Friday, June 1, 2012

Grouse Grind photo essay 2005 trip

I have some more recent images from the Grind but they are on the other computer so here is a link to a photo essay from my 2005 trip up the Grouse Grind.


One of the highlights of any visit up Grouse is to stop by a see the two Grizzly Bears - Coola and Grinder - both orphaned they came to Grouse as babies and have now grown to full size bears and they have learned how to entertain the crowds that visit Grouse in the summer months - here then in pictures is a photo essay of them performing for the crowds.

Hope you enjoy



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grouse Grind comes to my blog

As my last post indicated I am moving my Grouse Grind page from my web site to this blog - so here it is - will add a photo link a little later.


By far the most popular trail within the Greater Vancouver area - this hike has become a cult following to many and seems to be the one trail that visitor's to Vancouver consider a must do. Many people are known to do it more than once in a day - especially if they didn't like their time the first time up.

The trail itself is only about 2.9 Km in length but gains 2800' in that distance and is unrelenting - the grade can be as sharp as 45 degrees and there are no flat stretches to speak of on the trail and in the summer there is little or no water available - the fortunate part is that most people just do the upward portion and use the Skyride for the trip down especially since Grouse Mt. now sells a year round recreation pass for $99.95 (2012 price) or for a single download price of $10.00 - tickets available for purchase at the Alpine Chalet. The Annual pass is good for one year from date of purchase and gives you a number of deals. Check out Grouse Mountain's link found elsewhere on this page for full details.

Edited May 30, 2012 - Metro Vancouver which has jurisdiction over most of the trail does not allow for downward passage on the trail - they have very large signs posted at the top to this effect. If you don't want to pay the downride fee you could hike down the nearby BCMC trail.

I have previously described this trail climb as being like a non-stop stair climb up the CN Tower in Toronto - despite the steepness it is estimated that upwards of 100,000 people do the trail and when you consider that for three or four months in the winter the upper portions are covered by 3 or more feet of snow and you should get the picture as just how busy this trail can be in the summer from dawn to dusk.


The Grouse Grind trail is the scene of an annual foot race each fall in September - the current record is about 28 minutes and most regulars do it between 45 - 60 minutes. The average time is between 75 and 90 minutes. The urban trekker did it recently in a time of one hour and forty minutes. My first attempt in several years so I was happy with the time


You can get to the Grouse Mountain parking lot by following Capilano Road all the way to its upper terminus. From downtown Vancouver - take Georgia Street and drive the Stanley Park causeway and over the Lions Gate Bridge - take the North Vancouver exit and then get in the left lanes for the turn onto Capilano Rd. The drive up is quite scenic past the Cleveland Dam - source of Vancouver's drinking water and then to the parking lots. Grouse is now charging to park in their main paved parking lot but the gravel one is still free - however it is likely to be full on most weekends - so if you are planning on doing the hike and arriving by car either get there early or be prepared to pay to park.

By bus - take Seabus across the harbor to the Lonsdale Quay - then the Grouse Mt. bus from the terminus.

By bike - if you really want a work out - take either Seabus or the Lions Gate Bridge and work your way up Capilano Rd to the Cleveland dam and then do the final climb to the parking lot - there are bike racks near the service center - remember it's all downhill for the trip back to Vancouver and there are no restrictions or extra fares required to take your bike on the Seabus


Before you start the hike make sure you have some water - decent footwear - sunscreen - perhaps a light sweater/jacket as it can be several degrees cooler at the top - and bring a camera as the views are spectacular up top and there are other short hikes etc once you reach the top - there are also a variety of other routes down the mountain if you don't want to pay the $10.00 download fee.


You shouldn't have any trouble finding the start of the trail - it is well signposted and just look which way all the hikers are heading.

The start of the trail is actually the Baden Powell trailhead which runs the length of the North Shore Mountains from Deep Cove in the east to Horseshoe Bay in the west. The start of the trail has seen some changes this year 2011 - once through the gate you will make an immediate left and head up a new section of the trail - this will make it easier during the wintertime closures to enforce the no entry rule while still allowing people to hike the Baden Powell trail through to Skyline Drive - after the half way mark you start to edge closer to the chairlift cut and you will have a few opportunities to get some views and even wave to the folks using the Sky Ride to access the mountain. After what will seem like an eternity you will finally see the chalet roof and come out of the forest and onto an open bluff - this is the terminus of the ride - rest up - take a walk around the commercial area and enjoy the wood carvings and Blue Grouse lake and if doing the hike in the summer head up to the summit of Grouse and a world famous panoramic view before you leave the mountain. You might also want to check on the progress of the two grizzly bears who make their home on the mountain - just follow the green signs towards the old peak chair.


Note to first timer Grinders - worry less about your time - in fact put your watch in your pack and start walking - just take it slow and easy and you will be amazed how soon an hour or so has past and you will be nearing your destination.


If you have a season pass you can even keep track of your times for both the Grouse Grind and the other summits on the Grouse Plateau - just scan the bar code on your pass at the trail head and again at the summits. You can also print out your times at Guest Services.
For further information on Grouse Mountain check out their web site at:

Time for a change May 30, 2012

For the past ten years or so I have maintained a web site called the Urban Trekker which at the time was the way to communicate on the Internet - since that time blogs, Facebook, twitter etc have become the norm.

Well since I only really have one page of that site that gets any attention it seems fruitless to keep maintaining it so I have made the decision to kill the site - it is up for renewal later in the year and since someone has a similar named site only using some Capitalization it was becoming harder to access + I seem to have with my newer computers lost my log in info.

The one page that was getting hits was my detailed description of the Grouse Grind - it will move to a stand alone page on this blog.

I am also considering changing the thrust of this blog to be more reflective of my hiking and biking activities and using my Facebook account for the daily report.