Today, Dan & I climbed the Grouse Grind.
Length: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles)
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830
Evidently an average time is an hour and a half, novice hikers should plan for 2 hours. Well, my time was 2h27m. What’s important is that I didn’t throw up anywhere along the trail, so I’m happy with that.
I am well aware that I am not in great shape right now, but my biggest issue was my knees. I’ve never damaged them or torn any ligaments or any acute damage to them, but over the past few years I’ve definitely noticed that I can’t do things I used to — like kneel for long periods, or walk up stairs without pain.
Did you see the part about the 2830 stairs?
I’m not in great shape, but not terrible either — I walk a lot. Heck, I walked 60km in two days last summer. It killed me, but more because of blisters than the walking part. I can easily walk 10-15km in a day with just a little foot soreness.
…unless there are a lot of stairs involved.
So, I get it, I’m not 20 anymore, but I don’t feel much older (just not quite as dumb, although maybe a little whinier.) But I’ve got these fine lines around my eyes that don’t go away when I’m not smiling, and now my knees are actually a problem for me.
I won’t do this again. I spent a good portion of the hike honestly scared that my knee was going to buckle or hyperextend (well, it did hyperextend a few times) or that I would tear a ligament and I started actually thinking about what the heck they do with someone who’s injured halfway up the mountain and how much I really, really don’t want to see how great the BC Search & Rescue team is.
This, incidentally, makes me feel like a giant wimp because wtf, I’m only 32, I should be able to do the goddamned Grouse Grind without being terrified of falling off a mountain.
But instead I’m going to concentrate on the fact that I did NOT fall off, and I made it, and while my knees hurt so badly now I don’t know if I can make it to the couch, I climbed a goddamned mountain. And that’s pretty good.