Grouse Mountain gets ready for 90th winter season

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      Grouse Mountain has been around even longer than the Coast Salish people. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Grouse Mountain Resorts celebrates this history.

      All year long, students can attend 45-minute hiwus presentations to learn about First Nations cultural experiences from a Squamish elder in a Pacific Northwest Coast longhouse. (Eslhalha7kw`hiwus is a Squamish word that refers to the connection between the land, plants, and our ancestors.) There are also five-hour day programs that include snowshoe rentals, storytelling, hot lunches, and craftwork.

      Grouse Mountain's English name arose in 1894 when some prominent local hikers scaled the peak. One was Ernest Cleveland, who later became the region's water commissioner. One of the men in the party reputedly shot a blue grouse, which prompted them to conclude that the area should be called Grouse Mountain. 

      In the first decade of the 20th century, hikers began converging on Grouse in significant numbers during many weekends. The mountain's popularity led to the development of a rail line in 1911; 15 years later, a road, which was built by businessman William Curtis Shelly.

      This gave birth to a chalet.

      This year, Grouse Mountain Resorts is celebrating the 90th anniversary of what the company refers to as the Peak of Vancouver.

      The 90th year comes with a new glade through the tree islands for advanced skiers and riders, as well as a new surf-style terrain park called Grouse Woods.

      "Using both recycled wood and snow to create features, Grouse Woods will include side hits, a wall ride, pole jams, speed bumps, berms and rollers," the company stated. "Located on Buckhorn the area will be marked as a terrain park but accessible for all to enjoy."

      In addition, there will be new lighting for snowshoers making their way around Blue Grouse Lake.