Returning to Grouse Mountain

Long story short, my friend from Taiwan invited me to visit Grouse Mountain with her and knowing that I haven't been there in more than 10 years, I can't say no to the opportunity.

City View from SeaBus
Starting the trip across the Burrard Inlet by SeaBus, definitely my favorite method of public transportation in Vancouver.

City View from SeaBus
City watching.

Then we caught the bus to the Grouse Mountain Skyride. Thankfully, my friend has two passes, otherwise I don't I would shell out $40 per person just for the ride (although the view is quite beautiful).

City View from Grouse Mountain

City View from Grouse Mountain
Near the top of Grouse Mountain.

Walking around. I picked today because the weather is suppose to be nice.

Quaint Cabin
Like this interesting little cabin (or storage hut?).

If you aren't skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or forking out more money to go see 'The Eye of the World', then the only activity you can really do is go visit the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.

There were many Common Ravens (Corvus corax) around, at least I think they look like Ravens because they aren't birds that I frequently notice.

The main (and only?) attraction of the refuge were these two orphaned Grizzly Bears named Coola and Grinder. In fact, we were extremely fortunate because the bears just emerge from their hibernation period on Wednesday (read the Ranger's Journal), so we were able to see them being active after months of resting.

Meet Coola.

Coola, the orphaned Grizzly

Coola, the orphaned Grizzly

Coola, the orphaned Grizzly
What a magnificent creature! It is awe-inspiring to be so close to such a powerful being, with its huge head, beautiful fur, long claws, giant body, and the presence of it.

Coola, the orphaned Grizzly
During our time, Coola was initially digging into the snow pile and making a sleeping hole for itself. It even laid comfortably in the small hole and received laughs from the entertained people.

Meet Grinder, a smaller male with blond fur coat and is more active and looking for a wrestling match.

Coola, being the larger male, had no problem taking down Grinder, but Grinder never gave up and kept on trying.

Coola and Grinder having a playful moment

Grinder, the orphaned Grizzly
In the end, both bears were pretty tired from the match. I think us humans too, from watching these two giants going head to head for at least 10 minutes.

Grinder, the orphaned Grizzly
Grinder making funny faces.

The signage.

Sun Dog
We were also very lucky today to see Sun Dog on top of the mountain. Wanderin' Weeta also posted about this phenomenon several months ago, but to be honest, physics and astronomy are never my strong suit.

After watching the bears, we headed to the Chalet and enjoy the view and have some lunch.

A Skyride stuck on its path when we saw it but continued after some technicians climb next to it and worked their magic.

While watching the view, I saw something hopping back and forth on the branches. Turned out there were several Chestnut-backed Chickadees (Poecile refescens) on the trees, probably foraging. It was my first time seeing these birds and I wished I had better photos of them. Nevertheless, it was still exciting. [Correction: I saw one more than six months ago that I totally forgot about.]

Then my friend improvised her method of tobogganing by tying a rain suit around her waist and sliding down a steep bank. It looked so much fun that I had to try it for myself too. Despite looking quite ridiculous, it was definitely a good way to enjoy the snow.

Beyond the Mountains
On our way back down.

Snowy Mountain

To the edge of the water

Our next stop was Capilano Lake and Cleveland Dam.

Capilano Lake
Capilano Lake

The Lions
The Lions (or Twin Sisiters)

Cleveland Dam holding the water supply to millions of people in GVR.

We then hiked through the trails and went to the Capilano River Hatchery.

Capilano River

Capilano River

Salmon Fry
Not the right season to watch the salmon migration, but there are always salmon frys around to educate us.

In the evening, we returned to Richmond and went to IKEA for a quick dinner and visited the opening night of Richmond Night Market (RNM). It was an interesting experience seeing all races of people attending this event and the kind of products and food were being sold at the night market.

Definitely a great day today, Friday the 13th or not.

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