There are many people in Vancouver who love the iconic Grouse Grind on Grouse Mountain. Okay, “love” may be too strong of a word. More like, hate every minute of it until you get to the top and feel EXCELLENT.
But, in the wintertime when the Grouse Grind shuts down due to snow/ice, people start to get a little bit of an itch for an extreme weekly work out. Luckily, Grouse Mountain introduced the Snowshoe Grind – a challenging trail that is similar to summertime Grind times.
The Snowshoe Grind is a 4.3km trail of uphill grinding to the top of Dam Mountain. It usually takes about an hour to complete and is a great way to get into the snowy, mountain environment.
So, if you haven’t tried it out yet, or you’re just looking for a good reason to get your sweat on, I present you 5 reasons to tackle the Grouse Snowshoe Grind every weekend!
1. The motivation to beat your best time
One of the most addicting things about the Grouse Grind is the ability to time how fast you can make it up the mountain. Believe me that cutting off even 5 minutes from your time is impressive! The snowshoe grind also has that addictive element by offering a Grind Timer Card. This card is just $20 and monitors all your best (and shameful) times.
You can also find out how you rank compared to the other people conquering the Grind. It’s a great motivator for picking up the pace when you’re trying to beat your friends in the ultimate competition to the top of the ranking list.
2. The views from the top
The views from the top of the Grouse Grind are pretty spectacular, but the Snowshoe Grind gets you even higher. The trail leads you to the top of Dam Mountain, which offers a beautiful 365 degree view of the surrounding snow-topped mountains, the flickering lights of the city, and the snowboarders and skiers below. Plus, then you know the journey is over and it’s all downhill from there!
3. Great way to stay in shape during the winter
Whether you do it on snowshoes, microspikes, or yak-tracks (or just hiking boots, but have fun slipping!) you’re going to work harder than you think. The Snowshoe Grind is not a simple walk in the park. In fact, you can burn around 500 calories an hour on snowshoes, and that’s just walking on a flat path! You’ll be able to feel the calories burning away as your legs also burn from the exertion!
In winter, it’s hard to stay motivated to go to the gym or go running when it’s cold, wet, and dark outside. The best thing about hiking in the mountains is that it’s usually snowing up there when it’s raining in Vancouver. Doing a workout in snow is much more enjoyable than you would think!
4. Keep your workout interesting
If you already workout with no problem, the Snowshoe Grind is just an additional element that can make getting exercise much more fun. Hang out in nature, feed some whiskey jacks (birds), meet other like-minded people, and just have fun outdoors.
If you’re usually chained to a treadmill, break free from the electronic buttons! It’s actually much more challenging to do a workout in the real world, with all of its extra bumps, hills, and chipmunks.
5. The pound of fries at the lodge after
I’m no french fry connoisseur, but I’d like to nominate Grouse Mountain as having some of the most delicious french fries in the city. They’re pretty standard deep-fried frozen potatoes, but they have a delicious spice added to them that gives them an extra kick. They are DELICIOUS and exactly what you need after climbing up a mountain. Okay, they’re not fitting with the healthy aspect of the Snowshoe Grind, but you deserve it – right? Yes! Yes, you do. If you’d rather go a bit healthier, there’s always a gigantic nacho platter available as well! Don’t forget the beer to wash it all down.
Do you do the Snowshoe Grind often? What keeps you motivated to keep doing it? Let us know in the comment section below!