News and Events

Mt Hutt ‘all systems go’ for 40th season opening (13-Jun-13)
Immaculately groomed slopes and a genuinely warm welcome await avid skiers and snowboarders.....

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area first to open in Australasia (10-Jun-13)
Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area today (June 8) celebrated in style as the first Australasian ski field to open for winter....

Coronet Peak first ski area in Australasia to open on Saturday (05-Jun-13)
Queenstown is officially open for winter as the 2013 season kicks off at Coronet Peak on Saturday (June 8).

Ski Areas Go Out With A Bang! (27-Sep-12)
Season extension and half price passes

Grouse Mountain's Refuge For Endangered Wildlife's Resident Grizzly Bears Grinder And Coola Emerge From Their Longest Hibernation To Date (28-Apr-08)

GROUSE MOUNTAIN, NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, APRIL 28, 2008 - Grinder and Coola, resident grizzly bears at Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, came out of hibernation on Friday

Grinder and Coola, resident grizzly bears at Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, came out of hibernation on Friday afternoon after their longest hibernation period to date. Extreme snow conditions and unseasonably cool temperatures have a big impact on the length of their hibernation. After digging through the snow covered entrance to their hibernation den, they came bounding out to frolic and wrestle for the rest of the afternoon. Attached is a picture of Grinder with his first view outside the den.

“Grinder and Coola have been more mobile inside their hibernation den in the past few weeks, which indicates they are ready to emerge” says Wildlife Director, Ken Macquisten. "It is always exciting for us to watch them dig out of the den, and this year their hibernation was longer than usual due to the extreme snowfall and colder temperatures.”

Both Grinder and Coola came to the refuge in 2001 as orphaned bears. Since that time, the Refuge team have learned about grizzly bear habits and characteristics, which were otherwise unknown. Grizzly Bears are not 'true' hibernators. Instead they have a period of extended sleep called 'dormancy'. They do not eat or drink until they emerge again in the Spring. Extra fat is accumulated in the autumn to maintain them over the 3-5 month hibernation period. By Spring they may have lost 30% of their body weight. Hibernating bears will awaken and move around during the winter months, unlike other hibernating animals that cannot easily be roused.

Hibernation Year

Time Spent Hibernating

Winter 2001/02

3.5 months

Winter 2002/03

2.25 months

Winter 2003/04

3 months

Winter 2004/05

2.25 months

Winter 2005/06

4 months

Winter 2006/07

4 months

Winter 2007/08

4 months

“This is the seventh year we’ve seen the bears emerge from hibernation, and every year on this day, we look forward to seeing them with great anticipation.” Ken Macquisten adds. “They look to be in excellent shape after a very long hibernation, and seem to be enjoying the snow.”

The Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, a research, education, and conservation centre at the top of Grouse Mountain is dedicated to becoming a world leader in preserving both wildlife and flora at risk. The Refuge offers leading-edge interpretative programs that make learning about nature fun and fascinating. The Refuge for Endangered Wildlife is principally comprised of a five-acre mountaintop habitat that is home to two orphaned Grizzly Bears, and a Grey Wolf habitat located at the base of the mountain.

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