Teacher / educator FAQ
- + What health & safety protocols do you currently have in place?
- We want you to feel safe, comfortable and confident during your field trip at Grouse Mountain. Learn more about our PureClean initiative, developed to elevate our existing high standards of hygiene and cleanliness procedures.
- + How long are your programs?
- Generally speaking, Guided Wildlife Education programs run for 5 hours from Base Arrival to Base Departure, which allows for Skyride upload/download, 3 activities, lunch and 2 washroom breaks. Regular programming runs Monday to Friday, 9:30-2:30.
- + Can the program be shorter/longer?
- If a shorter timeline is required, we can adjust the program the following ways:
- cut one activity thus reducing visit to four hours
- have the students eat lunch during the híwus Presentation (if selected), reducing the program by half hour
- shorten Ecowalk or snowshoe tour time to 30 minutes (regular time is 60 minutes)
- teach the curriculum outdoors during the Ecowalk or snowshoe (this eliminates the powerpoint).
The price remains the same, on express schedules, as programs are sold on a unit basis. The minimum amount of time required for a guided program is 2 hours: 1 activity plus a short ecowalk, for 1 class of up to 30 students. For each additional class, add 15 minutes. If a longer timeline is desired, we have an Extended Program, or the option to add on an activity of your choice for $5/student (this also requires a longer timeline).
- + What activities do you offer on your programs?
- Click here to visit our programs page
- + How many students and/or classes can you accommodate in your programs?
- híwus Feasthouse - 100 people maximum (students and adults) per session, with up to 4 sessions daily. If the number of people you have attending is more than 100, your session will be split into 2 presentations.
- Curriculum session – we have the capacity to book 8 classes during regular time (9:30-2:30), plus additional classes after school and on weekends for our indoor space. We have unlimited capacity for our outdoor classroom, and for Mountain Top Adventures (ask our Sales person for details.)
- Theatre - 100 people maximum per showing, shows rotate every 30 minutes
- Skating - Four timeslots, maximum of two classes per timeslot, to a maximum of 60 people an hour. Skates have limited sizing available, generally 10 of each “shoe” size.
- Snowshoeing - 400 for the morning, and 400 for the afternoon
- Eye of the Wind (wind turbine) - 120 students per day
- Skyride – 100 people per load on Red Skyride, 44 people per load on Blue Skyride (off-season), with Skyrides running on average every 10-15 minutes.
- + Are all activities at the Chalet? How do you travel around the venues?
- Some of our activities are at the Base before we board the Skyride, some are at the Chalet, but most of our activities are out on the Plateau or Alpine area of Grouse Mountain.We do not have public transportation once you have left the Skyride, so everyone needs to be prepared to get out and enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise!
For example, the Hiwus Feasthouse and Alpine Cabin are a 10 minute walk at a moderate pace, for an Intermediate student. Primary students might take 5 minutes longer, Secondary students could do it more quickly. All of our programs require some walking outdoors, with exposure to the weather, so we encourage everyone to check our website for daily updates and dress appropriately for the Mountain's weather. Often, when it is springtime in Vancouver, we are still are walking on snow-packed trails on the Mountain.
- + What is the cost for a Guided Wildlife Education Program?
- View all program Pricing here
- + Are there complimentary tickets for Teachers & Supervisors?
- Grouse Mountain offers complimentary program admission for teachers and/or supervising adults accompanying students on their activity day according to the ratio list below when booked in advance:
- Up to and including Grade 3: 1 complimentary admission per 5 students
- Grades 4-12: 1 complimentary admission per 10 students
- Adult Education groups: 1 complimentary ticket
Additional adults over-and-above our complimentary ticket ratios are charged the applicable student rate, up to a maximum of 40% of the number of students. After the 40% allowance, adults will be charged at the standard adult rate.
- + How much are deposits?
- Deposits are required to confirm activity dates. These deposits are non-refundable and must be received within 2 weeks of booking for date to be considered guaranteed. For bookings with an arrival date of less than 2 weeks out, deposit must be made day of booking.
Deposits vary depending on the chosen program.
Amounts are as follows:
• Wildlife Education programs $125 • híwus First Nations Cultural program $250
• Sustainability in Motion program $125
• Science of Snow program $250
• Secondary programs $125
• Self-guided programs – $125
Cheques are payable to Grouse Mountain Resorts LP. Credit cards are also accepted.
- + How do you arrange payment?
- Guided Groups - Final numbers are required 3 business days prior to the day of arrival. A variation of 10% in numbers will be allowed to accommodate for sick children, with the exception of food orders in which case schools will be invoiced for the full food order. All participants of the program will be included on the invoice upon completion of your program. Payment can be made by cheque or credit card.
Guided BC School Programs are invoiced.
Self-Guided Groups – payment on arrival.
All other are due two weeks in advance.
- + What is your cancellation policy?
