They unlocked the gates on Friday for another official season of hiking The Grouse Grind to the top of Grouse Mountain. Sure, for the hardcore the path is never officially closed, but for those who like to stay within the boundaries, this weekend was the first chance you had to go to the top.
And lots of people were itching to get back on the trail.
Often referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,” the Grouse Grind has become part of the fabric of Vancouver. More than 100-thousand hikers a year take on the challenge of the rugged terrain and steep climb, up an approximate 56 per cent slope (30°), which starts at the Valley Station of Grouse Mountain and finishes at the Peak’s plateau.
Length: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles)
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
– Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
– Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet)
– Total Stairs: 2,830
Statistics: Annually, over 100,000 people hike the Grind™.
Average Time: On average it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike.
For novice hikers, up to two hours is recommended.
Participants: Hikers range in age from 7 to 90, with an equal male/female split.
Here’s a video I took up today’s route to give you an idea of the conditions. (keep a special eye out for the tourists who insist on hiking up in 20 degree weather wearing jeans)
The first 3/4 is dry, the last bit is a little slippery with rushing water over parts of the course, while the top could be a little chilly with snow packs still clinging to the sides of the mountain.
Today’s time was a respectable 51:30. I like to think of the time I do the Grind as equivalent to what my 10k time would be. The ride up was so smooth that in the gondola on the way down I actually thought to myself “I go do that again…”
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