Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Final Grouse Grind of the Year

November 3rd, 2010

The final grouse grind of the season, whether I want to or not.  With the snow forecast to come soon Metro Vancouver put up the warning stating the Grind will close on this day.  It's somewhat comical that they can officially close a trail, when there's still a side trail to get around the gate.  It is nature, after all.

Working from home in the morning, decided to sneak out for part of the afternoon, drop the road bikes off for a tuneup at BSP downtown, then hit the grind and back home by 3 before rushhour.  That was the plan.  Didnt work out that way.

Nightmare traffic, seriously 29k took an hour and a half. Got to the Grind, sent a duffel up the gondola with dry clothes, and hit the trail. Noontime taco sitting heavy. Hit the 1/4 in perfect stride, hit the 1/2 even better, a PB in the sights? Not exactly sure at the time what my PB was...

3/4 hurt a little, 4/4 more so. No heart rate monitor strap still so just going balls out and hoping I dont blow an aorta. Got to the top and struggled to swipe the card, why buy the timer if it doesnt work?? The GrindTimer card may be a great fundraiser for Childrens Hospital, dont get me wrong, but it works like dogshit.   Stopped my watch at 44:23, which I'd see was 2 seconds off a seasons best! Pumped! Cant complain about that.

Pick up my duffel after a dripping dry off overlooking Van, look over and theres a massive line, guest services blames it on hikers,  I told her no chance, the trails dead today, this is just poor by the grind yet again. Running the old gondola, huge lineup. 40mins long. She tells me itll get shorter. I buy an overpriced coffee and stale cookie and enjoy the sun outside for half hour. go inside, the lineups 1/3 longer and going up the stairs now. 

The lineup to get back down
What followed was a DOWN hike on grouse.  I can't stand lineups, especially when I may fester for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, but I was torn after forking out $130 for a Grouse gondola season pass + timer card, a guy wants to get good value.  That said, I was so sick of lame excuses I decided to just hike it down.  I had already changed into jeans and dry clothes, since my run up had soaked my shorts and T right through.  My legs were cooked too.  I looked at it as I was lucky to maximize today's workout though, as well as throwing a middle finger up against grouses "no down hiking" policy.

The down took about the same time, 43 minutes give or take, but my legs were toast (and would be for 4 days afterward).

Got down, grabbed a smoothie, and hit the highway just in time for rush hour. Thank Grouse, see you again, never.

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