Grouse Grind

The legend of the Grouse Grind grows by the year and has become part of Vancouver’s folklore. The trail starts at the valley station of Grouse Mountain and climbs up to the peak’s plateau, an elevation gain of 853 metres and 2.9km in length. It is advertised as ‘Mother Nature’s Stairmaster’ and is not really for the faint hearted. Also not for those after some solitiude and escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, as over 100 000 people hike up every year.

For people that are into physical punishment, there is the extra challenge on just how fast you can get to the top. The offical record (recorded at the 2007 annual ‘Grind Mountain Run’) is 26:19, but the unoffical record of 24:22 is held by a Kiwi, Jonathan Wyatt (2 time mountain running champion).

So, here is my Grouse Grind story. I left from Tanya’s work downtown and made my way up through Stanley Park and up and over the Lions Gate Bridge onto the north shore. I linked up with the Capilano Pacific trail and wound my way to the Cleveland Dam, our normal meeting spot on Wednesdays. I still felt pretty good, so plodded my way up Nancy Green Way, to the Grouse Moutain base car park. I did have an engagement in the evening, but thought I would go a little way up the Grind just to see what all the talk was about. First breather was 1/4 way… ok, I will head up to 1/2 way then turn back (all the time knowing in the back of my mind I was going the whole way). Well, I did go all the way up and it was a tough climb. My legs were burning and the heart rate was up in the high 180s, I reckon. I clocked in at around 43 minutes, turned around and ran 30 minutes down the BCMC trail and caught the bus back to town.

So now all I have to do is tackle it again, with fresh legs.

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One Response

  1. Interesting articles there Campbell. Thanks for that. You’re blessed to be so close to the trails up there but man you have long cold winters. I was up there in April for 8 days and it was wet, grey and cold for the whole time. Good luck for your race.

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