If you live in Vancouver or are planning to visit Vancouver I am sure you would have heard of the grouse grind. It’s on everyone’s bucket list. While some people do it only once and never return others get addicted and do it multiple times a month, a week or even a day.
Over the past couple of years, I have done my fair share of the grind. Also completed my last year’s fitness goal of hiking this trail twice in a day. This post is to help you if your doing it for the first time or your relatively new to “the grind”.
Some Basic Facts (From here)
Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830
Average Time: On average it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.
Things to know before you start
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Please don’t wear flip flops or jeans. You will sweat a lot and it is uneven along the way.
- Take water and a small snack (a granola bar or apple) with you
- Pack lightly. Don’t want to carry a huge weight while you hike
- Pack a small towel/facial wipe and a deodorant to freshen up at the top. Maybe an extra shirt if you sweat a lot.
- There are small markers on the trees along the trail. They say “GG” and there are a total of 40.
- Having a picnic at the top and don’t want to carry all your belongings on the grind, get a grind timer (20$) It lets to send all your belonging to the top and you can pick it up when you finish your hike. The grind timer is valid for a full year. It also does the obvious job of keeping track of the time you take to finish the hike
I would say this is the longest stretch. It is a good way to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Keep a steady pace, you don’t want to go too fast and drain all your energy in the beginning.
If you make it through this stretch, know that you can complete this. Don’t worry you got this. But if you find yourself really struggling, taking a lot of breaks you have to decide now, if you want to struggle on or head back (it’s still not too late to head back) . But know that once you cross the ¼ mark there is no turning back. Also your not allowed to go down the trail.
After you finish the first quarter this will feel shorter. Just keep going.
Your half way there, keep going. Take a break if you need to.
The third quarter
I would say this is the steepest. But know that if you make it through this one. Your almost done. Keep going
It will be over before you know It.
While at the top
Congratulations on making it to the top, It is now time to treat yourself to some beer or beavertails ..yum! yum! You deserve it! Don’t forget to stretch and drink loads of water.
Tip: If there is a long line up at the ticket counter to buy a down ticket, you can get one from the store(clothing) on top. Just go to the counter and ask them for one.
Coming back down
You will need to take the gondola down. It costs $10 for the ride down. Also be prepared for a very packed gondola filled with a lot of sweaty people. Lol! Especially on the weekends.
Alternate Trail BCMC
If you’re a regular hiker and would like the challenge of the grind but would like to avoid the crowds or if your hiking with a dog, try the BCMC trail, which runs almost parallel to the grind. It take 10-15mins extra and starts right beside the grind and exits at the chalet. You can also hike the BCMC down.
Hope you found some useful tips.
Happy Grinding ☺️