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One of Metro Vancouver’s most popular hikes, the Grouse Grind, has opened for the 2021 season.
Each year, many participants will look to challenge the hike over the next few months. And while many hikers are seasoned veterans, there are plenty of people who will be trying the Grouse Grind for the first time.
It can be a daunting task, to say the least. After all, it’s called “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” for a reason.
So, to make your first time a little easier, here are some essential tips for beginners who practice Grouse Grind.
Start with some of Vancouver’s easiest trails
The Grouse Grind is a 2.5 kilometer trail that begins at an elevation of 300 meters and climbs to 1,100 meters. This makes for a very difficult hike, especially for inexperienced hikers.
If you are jogging, biking, playing sports, exercising, or doing any sort of physical activity, you will probably be fine. But in case you’re a little worried, it might be worth trying an easier hike or trail beforehand.
Stretch before and after the hike
There is nothing worse (or more embarrassing) than cramping yourself halfway through the hike.
Take the time before and after to focus on stretching the lower body, especially the quads, hamstrings, and calves. This will prevent the pain and stiffness that can occur before or after grinding.
Wear appropriate training clothes and shoes
When it comes to the Grouse Grind, you’re looking for light, breathable clothes you can move into – leave the jeans and sneakers at home.
Appropriate running or hiking shoes will provide adequate support, foot stability, and reduce the risk of slipping and falling.
Bring an extra shirt and towel
Sure, you could complete the Grouse Grind, but you won’t be at base camp yet.
If you tend to sweat a lot, an extra shirt and towel will help you on the gondola descent – and others will thank you for it.
Book your trip in advance
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of measures are in place at the Grouse Grind. As the descent is prohibited on the trail, hikers must reserve a place in advance on the trail. Skyride.
Hydration is the key
During peak summer temperatures, dehydration is a serious possibility when hiking the Grind. Always take the weather and temperature into account before setting out. We recommend that you bring at least one liter of water per person, as well as drink extra water the day before and the morning of the hike.
Divide the hike into four
The Grouse Grind is divided into four quarters. The first quarter is actually the longest, but it’s also the least steep.
The second and third quarters are the steepest and a real grind (ha), while the last quarter is easier than the second and third. Keep this in mind and adjust accordingly.
Let faster hikers move past you
You might run into seasoned hikers looking to do their best.
Letting them pass is not only polite, but it also allows you to move around the Grind at your own pace. There is no shame in being adopted and it makes everyone happy. Remember to keep your distance and stay 2 meters from other hikers.
Bring a garbage bag
If you choose to bring snacks (a great idea), be sure to bring a garbage bag. Keep the trails clean and do your part so everyone can enjoy the Grind.
Use the restroom before you leave
There are no toilets or outhouses during the hike, so be sure to leave before you go.
Leave the speakers at home
There is nothing wrong with a little music but for the Grouse Grind bring headphones. Metro Vancouver actually banned the use of speakers on the trail in 2018.
For your own safety, make sure you are prepared before setting off on your next adventure. More information on how to prepare for your trip and how to stay safe during your hike can be found at North Coast Rescue and AdventureSmart.