Moveo Moving in the Mountains: Tips for The Grouse Grind

The Grouse Grind is Vancouver’s most famous grueling hike, carved into the side of Grouse Mountain and rising in altitude at a staggering rate.  The trail climbs more than 850 meters in just 3 kilometers, requiring significant strength and stamina to reach the top.  It takes an average of 1.5-2 hours to do “The Grind,” but hikers are rewarded with a spectacular view of Vancouver, a sense of accomplishment, and a beautiful gondola ride down.

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image from photo commons

Traditionally saved for the area’s most accomplished athletes and fitness gurus, recent years have seen The Grouse Grind becoming a more popular attraction with users of varying fitness levels, and over 100,000 people hiking it annually.  This hike is no joke!  We recommend a certain level of experience with hiking and a moderate to high fitness level if you are thinking of climbing this trail, to improve your experience and reduce your chance of injuries.

What are some tips for getting through this hike with a smile on your face?  Remember the fantastic four:

 

  1. Fitness.  Train beforehand.  This is not a novice hike: you will enjoy it more and have a better chance of climbing the trail injury free if you have a few less intense hikes under your belt in the weeks leading up to The Grind.  You should be able to maintain a moderate level of cardio for at least an hour to be fit enough to tackle this mountain.
  2. Fluids.  Prehydrate before you go.  This means drink lots of water the day before, and in the hour or two before you start.  Hydrate well during the hike.  Bring some water with you in a camel back, hip packs, or a plain old water bottle.  With all that hydrating, remember to use the facilities before you start.  There are no washrooms on the Grind itself.
  3. Footwear is essential.  Something with sturdy tread, running or hiking shoes with good support.  The trail can be slippery and covers a variety of terrain.
  4. Friends.  Bring someone along.  (No furry friends allowed on the trail!)  Share your snacks, your tips, and your photos on facebook after a tough but rewarding day of conquering the infamous Grouse Grind!

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