British Columbia·Photos

Hikers aim to break records at 2016 Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge

Climbing the Grouse Grind even once a day is a challenge, but 37 climbers descended on the mountain to see how many times they could go up the trail in a day.

37 climbers took to Grouse Mountain to see how many times they could climb it in a day

37 athletes hit the Grouse Grind for the third annual Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge to see how many times they could climb the trail in one day. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Climbing Grouse Grind even once a day is a test of physical endurance, but 37 climbers descended on the mountain on Tuesday to see how many times they could go up the trail in a day. 

The Multi-Grouse Grind Challenge raises funds for the B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation while participants hike up what is commonly referred to as "Mother Nature's Stairmaster" — a challenging 2.9 kilometre trail up Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver.

Climbing it 11 times is equivalent to climbing the height of Mount Everest. 

"The official record is 15 times in one day and that was set at the first event in 2014," said Julia Grant, spokesperson for Grouse Mountain. 

Climbers have from 4 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. to clock as many grinds as possible. 

Climbing the Grouse Grind 11 times is equivalent to climbing the height of Mount Everest. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Ian Robertson was determined to break the record, so every move and every second was calculated. 

"I have about three minutes before I need to go to the tram, it's all about schedule," Roberston said, after finishing his ninth run. 

"You have to stay on track for when the tram comes and you have to time how fast you go based on when that thing is coming," he said. 

The gondola down leaves every 15 minutes. 

Climber Ian Robertson takes a seat on the gondola to give his legs much needed rest and time to refuel before going up the trail for the ninth time in a day. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

After reaching the top of the trail, Robertson quickly ran over to his bag, which was stashed next to the gondola line-up so he could refuel.

"I've got water and food. Everything I pre-packed last night," he said, adding that he even has some water stashed along the trail.

Ian Robertson is determined to break the record of 15 times up the Grouse Grind. Every move he makes is calculated. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

He quickly took a sip of his Coca-Cola, took a few bites of his crackers and grabbed a banana before sipping down some pickle juice. 

"Oddly, pickles prevent cramping," he said, with little time to waste. 

He then hurried on to the gondola and sat down to give his legs much-needed rest. 

The Grouse Grind is commonly referred to as 'Mother Nature's Stairmaster'. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Others, like Zack Eberwein, are there to enjoy the race and set a personal best. 

"I love challenging myself," Eberwein said, explaining that he has a chronic knee injury. 

Eberwein had to stop after climbing the trail six times because of his knee, even though his goal was to hike it 11 times. 

"It was an adventure. Even though it was short-lived," he said, adding that he will be back next year, but with his knee brace. 

Participant Zach Eberwein has a chronic knee injury but that didn't stop him from climbing the trail six times in one day. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Despite the race being on the first day of summer, it began to rain and there was also a glitch with the gondola for about half an hour, which threw a spanner into race times. 

The results will be posted tomorrow. 

The gondola was stalled for at least half an hour which threw a spanner for participants. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Lovgreen

Video Journalist

Tina is a Video Journalist with CBC Vancouver. Send her an email at tina.lovgreen@cbc.ca

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