Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Worlds Most Dangerous Hikes.

  !. Huayna Piccu, Peru
  2. The Maze, Uthah USA
  3. Mount Hua Shan, China
  4. Kokoda Track, Papau New Guinea
  5. Grouse Grind, Vancouver
  6. Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa
  7. Cascade Saddle, New Zealand
  8. Aonach Eagach Ridge, Scotland
  9. Kalalau, Hawaii
10. El Caminito del Rey, Spain

I came across a list of the 'World's Most Dangerous Hikes' and my eye caught number 5, Grouse Grind, Vancouver. The Grouse Grind is located in North Vancouver where I lived for most of my adult life. North Vancouver is a hikers' and climbers' paradise and covers a terrain from bear-filled dense woods to steep cliffs. The Grouse Grind is not particular beautiful, but is a short steep climb. The trail gains up 2,800 feet in just 1.8 miles including 2830 stairs, making it one of the steepest trails anywhere. 

Mountaineering and fitness freaks use it for training. Since 1999, three people have died on this trail and a large percentage of the annual North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service missions take place on the Grind. Tired hikers take a tumble and loose their way at night. The trip is so grisly it often takes twelve rescuers to to get a hiker of the mountain.

I have climbed the Grind only once. It was with some fitness freak friends when I was 50 years old and made up there in one and a quarter hours. Not particularly fast, as some would actually run past me on the trail. It was steep, as the terrain had been carved to accommodate the previous and obsolete cable car route. Once the top of the Grind is reached, there is the most magnificent panoramic view of the city of Vancouver below. 

After absorbing the view I took the safe cable car down the mountain, reminding myself never to do this again.

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