It’s the moment Vancouver fitness fanatics live for – it’s time to get sweaty and do the Grind.
Metro Vancouver’s popular Grouse Grind trail officially opens for the season today (May 10) from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.
The Grind is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, also known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster,” and with an elevation gain of 853 metres (2,800 feet), it’s not for the faint-hearted.
On average it takes up to an hour and a half to climb the grueling 2,830 stairs, but two hours is recommended for novice hikers. For those looking for a challenge, the official course record to date for men is 25:01 held by Sebastian Salas set at the 2010 BMO Grouse Grind Mountain Run, and, for women, the record is 30:02 held by Madison Sands and set at the 2018 event, according to Grouse Mountain.
"Unofficially (that is, a record set outside the annual Grouse Grind Mountain Run) the course record is a blistering 23:48 that is also held by Sebastian Salas. He set this time on August 24, 2010," the Grouse Mountain website states.
BCMC trail closes for trail improvements
While the Grind reopens, Metro Vancouver is advising hikers that a trail improvement project will begin along the BCMC Route this month.
The trail will be closed today, Monday, May 10, to facilitate material and supply drops via helicopter. Starting in late May, the BCMC will be closed Monday to Thursday for up to ten weeks.
“For public safety, it is imperative that hikers do not use the route while crews are working,” Metro Vancouver states.
Metro Vancouver also reminded hikers that downhill hiking is prohibited on the Grouse Grind. In order to descend Grouse Mountain, hikers must reserve a spot on the Skyride via the Grouse Mountain Resort website in advance. Wearing a face mask is mandatory on the Skyride.
For those who are new to the Grind, Metro Vancouver cautions that it is a very steep and strenuous hike and advised wearing weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear, to be prepared with water, a snack and a cell phone and to leave enough time to finish your hike before it gets dark.
Help keep Metro Vancouver parks open
Metro Vancouver says it is continuing to make every effort to keep regional parks open as outlets for people to safely enjoy the outdoors, and asked all park visitors to stick to their guidelines, including choosing parks in your own area (do not travel across the region), maintaining a physical distance of at least two metres from others at all times, making sure you wash or sanitize hands frequently during the day and upon returning home, and to stay home if you are sick.
Park visitors were also reminded to always “pack it in, pack it out.”
“Do not leave any items behind in parks, including organic material such as apple cores and banana peels,” Metro Vancouver says.
Dogs are not permitted on the Grouse Grind, so leave your furry friends at home.