Yesterday was my 30th birthday and what an amazing day it was. Not only did I get to wake up in my favourite place but I had family with me who had travelled all the way from the UK to help me celebrate.
We spent the day exploring Grouse Mountain. We paid for an ultimate ticket, which got us a free shuttle ride up the to the base of the mountain and access to all the shows and the highest peak. It was an incredible experience to go up there and it has been on my bucket list since I moved here. For the tickets it was just shy of $60 per adult.
On the mountain we got to go on the cable car up the mountain, which offers incredible views over Vancouver and the valleys. From there we had lunch in the cafe overlooking the city. Next was on to the lumberjack show, which is an absolute must if you go up there. The skills of the lumberjacks is incredible and the show is really humerous.
Having paid for an ultimate ticket we went up to the highest peak of the mountain on a chair lift, which was brilliant as there was still loads of snow on the mountain. The views are really incredible and going over the bear enclosure offered aerial views of the resident grizzly bears. Up at the top there is a wind turbine that offers 360 degree views across to different mountain peaks, down to Vancouver, Capilano and way out to sea. It is truly breathtaking.
There is ziplining available but we didn’t do that. From what we were told there were 4-5 ziplines that gradually bring you up the mountain. It looked like great fun and I would love to go back and do it another time.
After coming down from the top the bears had fully woken up and offered some truly memorable sights from seeing them play in the pool through to chasing each other and grazing on the grass. The Grizzlies are called Coola and Grinder who are both rescue bears that were found on the brink of death after their mothers were killed. They were taken in by a rescue center and then once they realised they couldn’t be released they were brought up to Grouse to live out their days. Although they have all the skills to survive as bears because they have become used to humans they would not be able to be released because their instincts would tell them to associate humans with providers of food. Something I really liked was that they don’t have specific feeding times for the bears. They hide food for them when they aren’t expecting it to keep their instincts sharp and to provide them with opportunities to explore. The bears will be the only resident bears there as they are only there because they can’t be released into the wild. As captive bears they are likely to live until nearly 40 years old, almost double that of wild bears. They are currently around 16 years old.
From watching the bears we decided to make our way down the mountain and back into town. On the mountain there are bird of prey shows, which we caught some of whilst catching the chair lift back down from the peak. It looked really good and if the commentary was anything like that of the bear keepers then it would have been really informative. Overall it was a fantastic experience that I would more than happily pay to do again. What is really crazy is there is still several foot of snow on a lot of the mountain, and it’s nearly mid-June. It just goes to show what a crazy winter it has been. needless to say I have a little bit of a red forehead from all the sun (I do not feel sorry at all).
If the day couldn’t have got any better, in the evening I spent it with some of my best friends I have made here and my family. We went to The Keg on Dunsmuir. As usual the service did not disappoint and it was a great evening.
I feel incredibly lucky to have spent it with such great people and can’t wait to see what my 30’s bring. Thank you everyone who has sent good wishes from near and far, and from all corners of the world.
Here are a few photos from Grouse Mountain.