- If you wish to cancel the activities you have booked at Grouse Mountain, cancellations must be communicated to Grouse Mountain in writing at least 3 business days prior to the program start date otherwise the school will be subject to a cancellation fee as well as the loss of the non-refundable deposit.
- + What do you do if the weather is inclement?
- Programs run throughout every season, regardless of weather we encourage you to check the current conditions on the website. Grouse Mountain may be required to postpone programs due to extreme weather conditions. If we determine that for the safety of all guests the mountain will not open, every effort will be made to contact the teacher and the school prior to 7:00 am the day of the program.
- + Grants
- The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provides grants of up to $600 through the Conservation Education Assistance Fund for K-12 classes, in order to support small outdoor field experiences such as ours. Visit their website for more information. Nature Kids BC offers grants for BC schools. Visit their website for more information. *No discounted rates during peak season, Dec 7-18.
- + What is your Bursary Program?
- Grouse Mountain would like every student to have the opportunity to experience new and exciting activities. It is our goal to see that as many students as possible participate in our education programs. We trust the teacher’s judgment in selecting candidates who may need assistance. Bursaries are limited and are given at the discretion of Grouse Mountain. To apply for a bursary on behalf of a student, teachers must submit a letter of request to firstname.lastname@example.org or the address below:
Attn: Education Programs Grouse Mountain Resorts Ltd. 6400 Nancy Greene Way North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9
*No discounted rates during peak season, Dec 7-18.
- + What lunch options do you have for school groups?
- Students and adults may bring their own lunch from home, Pre-order lunch from Lupins, order off the menu in Lupins on the day of their program (an additional 15 minutes will be needed to allow for this option), partake in our Hiwus Cultural lunch when booking a Hiwus Cultural Program, or sit down for table service in Altitudes Bistro (an additional 45 minutes will be needed to allow for this option).
Lupins Pre-ordered Lunch
Grades 4-12: $12.00 per student plus tax
Grades K-3 (Junior): $9.00 per student plus tax
Standard lunch options are (comes with French fries, a 24 oz fountain drink and cookie):
- Beef Burger
- Chicken Strips
- Cheese Pizza
Speciality lunch options are:
- Healthy Bag Lunch with Falafel wrap with one Red Delicious apple, a Taste of Nature bar and a bottle of Whistler Water: $17 plus tax
- Gluten Free Lunch with Gluten free ham & cheese sandwich, gluten free chips, gluten free brownie and a 24oz fountain drink: $17 plus tax
híwus Cultural Lunch
- Westcoast Vegetable Soup
- Indian Flat Bread
- Salmon Candy
- Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Hot Chocolate
- For students with allergies, 1 piece of seasonal fruit may be substituted. (Students with low tolerance for new foods are offered all food choices, but may bring their own lunch from home to supplement.)
- + What options are there for students with food allergies or sensitivities?
- As all spaces at Grouse Mountain are accessible to the public at different times throughout the day, we cannot guarantee a sterile environment in any of our venues.
Grouse Mountain will do its utmost to accommodate guests with specific allergies; however, please be advised that with all allergies we cannot guarantee that no cross-contamination has taken place in the special preparation of an alternate, allergy-free meal.
Upon request, an “allergy-free alternate meal” can be pre-ordered. The procedure is to prepare the meal with sanitized utensils, on a sanitized surface covered in wax paper while wearing gloves. F&B sources allergen free products, but as we do not have chain of custody, we cannot make guarantees on cross-contamination. We ask that youths identify themselves clearly to Grouse Mountain staff, and depending on the severity of the allergy, bring an epi pen with them should their parents and teacher feel it necessary. Should any problem arise, our Patrol team has additional resources to manage these situations.
HIWUS Allergy List:
Chocolate Chip Cookies: Contains: Wheat, eggs, milk, Soy and chocolate May Contain: Egg, peanuts, tree nuts, sulfites and tartrazine Indian Flat Bread: Contains: Wheat, eggs and milk May Contain: Soy and sesame seeds Salmon Candy: Contains: Salmon, sugar, salt and sulfites Soup: Contains: Vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, cabbage, corn, celery, peas, zucchini, red peppers, onions, garlic), corn starch, sugar and salt.
- + Are you able to accommodate guests with disabilities?
- Yes. For students with mobility challenges, we request that teachers fill out our Mobility Assessment Form. This will enable us to determine the best support possible, and advise teachers as to our limiting factors, such as mountainous terrain or snow coverage. Requests for transport assistance must be made prior to group arrival due to the limited number of appropriate vehicles on the mountain.
1. We will do our best to accommodate all students, keeping in mind that the Green season offers the most freedom of movement.
2. We will ask for guidance regarding the level of involvement preferred for each activity.
3. Pre-visit site inspections for teachers and Education Assistants available on request.
4. Students in motorized wheelchairs that require the wheelchair for upper body and/or life support are best accommodated during the Green Season, as there are limited options during White Season.
