i’ve been talking about doing the grouse grind since i moved to vancouver and figured out what it was. i’m not self-propelled enough to get out there and conquer it myself, so i’ve been waiting for the right time to hit it with a friend. a couple weekends ago, tita asked if i’d like to do the grind with her the next morning, and i had to say yes! tita brought her iphone and took all the photos, and so i stole them from her blog. you should read it if you’re looking for tips/tricks for the grind, instead of just rambling from me.
YOU GUYS, THE GRIND IS FUCKING HARDCORE. if you’re from vancouver, you probably know it. if you’re not, well–it’s a series of 2,800 steps up the side of a mounain. sometimes the grade is as steep as 30°. the elevation rises 850m/2800ft. the trail is 2.9km/1.8mi long. and fuuuuuck. is it ever brutal! by the time i saw the sky through the trees, in the last quarter, i was so ready for it to be done–but i charged up the hill using the remainder of my energy. what a rush! i felt incredible!
the average time to finish this grueling hike is 90 mins. i went into it thinking that if i couldn’t finish in under an hour, i’d be disappointed in myself. i clocked in at 63 minutes, which is enough to make me happy–especially since the trail was clogged with slower hikers, and it’s not always possible to pass by them. sometimes you have to walk behind them for a few switchbacks until you can find a place to safely pass. i’m anticipating that my next time might be as short as 55 minutes, if i prep right (carboload & hydrate!) and go on a day that isn’t overrun with tourists and slow walkers.
it sounds a bit competitive to view an extremely difficult hike in that way, but i am competitive, at least with myself. i want to push myself and do better! tita finished the grind in 47 minutes, but she is an athlete for reals. when we got to the top, we hung out and looked at the city, the ocean & the gulf islands below us (what a beautiful sight!) and then rode the slightly terrifying tram down. then we gloated about climbing a mountain before noon! basically, we are awesome. we headed home, had a nice little lunch together, and then i had a super intense nap. i needed it so badly!
it was such a good feeling to start & finish something so physically exhausting. once more, working out gives me that beautiful endorphin rush i so crave.