Ireland day 0962. Friday 17 May 2024- Vancouver 3

Ireland day 0962. Friday 17 May 2024- Vancouver 3
Today’s summary Took the train / boat / bus to Grouse mountain and hiked up the Grouse Grind. 800m/2500ft ascent in 90 mins was pretty good. Beers and views on top then cablecar down. Took the bus to the Capilano Suspension Bridge which was remarkable, and saw a white tailed eagle. Courtesy bus back into town and burger dinner at Brewhall.
Today’s weather Brilliant sun with no rain but moderate westerly wind and feeling quite cool at 16c. Snow lying at the top.
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Grouse Grind

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Wow what a day that was! We had in mind two things that we wanted to do during our stay in Vancouver and had envisaged them being either / or alternatives. But instead, today we did them both.

So as soon as breakfast was despatched, we walked a couple of blocks to the Metro station and took the Canada Line to Waterfront. An efficient transfer onto the SeaBus saw us in North Vancouver only minutes later. Another switch got us onto the 236 bus after only a short wait, and then we were at the foot of the Grouse Grind about 11:00 and ready for a cup of coffee (duly furnished by Starbucks)

The Grouse Grind is a straight-up hike, climbing about 800m / 2500ft in 3km / 2mi to the top of Grouse Mountain. It’s a really well engineered path with lots of steps and a couple of scrambly sections. There were lots of people ascending today – beautiful twentysomething people clutching their water bottles and seniors wheezing their way up on the verge of a heart attack trying to prove that they could get up just as quickly as they did fifty years ago.

We both found the climb relatively straightforward and polished it off without stopping in about 90 minutes which we were pleased with. We treated ourselves to a beer on the summit while admiring the stunning view, then got the cablecar back down.

By now it was almost 3pm and we had envisaged calling it a day at this point and getting the bus back to our digs. But we realised that the bus would go right past the front entrance to the renowned Capilano Suspension Bridge and the temptation to drop in and visit one of the “must see” sights on our list was just too great.

We were glad we did pay a call. Ok, it was touristy and frighteningly expensive (over C$60 a head) but it was well done and very interesting.

The suspension bridge itself is alarmingly wobbly and briefly as we stood in the middle with about a hundred other people while it swayed from side to side, I did wonder if we would actually make it to the end in one piece. Needless to say we did, and once we got there we had a good look round the rainforest on the well built up wooden walkways.

Aside from the bridge itself and the views down into the canyon, the highlight of the visit was undoubtedly the white tailed eagle that flew gracefully along the riverbed as we watched. Sadly it was way too quick, and way too far away, to get a photograph.

You have to return to the start over the same bridge, then you can go on “Cliffwalk”. This is basically a steel walkway bolted to the cliff face and suspended about a hundred meters above the valley floor. Very much like the Gobbins in Northern Ireland but even more vertiginous.

By the time we had scared ourselves to death on the walkway, we really had finished our adventuring for the day.   So caught the free shuttle bus into town and headed over to the vibe-y Brewhall bar for another beer and a massive burger which felt especially well earned today.

So now we are back at our guest house, tired and a bit sweaty, but already starting to plan tomorrow’s activities. You definitely need to be fit to go on holiday!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Disembarking from the SeaBus in North Vancouver At the start of the Grouse Grind trail
Massive Douglas Firs line the route – keeping it cool and shady, but meaning you don’t get any views until you reach the top En route up
In Capiliano About to embark on one of the more exposed sections of the Cliff Walk – I was rapidly discovering by this point that I have absolutely no head of heights left at all
Val on the famous bridge.   It’s pretty wobbly (and high up)!
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 5743 m
Max elevation: 1094 m
Min elevation: 297 m
Total climbing: 1490 m
Total descent: -693 m
Total time: 01:38:04
Download file: Grouse-Grind-compressed-corrected.gpx

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