The Grouse Grind

Last modified on October 22nd, 2006

So this morning I woke up, hangover free, and decided I should get outside and take advantage of the nice weather we were having. I called Dustin up and said “hey man, let’s go do the Grouse Grind,” to which he responsed: “are you *(#%#ed in the head?” After a few minutes, I managed to convince him that we should go hiking. I had never done it before, although I used to do a bunch of hiking in the old days (Lake Garibaldi has a similar elevation gain). I wasn’t too worried about making it to the top, but I was a bit worried about my knee. A few years ago some friends and I did the West Coast Trail, which is a 7 day, 75km hike along the west coast of Vancouver Island. On day three, which is a 17km segment with almost no water, I came down weird from a big stump and did some damage in my knee. I managed to hobble for a few more kilometers, with every step getting more painful than the last. My friend Michele is a nurse, so she gave me some T3 and wrapped my knee up. I managed to make it to camp that night, and slept with cold packing around my knee, hoping that I would be ok in the morning. Unfortunately, I wasn’t, and even though I managed to get about 500 meters down the beach in the morning, I knew I really couldn’t keep going at that pace.

Sun setting over Vancouver

The problem is that the West Coast Trail is pretty isolated, and there are only a few spots where they can attempt an extraction if you hurt yourself. I was standing right next to the Carmanah lighthouse (which is an extraction point), so I thought I would just call it quits and go back, since I was just holding everyone back. The nice lady who lived at the lighthouse came out with her walkie talkie and called up ahead, letting them know I was injured and that I might need to be pulled off. My friends convinced me that I should keep going, and I decided (thanks to the bag of drugs Michele showed me) that I would. So, each of them took about 10lbs from my 60lb backpack, leaving me with just the bare essentials, and I kept going down the beach with hardly any weight on my knee. Unfortunately, it was very painful, and I was chewing about 2-3 T3’s a day, and a mix of other drugs to keep the swelling down. But thanks to my friends who shouldered a lot of the burden for the trip for me, I finished the trail. Unfortunately, once the drugs wore off, my knee was pretty messed, and I spent the next 6 weeks not being able to put much pressure on it at all. So, to this day, hiking is a bit if a challenge for me, and I really have to baby that knee. So, I was a bit worried doing “nature’s stairmaster,” since I was pretty sure it was going to bother me again.

And it did, but thankfully not enough to cause me any big grief. So, I can now say that I did the Grouse Grind. Here are few shots from the day. Here’s Dustin and me eating some nachos and drinking beer after getting to the top.

Beer never taste so good

And here’s a shot I took while waiting for the 2 hour lineup for the Tram. It’s a shot of Vancouver from 2800 ft up.

Vancouver from 2800ft

Dustin also brought his GPS along, so we could see what the hike looked like from a GPS receiver’s point of view. Here’s a shot of our elevation vs our distance from Dustin’s house. The first bump is most likely the Burrand St bridge, the second the Lion’s gate bridge, and the last monster is the actual hike.


Oh, and for a trip down memory lane, here are some shots from the West Coast Trail.

One response to “The Grouse Grind”

  1. Rosie says:

    Good work!!!
    I did the Grouse Grind once and vowed to never do it again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *