Snowshoe to fondue in Vancouver

Killer views and a payoff feast await atop Grouse Mountain
Deana Lancaster
Rain-slicked city streets often mean snow in the mountains. And in Vancouver, B.C., you've got 4,100-foot Grouse a mere 15 minutes north. There's no easier way to tackle it than by snowshoe ― and no prettier time than under the starry winter sky.

Bundle up, strap on a headlamp and snowshoes, and trek through a quiet forest of droopy spruce, cedar, and Douglas fir to a cheese and chocolate fest at Grouse Mountain resort's aptly named Altitudes Bistro.

Those hoping for a more heart-pumping climb before indulging may join resort staff on a guided trip to Dam Mountain, which looks across the city to Mt. Baker, Mt. Washington, and Black Tusk.

Never tried it? If you can walk, you can snowshoe, promises adventure programs manager Eric Langhjelm. "The learning curve is about 30 seconds."

Info: Grouse Mountain fondue tours (through mid-Apr, weather permitting; $64 U.S., including rentals, guide, and dinner; 604/980-9311)