We had planned to snowshoe to Thunderbird Ridge also, but decided to shorten the trip for various reasons — not as sunny as forecast, limits of time and energy etc.
A metre of fresh snow had fallen during the prior week, but only 4 cm in the prior day. So the snowshoe trails had more than a day to get trodden down enough for microspikes to be adequate.
Four of us met at Grouse gondola base station Starbucks at 9:45am. We rode up and started out from the chalet at 10:20 — two of us on snowshoes, two on microspikes. The spikes were fine on the trails, but would have been impractical for the deep powder everywhere else.
We hiked the “Dam Mountain Loop”, returning to the chalet at about 12 noon. A pleasant workout!
Temperatures were about minus 10 degrees, so we wore extra clothing and it tested out well. The road to Grouse was well cleared of snow and salted, so no driving problems getting there and back, in spite of 4 cm of snow falling that day.