The Grouse Grind… Infamous amongst Vancouverites as one of the best outdoor workouts in the city. Frustrating, tiring, and sometimes annoying as hell. To celebrate a successful grinding season, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 types of people you see on the Grouse Grind. Which one are you!?
Clambering on all fours and running up the stairs, The Animal is rarely seen but is a sight to behold. They are driven with a passion to beat their personal best time doing the grind, and will go to their primal side to reach a new low (time). Occasionally slipping on rocks and tripping on roots in their enthusiasm, it’s best not to get in The Animal’s way.
“This is my fourth Grind this week!” They’ll say to their buddy as they walk past you at a spirited gait. Glistening with sweat but not breathing too heavily, these guys and gals could do the Grind in their sleep. Their love of the grind is only outmatched by the size of their huge calf muscles. Feel free to curse The Experts under your breath as you drag yourself up yet another set of stairs.
You may have given this person a name in your head “god damnit, Fred” you’ll say to yourself as he passes you for the tenth time. He’s always in your line of vision, you are climbing at the same pace and alternating break times. You must beat him.
The “What are you doing here!?”
This person, or group of people, is woefully underprepared for the harsh reality of the Grouse Grind. The guide books tried to warn them, but they didn’t listen to the threats of “experts only” and “hard-ass hike”. Sandals, jeans, umbrellas, purses, plastic bags full of snacks, and holding a coffee in one hand, the “What are you doing here!” person is easy to recognize.
This person is going back down the Grind, despite the huge sign at the top advising against it. That’s what the BCMC Trail is for, dumbass! Alternatively, The Backwards is a person or a couple who have had a sudden change in heart and are doing the walk of shame back down the trail. There’s always next time!
They’ve been doing the Grouse Grind before it was the Grouse Grind, back when it was a goat path with wild cougars stalking the trail and no tram ride so you had to walk back down too, all you young whippersnappers! The Veteran is inspiring, they have sculpted legs and power through the Grind even when some relatives would be threatening to put them in a nursing home. You go, grandma!
The “How are You Still Alive?”
Dripping in sweat… Taking a few steps before leaning on a tree… Emitting sounds that no human-being should make. The “How are you still alive!?” person can either be inspiring or frightening. Should you call an ambulance? Give them a pep talk?
Commonly seen at the 1/4 mark wringing their hands in panic (“What!?!? This is only the 1/4 mark!?!?!!? WHAT?!?!?!”) The Miserable typically has tears in their eyes, a scowl on their face, and are swearing under their breath. They can’t take three steps without complaining about the heat, the amount of people, the amount of stairs, and the hatred they have for everything and everyone around them. “How could you do this to me!?” seems to be their mantra.
These people are usually wearing polyester workout shirts that may have smelled fresh at the start of the trail but now smell like hot garbage. The Stinker is blissfully unaware of the trail of gagging people that they leave behind as they make their way merrily up the Grind. This group seems to congregate at the tram ride down and even the breeze coming from the window won’t wash away the sweaty, hot smell of BO. Oh, that’s coming from you!? Well, we all can’t smell like a fresh daisy!
“C’mon babe, it’ll be fun!” Is how it all begins… You can typically spot The Couple on the side of the trail with one half bright-eyed and bushy tailed, raring to go, and the other half sweating, cursing, and complaining. “We just got passed by like 5 people, let’s keep moving!” is usually met with, “Mark, shut your fat mouth and let me have a rest for a minute, Okay!?”
Oblivious to the line behind him or her, The Cork is listening to loud music and taking up the whole trail. People are impatiently trying to pass this person, but can’t… seem… to sneak… by… Don’t be The Cork.
The Bros & The Hot Chicks
Do you even Grind!? The bros are the ones in the backwards caps, no t-shirts, flexing their muscles as they pass you. “Bro, I smoked it! Best time EVER!”. The hot chicks are the ones in the spandex pants, passing you with ease as they bob their perfectly coiffed ponytail to their favourite EDM tracks. They don’t sweat, they just glisten.
You’re the perfect grinder, you may go at a slightly slower pace then everyone else, but you’re steady and you move to the side when you hear someone coming behind you, even slowing down so they don’t have to expend even more energy than needed. Sound about right? Right!?!
Did we miss any Grouse Grinders that you see whenever you’re tackling the trail? Let us know in the comment section below!