Grouse Grind Closed? Try the New “Urban Grind” inside the Stairwell of the 553-Foot Harbour Centre

Photo credit: GoToVan | Flickr

Photo credit: GoToVan | Flickr

The Grouse Grind may be Vancouver’s most famous (and gruelling) hike. The steep, 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain has a total of 2,830 steps, earning it the nickname Mother Nature’s Stairmaster. Each year, 150,000 people make the ascent.

But during winter – when the trail is often closed due to weather conditions – all those “Grouse Grinders” are generally out of luck, with no place to blast their quads and gluts. Except this year.

This March, the 553-foot-tall Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver is opening up its 40 flights of stairs to fitness buffs.

Photo credit: Husky22 | Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Husky22 | Wikimedia Commons

The Centre’s new “Urban Grind” is open each Tuesday in March from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Thousands of people are expected to take the challenge – running and powerwalking their way to the top of one of Vancouver’s tallest buildings.

And while the ascent inside the Harbour Centre’s stairwell may not be as picturesque as the Grouse Ground, the views from the top aren’t too shabby.  The Urban Grind finishes at the Vancouver Lookout (the space-ship shaped structure atop the Harbour Centre).  Floor-to-ceiling glass walls afford 360-degree views of the city, waterways and surrounding mountains (You might even be able to see Grouse Mountain from up there).

All this fitness fun will only set you back $5.  In fact, the admission price includes a free beer at the top (plus “DJ entertainment”), as well as a $5 food voucher for the Harbour Centre’s ground-level food court. At those prices, it might be worth huffing to the top just for the free eats.

Photo credit: Robin Stevens

Photo credit: Robin Stevens

And for you hardcore fitness junkies out there – for whom a mere 40 floors of stairs isn’t enough – you can complete the Urban Grind as many times as you want during the allotted 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. window. A little math: Based on a rough estimate of 15 stairs per floor, there should be approximately 600 stairs in the Harbour Centre’s Urban Grind. To match the number of steps in the Grouse Grind, you’d have to ascend four to five times.

 

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One Response to Grouse Grind Closed? Try the New “Urban Grind” inside the Stairwell of the 553-Foot Harbour Centre

  1. The Skyline trail following the old chair lift line from the top of Skyline road to the ruins of the ski village at the bottom of the Grouse Cut is open and not fenced off. See if u can find the wreckage of the crashed jet fighter plane beside the trail too!