Have you guys ever done something you never thought you would even THINK of? For me, that would be tackling the ever so famous Grouse Grind. It’s located in sunny North Vancouver, B.C. Here are some of the basic facts of this hike:
Length: 2.9 Kilometers (1.8 Miles)
Elevation Gain: 853 Meters (2,800 Feet)
Summit: 1,127 Meters (3,700 Feet)
Total Stairs (Not Including Terrain): 2, 830
It’s easy to be “peer pressured” into doing some kind of outdoor activity in the summertime. Whether it be kayaking, mountain biking, or extreme hiking, BC has it all.
With that being said, on July 14, 2013, I tied up my runner laces, popped on my sunnies and made sure I had a Gatorade with me before I embarked on the hike with my boyfriend, his brother and a group of good friends. It is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life, and perhaps an experience to accomplish before you turn 30. If you’re going to do the Grind for the first time, here’s a couple things you’ll need to know BEFORE you take your first step.
1. What to Bring
First and foremost, in any kind of outdoor activity, bring water. Remember, don’t drink it all before the halfway mark because when you’re at the 3/4th mark with no water, you’ll wish it’d start raining! It was very helpful that my boyfriend brought along a water backpack, similar to the CamelBak. This way, you can reserve some energy by not holding the water bottle and actually have free hands on the vertical climbing. Leave your dSLR at home. If you must, bring a small point & shoot. It will get chilly at times but wearing a jacket is not required. Tie a little hoodie around your waist on your way up – it will get cold in the late afternoons. Whatever you do, don’t bring a name-brand purse. I don’t know what this lady was thinking but she went up the Grind with a Prada bag. That was a certified W-T-F moment… lmao.
2. Go With Someone who Supports you
The first 10 minutes of the hike seems sort of like a walk in the park but don’t be surprised, when you ascend higher into the trail, to see hikers whom cannot defeat the Grind. You’ll hear grunts, screams, and maybe even see a few tears on some novice hikers. It’s very important to have someone that won’t give up on you no matter how much you want to give up yourself. You could even bring some upbeat music to help you on your way. Some hikers blast energetic music on their way up to help motivate others as well, only if you don’t find that sort of thing annoying.
3. Hiking Tips
I cannot stress this enough: go at your own pace. There is nothing worse than feeling like you need to beat your friends up the mountain when you are going to faint. Tell your friends in the beginning, that you have never done it before and that you are going to try it out on your own. Take baby steps – never do 2 step lunge steps unless you know you can keep up. Take slow, deep breaths.
Above all, never give up! Cry it out if you have to – when we hit the 3/4th mark I legit bawled all the way up the rest of the hike, twisted my ankle and started bleeding. But I completed it and that’s what matters. And that’s what you should think too, while attempting an extremely difficult sport or something that you may think you may never complete! I couldn’t thank my boyfriend enough for supporting me from the very first step. He held my hand, fed me water through his backpack, and never stopped believing in me (even when I felt like puking a couple times).
By any means, I am not an experienced hiker or a hiker in general, so let’s just say these are some reminders from one novice to another. If you’re an experienced hiking fanatic, maybe you could even leave some of your own tips for us newbies to grow on!