Monday, July 30, 2012

Grouse Grind: Stairways of Hell

So this past Saturday, I've finally did the Grouse Grind with my cousin for the first time!!

For those who don't know:

The Grouse Grind® is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”

This trail is very challenging. Keep in mind that there is a wide range of mountaintop trails that might better suit the average hiker.

I've heard many stories about the hike ever since high school but never had the chance/too lazy/too scared to actually do it. One of my friends recently told me that you had to do some ninja shit and cross over rivers!! I was like WTF, sounds a bit scary but challenging. People have described it as brutal, and hard. My expectation of the hike was super, duper high.

My cousin & I on the bus, on our way to Grouse Mountain. The trip took about 1.5 hours... Next time I'm getting a ride there. :S

My cousin asked me before we started what my goal was (usually in terms of time, how long to get to the top).

My answer: To survive.

I would not even call myself a fit person. I worked out for most of the month of May (bought a monthly gym pass) and just ran 1-2 times between June-July, but not consistently enough to be ready for the grind.

I was so scared of the obstacles I would encounter!!! It was most likely due to the fear of the unknown. Not knowing what lies ahead of that mountain. But I compared it to life. So deep eh?? I do not know the hard situations that I will encounter in my future to reach my goal, but I know there will be some.

I tried my best to sleep as early as possible the night before since my cousin & I decided to meet up at 9:30AM. I set up TWO alarms, my clock+my iPhone, NONE of them rang and I ended up waking at 8:50.. My only breakfast was two yogurt and a glass of milk. GG.

But good thing I wasn't that naive, and did pack a big frozen water bottle, and a towel for the hike the night before.

Here's the entrance of the grind.

So normal la! Just a gate. No grouse grind workers or anything.. it's like just a gate to hell and you just walk in and out, no probs, easy peasy. O_O

The timer! You start your timer by scanning the card, and it beeps. So cool! No need for those stop watches anymore.

Let's go!

The first few steps.

I was really pumped, I was like OKAY LET'S DO THIS! Here's the first 'challenge', STAIRS!

And then my cousin goes on to say "Yepps! So this is basically how the rest of the hike is."

LOLOLLOL WTF? So basically the whole hike is just an unending staircase?!??! Okay I know it's not easy or anything, but I was SO READY to bring out those ninja skills and jump across rivers...

They divided the hike into four quarters, and each quarter you pass there would be a sign. The first one, in my opinion, was the hardest and longest.

Picture taken during one of our many breaks, hahahahaha. Side note: Holy shit my eyes are creepily big..

We look so happy but we were starting to feel a bit tired! It was here that we met this other guy who was doing the grind for the first time as well. He asked if there were vending machines on the second quarter. We were like no wtf? In the middle of a fucking mountain?! Hahahaha. This guy brought NO water with him AND drank coffee before his hike... so crazy. That's one way to kill yourself. X_X But nice guy nonetheless...

I was SO happy to see this sign, you wouldn't believe!!! Just three more to go!!

With the iPhone it's SO easier to snap pictures within a second! I didn't need to take out my bulky camera. Just a click, and I can continue on without the hassle! :D:D There was also phone signal throughout the hike so some people were making phone calls and such. Makes me a bit sad that we can't even just try to enjoy nature fully for an hour. xD But that's the future!

HALF MARK, HALF MARK!!! I can do this !!!!!!!!

Lolol I accidentally bumped my head on that guy's backpack during the hike cause he was in front of me. Thought I hit his butt at first.. awkward. But stupid guy wouldn't move when I was trying to take the pic!! How rude!!

There were many times I just looked up, and I'm like "Holy shit when does the stairs end!!!" And they were so steep too... but I just looked down, and focused on taking the next step each time. To be honest, I never once doubt if I would make it to the top or wanted to quit. I knew lots of people around me did though! I took lots of 10 sec breaks, but they were enough for me to keep going every time. I must say, I was very proud and surprised of myself.


Taken at another break. Thumbs up for motivation!

Got really excited when I passed this mark! I was alone at this point since my cousin and I had different paces. :P

The view down at some point of the hike!

Blue mountains! OMGOMG Almost at the top!! I heard the scenery was BREATH-TAKING.

And finally...

I made it.


Took me 1hr20mins.

The average is 1hr30mins. I shall beat my record next time!

There's no view as you can tell due to the fogginess that day.. But it was actually perfect weather for a hike. Not scorching hot at all, but cool-warm so you can actually sweat it out without dying! I think that's what made it less brutal for me. xD

Okay I ain't no show off or anything, but seriously, I felt fine. Didn't feel like dying, or giving up ever. Of course I felt tired from time to time. But that was it! I think it was cause my expectations were so high that I expected ALOT more. In the end it made it easier for me??

Mind set did help me get through the hike alot. I kept reminding myself to keep moving, and if I couldn't do this.. HOW CAN I DO ANYTHING ELSE? Seriously! I read so much quotes on my spare time, but if I never put them to use, then that's useless!!

That's a wrap!! I hope to do this at least one more time by the end of summer.~


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  2. D: WOW... that is ONE BIG challenge! O__O i dunno if I'll be able to survive that. I might, but then I'll be SUPER sore the next day. i'm glad you survived. Have a nice week!


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