Work A Ski Season at Grouse Mountain
Discover information on working a ski season at Grouse Mountain and browse winter jobs.Canada
Grouse Mountain is located in British Columbia, Canada, at the edge of North Vancouver. It is around a 15 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. Vancouver is regularly cited as one of the best places in the world to live and is known for its natural beauty, nestled as it is between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains.
Grouse Mountain was first ascended in 1894 by a group of hikers who hunted Blue Grouse along the way, thus the name Grouse Mountain. www.grousemountain.com
Overview of the Terrain and Working at Grouse
Grouse is a very small mountain with just four chairs, a magic carpet and a Skyride to get riders to the base. In total, there are 26 runs (3 beginner, 15 intermediate, 6 advanced, 2 expert), of which 14 are open for night skiing. The mountain vertical is 365m which is obviously quite small compared to the rest of British Columbia, while the top elevation is 1,231 meters. ‘The Cut’ slope, which runs beside the Screaming Eagle chair, can be seen from Vancouver.
Working at Grouse is as much about living and enjoying Vancouver as it is working at a ski hill. You will live in Vancouver during the season which means you won’t have an alpine season, as such, but rather the chance to live in one of Canada’s coolest cities. Just don’t expect the huge powder and big mountain of interior British Columbia – Grouse Mountain is a local’s hill for those who want to get easily onto the snow at weekends and the operations are geared as such.
There are a few intermediate runs to the east of the Screaming Eagle and the majority of the hill is intermediate-rated. There are just a handful of complete beginner runs on the mountain.
The advanced runs are found at the Olympic Express. These advanced runs head down from the peak of Grouse Mountain at 1,231m.
Runs stay open to 10pm in winter as there is night skiing each night.
There are three freestyle parks. Rookie Terrain and Paradise Jib are beginner to intermediate while the Quiksilver Terrain Park has more advanced features. The Quiksilver Park runs beside the Screaming Eagle chair.
Finding a Job
www.grousemountain.com/careers has job postings for jobs at at Grouse Mountain. Jobs start to open up in September for the winter season.
Grouse Mountain does not require face-to-face interviews and will conduct interviews via phone and Skype. You can therefore apply for a job from anywhere in the country.
The snow school at Grouse Mountain is among the oldest and most respected in North America, with a staff of more than 120 ski and snowboard instructors from all over the world. Grouse has day and night skiing and snowboarding seven days a week with drop-in lessons, private lessons, kids camps and adult clinics.
For all new instructors, Grouse Mountain does full training so you are able to apply for an instructor job without your certificate.
Grouse Mountain will not sponsor international applicants to work at Grouse Mountain. You will need to have a valid Working Holiday Permit for Canada to be able to apply for a job. Head to Work a Snow Season in Canada for more information on getting a working holiday visa for Canada. Once you have a valid work permit, you are able to approach Grouse Mountain for work.
For Australians and New Zealanders, Grouse Mountain has partnered with International Exchange Programs and will visit Australia and New Zealand each to look for seasonal workers.
Grouse Mountain hires through IEP for some of its ski and snowboard instructors and this includes both certified and non-certified instructors. Grouse Mountain also hires through IEP for seasonal and year-round work.See www.iep.org.nz
Getting to Work and Getting Around Vancouver
There are regular public transport options to the base of Grouse Mountain every half hour. Take Bus 232 from Phibbs Exchange or Bus 236 from Lonsdale Quay.
translink.bc.ca is the Vancouver public website with information on public transport timetables for getting around Vancouver.
Vancouver taxi services
- Black Top Taxis 604.683.4567
- Yellow Cab 604.681.1111
- Vancouver Taxi 604.871.1111
- MacLure’s Taxis 604.683.6666
North Vancouver taxi services
- North Shore Taxi 604.987.7171
- Sunshine Cabs 604.988.8888
You will pass the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park en route to Grouse Mountain which is quite spectacular. It is 450ft (137m) and 240ft high (70m) and you walk across a swaying footbridge strung across a plummeting canyon with the Capilano River rushing below.
As a Grouse Mountain employee, perks include:
- Free skiing and riding all season
- 40% off all food items, including beverages from the Grouse Mountain Starbucks location
- 20% off at all retail outlets
- Gear Up Night – offers and pro deals from sponsors and suppliers (in November)
- Discounts on skiing and riding at other resorts as part of the Mountain Interchange Program
- Complimentary coffee and tea
There are also reciprocal deals pass deals with a number of other mountains in BC, Alberta and Washington State, ranging from 25% to 100% off the ticket price.
Finding a Place to Live
While many of the staff live on the North Shore, some live in various other areas of the lower mainland including Vancouver and the closer suburbs. Depending on the location, size and amenities of the unit, rent can vary greatly but you should expect to pay in the range of $800 to $1,500 per month.
Being a large metropolitan city, Vancouver has a number of options to look for a place to live.
- www.househunting.ca is a Canadian site for those looking for an apartment.
- vancouver.kijiji.ca is a Canadian classifieds site for a bunch of items, including rental listings.
- the Vancouver craigslist always has a bunch of listings to find a place with housemates
- rentbc.com is devoted to rental properties in BC and has many listings for Vancouver
- apartmentguide.ca is a place to look for apartments and houses across Canada, including Vancouver
- padmapper.com is a North American apartment finder
- rentersguide.com for a professional agent Hollyburn Properties
- The Vancouver Sun is Vancouver’s biggest newspaper and has classifieds with places to rent
- www.straight.com is an online resource for Vancouver with news, arts, movies and other events in Vancouver. It also includes a classifieds section for finding a place to rent.
- www.nsnews.com – The North Shore news for North Vancouver. It is a local newspaper for the North Vancouver area and has classifieds for a place to rent.
- www.northshoreoutlook.com is another North Vancouver news resource with ads for places to rent.
If you arrive in Vancouver without a place to stay, there are a number of hostels including:
- SameSun Backpackers Lodge vancouverhostel.com
- The Cambie – Gastown thecambie.com/hostel/gastown
- The Cambie – Downtown thecambie.com/hostel/vancouver
- C&N Backpackers Hostels cnnbackpackers.com/vancouver
Vancouver is one of Canada’s coolest cities, with a population of around 2.5 million in the greater Vancouver area. It is a hugely diverse city as 52% of its inhabitants do not speak English as their first language. Vancouver is particularly known for its diverse array of restaurants and can rightly claim to be one of the best cities in North America for food.
There is a cool underground rock scene in Vancouver and some of Canada’s best known bands have come from the Vancouver. The Granville Entertainment district in the center of the city is one of the most popular nightspots with plenty of bars and clubs. Gastown, particularly Water Street, is another popular area and Gastown has been voted one of the coolest suburbs in the world. Gastown is next to Vancouver’s Chinatown – one of the largest in North America. Davie Village is the place to go for LBGT bars.
Kitsilano and the West End have the highest amount of restaurants while Robson Street, in the center of town, has many of the classier restaurants. East Van has some great ethnic restaurants. Also check out the amazing dim sum restaurants in Vancouver – they are everywhere due to the large Chinese population and Vancouver is famous for its cheap, tasty dim sum. Food trucks are now popular in Vancouver and you will spot many of these in the downtown area.
The Vancouver Canucks are the local hockey team and are the biggest game in town. The town goes mad for the Canucks, especially if they get near the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s a must to check out a game at least once during the winter season.