The Grouse Grind and Paolo the Canadian charmer 

During our speedboating session, Abe had persuaded me to do the Grouse Grind, the next day. The Grouse Grind is a hike up some rocky stairs to the top of Grouse Mountain, where I was hoping to be greeted by an incredible view after my efforts.

So off I went on a lone adventure, hopping on a free shuttle bus from Waterfront seabus terminal all the way to the bottom of Grouse Mountain. When I hopped off the bus ready to tackle this mountain, I went to the information desk to ask where the trail started and how long it would take. The lady looked at me and told me it’d be about 2 hours and that it’s a very strenuous hike… Emphasis on the word “strenuous” as I looked like a child in a backwards cap and a backpack. I’m pretty sure she was hinting that I got a coffee from the Starbucks next door and got back on my shuttle bus to the hostel. 

I made my way to the beginning of the stairs, feeling pretty empowered that I was doing this alone and immediately got distracted by the number of people in Lycra stretching at the entrance. As I thought to myself “how hard can it be?” I saw a notice board that a few people were reading before embarking on their own personal journeys. I began reading, “If you are doing the Grouse Grind alone, make sure you tell someone where you’re going and what time you’re setting off.” Oh shit. Mistake number 1. Nobody knows I’m here, I wouldn’t even have anyone to tell if I wanted to… OK breathe. I continued reading. “Once you’ve started the Grouse Grind, you can’t turn back – nobody should walk down the stairs for safety reasons.” Oh Shit.theres mistake number 2 in the making. If I can’t do it, I can’t even walk back down! The only way is up. Filled with fear, I began. Passing countless children under the age of 5 on the way up, my fear partially subsided. Partially.

After a tiring hike, and contrary to my belief, I made it to the top. Where it was completely foggy and I could see no view. But I was still beaming with pride. Weirdly, at the top of Grouse Mountain, there is perfect WiFi so obviously I decided to step in to the balcony with the non-view and facetime everyone I knew.

This was me at the top of Grouse Mountain with the view… Oh wait.

 Whilst my facetime was connecting, I got interrupted by a man also on the balcony, who began the conversation with “Are you catching Pokemon?” My answer was no and that I was facetiming, but ignoring that, he continued to chat to me about my trip and asked me if I’d tried the sushi in Vancouver (to which my answer was no). After 10 minutes of polite conversation, he disappeared inside to apparently meet a friend so immediately I began my face timing again. As nobody was answering, I was about to give up and go inside when the man came out to the balcony with his name and number written on a cardboard cup holder. “Let me know if you’d like to go to sushi later on.” He said. Still covered in sweat from the hike, and with my cap backwards (yes it’s my thing now), I questioned Paolo’s taste in women and that night I went for sushi with Danielle, who did the same hike in the afternoon and also got chatted up some keen hiker. Was it Paolo’s pick up hotspot? So if you want a challenging but fun hike, or just to find a date for the evening, I’d suggest you try the Grouse Grind. (Shout out to Paolo the Pokemon catching Canadian). 
Peace and love xxx

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