When I tackled the Grouse Grind last year, I made the mistake of carrying about an extra 30lbs of camera equipment on my back. Boy was that a mistake.
With an ascend time of just under three hours, I was surprised that I didn’t have a heart attack.
This time around however I decided to travel light; one small bag, one camera with no battery grip, one wide angle lens, some accessories, and of course water. I was ready!
Or so I thought.
We left early in the morning just like last year, but a major accident involving a motorcycle meant that by the time we had arrived at the Grind, the sun was almost up already. We were about to be turned into human pancakes.
Oh well, what can you do. Besides, if the sun didn’t affect Mr. Slug over here, I’m sure we’ll be fine, right?
Because the elevation is so high up here, and the fact that you can barely see the sky due to the shear amount of trees up here, the sun really didn’t have any effect until you reach the very top.
The trail also seemed a lot more rocky from what I remember…
…but no turning back now!
Seriously who would even consider smoking while making their way up the side of a mountain?
Because I already covered the trail last year, I really don’t know what else to say this time around.
I can tell you however how much of a difference 30lbs off my back makes.
I suppose that if you’re training for fitness reasons, then carrying extra weight wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
When you’re as scrawny as Jack Skellington though, just make sure someone has 911 on speed dial for when you pass out.
Although things were considerably easier without the extra weight on my back, the Grind is still no joke.
Even though you may be coming here with friends, people generally get separated fast due to the different pace that everyone travels at. Not to worry though, I have my iPod and ear buds with me!
Now despite me being such a car and technology guy, I do quite enjoy being out in nature.
It’s nice and quiet up here which is quite the contrast from the busy Vancouver streets down below, so it was nice to get away from all of it for a few hours.
After all you can’t get views like this in the city.
I can’t help but wonder how the trail is maintained throughout the year, because I really don’t remember some sections being so sketchy!
Like I had said earlier, I don’t recall the trail being so rocky.
There were a number of areas that required more climbing the walking, and I don’t mean like climbing a flight of stairs either.
Remember this troll sign from last year?
Finally at the REAL ¾ mark, and this time without feeling like I’m about to stroke out!
Some people say that each section is physically shorter than the last, but it also seems that each section is more challenging than the one prior.
This much sunlight can only mean one thing…
…that we’re finally at the top!
I was able to shave off more than an hour compared to my time last year, also taking into account that I had multiple photo breaks along the way this time.
I’d also like to give a special thanks to Peter Vo who carried my GoPro on his head all the way up (watch the video at the beginning in case you missed it!).
For anyone planning on challenging the Grouse Grind sometime in the future, I highly recommend traveling as light as possible. This means wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt that allows proper ventilation, bug spray, good supportive yet comfortable shoes, and plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
For safety reasons it probably isn’t a bad idea to bring along your cell phone and maybe even a few Band-Aids, just in case. Lastly, go at your own pace and have fun!
Click HERE to view the full photo set on Flickr.