A Note on Canadian Pronunciation:
First off: a rant:
Dear Canadians: do you really expect me to believe that you pronounce this fine mountain “Grouse” as in “mouse”? What sense does that make? Why isn’t it pronounced like “gross”. You know how hard it is for an Englishman to pronounce it that way?
First off: the grouse is an arctic bird (seriously.) I find it easier to call it Gross Mountain. Not that there’s anything inherently gross about it. I just don’t want to have a bloody aneurysm every time I talk about the place.
Alright, the rant is over. Yesterday I went up Grouse Mountain (I pronounced it Gross in my head). This was a fun place to be, but apparently the worst time to go up. These are the main attractions on Grouse Mountain:
- Skating Rink – an outdoor rink on top of a mountain. Sounds amazing, right? It’s too warm in March for that.
- Grouse Grind – A gruelling 2 mile trail up the mountain. It’s become so famous that Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper have attempted it when filming movies here. It’s closed until May, because it’s too cold.
- Lumberjack Show – I know it’s just for the kiddies, but I want a uniquely Canadian experience, and it doesn’t get more Canadian than lumberjacks. The shows don’t start until the summer.
So here I am in Grouse Mountain purgatory. Even the cable car operators seemed surprised people are trying to go up.
One amazing thing I did see was a real, live, bear. I’m not kidding. There was a bear up there. It’s in a small, fenced off area. Let me repeat that: all that separated me from a real live bear was a small fence.
While it was truly amazing: what are they doing putting us that close to a live bear? If he tried to attack us, that fence would do nothing! I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why they thought it was a good idea. But, here I am talking about it. I guess…I’m part of the problem.
All in all it was an amazing experience to climb a mountain like that. There are no mountains quite like that in England. I went to Mt. Blanc on a field trip back in school. Mont Blanc is bigger, but I thought it was too remote. I had trouble breathing. Grouse Mountain is high: it gives you scale, but you can still have a good time. I quite liked it.
This is what a trip in the summer would look like. Maybe I’ll stick around a bit longer than I had planned?