Sunday, 27 May 2012

Grouse Mountains & Aboriginal Art

There are several other attractions besides the adventure sports on the Grouse Mountains.

A Bear as big as a tree!

Wood carving as an art seems to be very popular among the aboriginals of British Columbia, be it the totem poles or like the big bear in the photo above which must have been at least 20 feet high.

Reindeer s under observation of man! 

The place also had reindeer's and with the backdrop of massive humans carved out of wood.

A woman inside the tree

Another form of local art I found was that unlike the totem poles which is done on a massive log I also saw some standing trees where a form of human being (like in the photo above) has been carved.

A mask

The locals traditionally used to wear mask like the one above. One can now only see people wearing the mask in one of the festivals that is held. One can buy the mask or other traditional items in the shops that operate on the Grouse Mountains for the tourists.

Read the earlier blogs on Grouse Mountains and the Winter Adventures on the Grouse 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Winter Delights on Grouse Mountains

Grouse Mountains in winters can be a delight for everyone with an adventure streak. One can ski or ride on its 26 runs.

Skiing on the various slopes of the Grouse Mountains

Ropeways are available for going up the slopes to ski down. You get down and ski without the ropes stopping completely.

Wind Turbine with a view

The wind turbine that you see in the picture serves a double purpose as besides generating electricity it is the world's only turbine that allows one to stand in the clear glass view on top of the tower giving you a 360 degree view.

Ice skating

Ice skating is very popular among the children as well as adults. The ice is compacted every few hours so that the surface is absolutely smooth for  a fun skate.

Snow scootering

For those who would like to have a different kind of adventure snow scooters are there. One can also go on the trails on snow shoes that won't let your feet sink in the soft snow. Mountain ziplining is another popular sport here where you can take a top speed of 80 kms per hour and viewing the beauty of the valley below.

Skyride on Grouse Mountains

The skyride here is the largest aerial tramway system in North America. It takes you an amazing 3700 feet up to give you a bird's-eye view of the region in a matter of minutes.

For availing these adventure activities one has to shell out $58 during daytime. As night time also the facilities are available with all facilities being flood lit the charges are $48. One can see the flood lit Grouse Mountains from the Vancouver city during night.

An earlier post on Grouse Mountains can be read here.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Grouse Mountains, British Columbia, Canada

The beautiful Grouse Mountains is only a 15 minute drive from downtown Vancouver in the British Columbia, Canada.  

Frozen Lake on the Grouse Mountain

It must be among the few places in the world that one can reach from the sea level of Vancouver to above the forest line and among the snow capped Grouse Mountains to ski in a matter of minutes.

Frozen Lake in foreground with native painting on a wall

Be it day or night a winter playground can be found in the Grouse Mountains. In the winters Grouse Mountains is a popular tourist attraction as lot of locals come here to have a fun time not only during the day but also during the night. Of course lot many people miss the lake as it is slightly off route so I had plenty of time to myself here away from the crowd.

Black lizard on snow

I saw this black lizard making a slow but steady progress towards its destination and the contrast of colour was stark.

View from the Grouse Mountains

The best part is one can view from atop the Grouse mountains forested  green mountains in the foreground and the skyline of the Vancouver city (as is visible in the center foreground in the photo above), the Pacific Ocean with the barges and the distant snow clad mountains as a birds eye-view.

After a trek or ski if you are hungry then there are plenty of good options on the top like the Observatory for fine dining, the Altitudes Bistro for British Columbian cuisine from where I could see the Vancouver city as well as the Pacific Ocean 3700 feet below, Lupins Cafe for casual dining, Grouse Grind Coffee Bar, the Starbucks, among others.

The general admission ticket to reach the Grouse Mountains is $40 (Canadian Dollars) and this ticket is valid for the skyride, trails, skating pond etc.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

West Dyke Trail, Richmond

The West Dyke Trail runs along the west side of Richmond, a city close to Vancouver in the British Columbia, Canada. It is popular for jogging, biking and walking the dogs.

Formation Flying
The West Dyke is a place for wintering birds which comes in huge numbers here in the winters from further north like Alaska and Siberia. The birds in the photo above are the Blue Goose. One can read my earlier article on these wintering birds in my previous blog.

Howe Sound Mountains

The trail gives an excellent view of the snow capped mountains and the Vancouver international airport. In the photo below one can see an aircraft landing with the Fraser river in the foreground. The river goes on to form the Fraser Delta and then merges in the Pacific Ocean.

Fraser River & the Vancouver Airport in the background

The dyke is more than five kms long from Terra Nova to Garry Point Park and as Richmond is only a meter above the sea level these dykes keep the city of Richmond safe from flooding due to high tides.

Birds Paradise

The coastal trail is a birders paradise and there are lots of local as well as migratory birds that can be seen here. The Sturgeon Bank marsh is a major migration route of millions of birds including the Lesser Snow Geese.

Sun in the sky as well as water (see the seaplane)

One can also see on the Fraser river seaplanes landing and taking off for the various islands as this is the main source of reaching the remote islands in the British Columbia.

Crested Caracara?

The photo above could be that of a Crested Caracara or a hawk resting on this marshland close to the Pacific Ocean coast.

Instruction to Dogs & their owners!

This notice was not only meant as instructions to the dog owners but funnily for the dogs themselves!