5. Transport can be arranged for students who are unable to walk to the Feasthouse or Alpine Cabin, but have upper body strength to sit independently, and are physically able to climb into a transport vehicle. One adult is required to go with the student to provide supervision and care. Assistive equipment (manual wheelchairs, walking aids) can be transported with the student, to a maximum of 40 pounds. At this time we do not have the lifting capacity to transport electric wheelchairs.
6. Washrooms in the Chalet, Feasthouse and Alpine Cabin have handicap access.
7. For students who require personal care upon arrival, we can close down the upper washrooms in the Chalet for privacy, or the handicap washroom in the Feasthouse. The Alpine Cabin has handicap accessibility for those in a small, manual wheelchair.
8. We do not have public transportation. Assistance is prioritized to medical emergencies.
- + Do you allow Service Dogs on your programs?
- Yes. Prior arrangements (time of booking) need to made for students with Service Dogs. We will request a copy of their credential card or documentation. The Aid will be given a “Service Dog” pass, which will be provided by our Education Assistant.
The following guidelines need to be followed:
- Service dogs are not permitted near the wildlife habitats, which include the Grizzly Bear Habitat and the Birds in Motion Demonstration area, which may limit a student’s participation in these activities.
- The Service Dog pass will be scanned at the Skyride terminals; however, will not count against the total allowed passengers per tram.
- Service dogs must remain under control and on a leash at all times.
- + Do you have parking for buses? What does it cost?
- Yes. We have specific stalls set aside for bus parking directly in front of Red Skyride (north parking lot), with room for up to 10 busses (additional space in Lot D is available). There is no charge for bus parking, and bus drivers receive complimentary General Admission to the mountain (if they participate in the program, student rates applies).
- +What options are there for transportation to the Mountain?
- Most schools use either School District buses, or District approved bus companies such as Universal Coach Lines. Alternatively, City Transit makes regular stops at Grouse Mountain, and your Daily Schedule can be adjusted to accommodate timing of their schedule. Alternatively, we have our Car-pool Program for parent drivers. In answer to the rising cost of busing, Grouse Mountain offers a car-pool program with free parking for drivers car-pooling students, teachers, education assistants, or approved supervisors. The intention of the car-pool program is not to encourage more traffic to the mountain, but to offer a low cost alternative, therefore the number of complimentary parking tickets will be limited. A few exceptions to the free parking program are: parents choosing to drive separately, extra parents on the program, or parents that make alternate arrival/departure arrangements. Parking tickets can be purchased from the kiosks in all 4 lots.
Car-pool program applies only to drivers not accompanying adult passengers.
*If a student or parent misses the bus, please inform you guide immediately upon arrival. It is imperative that all participants arrive on time as we do not have extra guides to escort late arrivals.
+What is the cost for additional adults?
- View All Program Pricing
Admission for Extra Adults (over the comp ratio):
- All parents must be pre-approved by the teacher to join the program, and be included in the Final Guaranteed Numbers submitted to Grouse Mountain 3 business prior to arrival. Parents arriving late, or without notice, may cause delays and/or changes to scheduled activities.
- Parent drivers who are car-pooling 3+ students will receive complimentary parking and a complimentary General Admission Ticket (does not include program access)
- Please see pricing chart for rates for extra adults
- Parents who choose to drive their own child only can purchase parking tickets from the kiosk located in each lot
- + Do you allow siblings or additional family members on Educational Programs?
- Yes. All people participating in a program will be included on the invoice to the school, therefore extra adult family members are at the discretion of the teacher, and will pay the same rate as students.
For groups with toddlers or younger siblings, we offer a Family/Homestay program in which the staffing ratios are slightly higher to accommodate supervision required for safety reasons.
As it is challenging to be an effective Educator, or parent chaperone, when distracted by a cute toddler, we do not allow younger siblings on our Guided Wildlife Education programs. Our Educators strive to deliver the best age appropriate day possible to students and teachers, and need to give their full attention to the program. As well, our groups can cover up to 2-5 km by the end of the day, which can be too much for most toddlers or parents trying to carry them. If toddlers are accompanying car-pool drivers, they will receive complimentary admission along with their parent to enjoy the General Admission activities offered by Grouse Mountain, separate from the program. At the end of the program, everyone can rejoin at the Chalet for the ride back down the Skyride.
Unexpectedly, if a parent brings a toddler, the following considerations need to be noted:
- All children pay the student fee, regardless of age.
- All attendees need to be prepared for walking at a moderate pace outdoors for a significant portion of the day.
- Should the outing prove to be too much for any members of the group, everyone would return to the Chalet together as a group, possibly shortening or eliminating some activities.
- Some activities have age restrictions, for example guests must be 8 years old to ride Peak Chair to gain access to our Wind Turbine.