My wife and I are about to head out for a small holiday in the Okanagan Valley. From Wikipedia “The region is known for its dry, sunny climate, dry landscapes and lakeshore communities and particular lifestyle. The economy is retirement and commercial-recreation based, with outdoor activities such as boating and watersports, snow skiing and hiking. Agriculture has been focused primarily on fruit orchards, with a recent shift in focus to vineyards and wine.”
Sounds good to me!
This will be our last mini-holiday before things really get hectic i.e. before I move to work out of my basement office to work out of a co-working space in Gastown.
Before I leave to the Okanagan, I thought I would update you on how I did with my fitness challenge.
On Wednesday, I was suppose to take on the infamous “Grouse Grind” for the first time but ran into an unexpected problem right off the get go. The Grind was closed for maintenance. Yes, apparently they occasionally do maintenance on the 2,830 stairs.
Nevertheless, since I was there and determined for a climb, I took on the less famous though only slightly less severe “BCMC trail”. While the “Grouse Grind” climbs up the side of Grouse Mountain over 2.9 kilometers, the BCMC climbs up the side of Grouse over 3.4 kilometers. To put it another way, the trails start at the same place (parking lot D on Grouse) and finish at the same place (the top of the Grouse mountain) but the BCMC is about 20% longer.
This means two things: 1) people taking the BCMC generally take a little longer than the Grind though obviously the distance isn’t the challenge; 2) the elevation gain, while the same as the Grind at 853 metres (2,800 feet), is spread out over a longer distance so the slope is less steep. To be precise, the slope is a 25% gradient on the BCMC instead of a 29% gradient on the Grind.
So how did I do?
Success! I completed the climb in 58 minutes which was less than my target of 1 hour. 275 floors at 4.75 floors a minute!
The climb was tough but manageable and at the end of it I felt I still had something left in the tank. I just put my head down and powered up the mountain without any stops except for slowing down occasionally to politely pass slow climbers. I guess going to a boarding school in the Himalayas for 8 years did pay off!
Since the Grind was closed the BCMC was busy and it is often difficult to pass people on the tiny trail. The trail is equal parts roots and rocks (especially in the middle section) as it is an actual path. The trail was also quite slippery as there may have been rain in the area overnight.
Now I’m really keen to get back to Grouse sometime later this Summer, take on the Grind, push harder and see how I do.
Finally, here is the view you are treated to from the top. It was a cloudy/misty day, but thankfully the clouds parted just as we were about to take the cable car down the mountain. Note: Grinders frown on you walking down the slippery, narrow path as they rush up, making the cable car pretty much the only way down.