due to its famously overcast and rainy climate, the city hadn’t given me the opportunity to get to the top of Grouse Mountain to take in its spectacular views. As my departure date to Vancouver approached, the weather forecast got progressively better for my vacation day ahead of a mostly work-related trip. On the day I arrived, I was greeted with blue, cloudless skies. Perfect Grouse Mountain weather.
To get to the top, there’s a gondola followed by a chairlift. On this late September morning, there weren’t any crowds to speak of and the journey to the top was ever so peaceful.
I can’t really stress how great I day I got for this. It was about 15C and not a breath of wind. On the ride up the mountain, I was thoroughly enjoying the decadence of a vacation day in advance of some work in Vancouver, as you can tell from my face.
I’m not sure any words can do justice to the spectacular view from on top of Grouse Mountain. The downtown of Vancouver is just across the water at the bottom of the mountain, and on this clear day, you could see out to the Gulf Islands, the Pacific Ocean and Washington State in the distance.
I stood on top of the mountain for a long time. Birds were singing, the air was fresh, and the views were stunning. With everything that’s happened in my life – the move from Halifax, starting a new job – the year has been nothing short of chaotic (in a good way). The feeling of peace and tranquility standing here is something I’ll always remember from 2016.
The ride back down the mountain was twelve minutes of memories I’ll also cherish. The stillness of the air and the almost complete quiet of the environment made this an amazing experience.
Whether looking right from my peaceful chairlift vantage point out toward Vancouver Island, or left toward Mount Baker, I felt like I had the best seat in the world and that no one could be having a better day than I was having.
As I got off the chairlift, an unexpected bonus – there was a lumberjack show underway! It was a hoot as the two lumberjack guys were both very funny. I got to see two competitions. On the left, a race to the top of the 60 foot tall pole – the guy climbing the pole on the left had an incredible comeback for the win. On the right, the same two guys did a best of three log rolling challenge. I had never seen a log rolling in person before and while I was watching, it dawned on me this might be the most Canadian thing I’ve ever seen in my travels.
Once the show wrapped up, I made my way back to the gondola to take me the rest of the way down the mountain. Really, this morning and early afternoon couldn’t have been more perfect. I left Grouse Mountain with a wide smile on my face with a half of a vacation day in Vancouver still ahead of me.