A few days ago my incredible niece did the climb. It took her 1 1/2 hours, carrying her 25 pound son on her back. Oh, and she's 18 weeks pregnant too. Her husband was skeptical that she could do it, so of course she had to do it. You can read more about it here.
The Grouse Grind Trail is located in North Vancouver, B.C., at the base of the Grouse Mountain Resort ski area. It is an extremely steep and mountainous trail that begins at the 300-metre-elevation and climbs to 1,100 metres over a distance of approximately 2.9 kilometres.
Anyway, it inspired me to give it a try. Now I say "try", because I have had some serious injuries in the past few years, though I've never let these things limit my goals. Like my niece, I am stubborn and have to prove myself sometimes.
So on the way to the trail... I saw a wolf. They have an area up on the mountain that is fenced off, and there were 4 timber/grey wolves in there. Wolves are common to the West coast, but you would never see them in the wild since they are so elusive. These are much bigger than the one's I've seen in wildlife parks in the interior. Very "tall" and lanky.
Time to start the hike! Better read all the rules and warnings first! OOOOh, not sure about this. Heard that people have died on this climb.
Hiking times vary considerably depending on each hiker's individual fitness level. The Grouse Grind hike is difficult and those planning on climbing the trail should be in excellent physical condition. Those individuals with any health concerns including high blood pressure, heart and breathing problems are warned not to attempt to hike the trail.
At least I know what cougar and bear scat looks like. [/URL]
Okay, I'm at the 1/4 mark, thinking, well, that's taking longer than I thought, but it's not so bad. I can do this. Why do they call this walk a grind anyway. So negative. I'm going to enjoy and savor every step of this. I don't really believe the sign. Nah, can't be all that bad.
Maybe I'll stop and take some pictures of the lush trees now. Yeah, that's a good excuse to stop. (Oh, and something to do with the high pulse rate and dizziness, yeah) (When I got back to my brother's he told me that he had heard on the news last week that someone had died trying to do the climb. I don't doubt it, because I took my pulse right after a particularly grueling section. It was 190 bpm. I thought I was in good shape!)
Okay, I'm ready for the sky tram now. Looks like the person that made this sign was a little tired too.[/URL]
I took lots more pictures of trees. You can find them here. At this point, I realize why it's called the GRIND. This is pretty bad. I can barely lift my legs up the steep steps. I'm wishing for Brother Louis' walking poles, (Some of the "older" people that passed me had them. ), and of course I'm praying to the walking gods and Irreverand Mike for some guidance.
Almost there... We have this expression in English, when you get past the halfway mark in anything you say, "It's all downhill from here. " That's a bit of irony for you literary buffs.
Ok. I made it. I took a picture of myself, but I'm drenched in sweat and my hair is totally wet, not a pretty sight. Can't bring myself to post it.
Well, I've been at the top before, a few years ago, with my wonderful friend Zenia D. from Montreal, but took the gondola up. It's a nice view on the non smoggy days. But there were so many tourists that I didn't spend a lot of time. A few shots to prove my summit victory. And back on down.
What? You think I'd walk back down? Took the sky tram for $5.00 Thought I deserved it. This shot really shows how steep it is.
So, it took me approximately 1:10. At one point, I really pushed myself because I thought, "$%*&^" I don't really want to be spending 2 hours doing this. Better than average for a first timer, but look at these stats...
Length of Grouse Grind: 2.9 km (1.8 miles)
Grouse Grind elevation gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Average completion time: 1.5 hours. (For novice hikers, up to two hours is recommended.)
Fastest completion time for men: 27:18 held be Derek Reed, set at the 1997 Grouse Grind Mountain Run.
Fastest completion time for women: 32:54 held by Kelly Matoul, set at the 2002 Grouse Grind Mountain Run.
Incredible! But you know, I'm thinkin', once I move here, maybe I'll do this every week. I'll be in such good shape in a few months. Maybe. We'll see. We shall see.