Continuing my big week of climbing, I took to the Baden Powell this evening and made my way across to Grouse Mountain. I could definitely feel yesterday’s climb and descent in my legs, but once I’d gotten the first couple of climbs out of the way, I started to feel pretty good. I thought I was taking it fairly easily, but it turned out to be a PB for this section of the Baden Powell in that direction. Just goes to show that as you get fitter, you can slow it down a bit and still be quicker than your previous efforts.
It was a fairly uneventful run along the rugged, technical trail. Just as I was passing Skyline there was a woman with three small girls on the trail. They definitely weren’t dressed for hiking and looked to have very little in the way of food and water. She was on her phone looking at Google Maps and stopped me to ask if she’d gone too far for the trail up to the chalet. Yeah, more than an hour too far, lady. She wanted to know the best route from where she was. I suppose the shortest route would have been to go up Skyline, but I was concerned about her taking the small children up there. She would have to deal with the difficult terrain and the potential to get lost with daylight rapidly decreasing. My advice was to go back on the Baden Powell to the Grouse Mountain parking lot and call it a day. She insisted on hiking up to the chalet though, so I told her to go back on the Baden Powell and take the Grouse Grind. I figured she’d realize it was too late when she got to the base of the Grind, but if not, at least there would be other people on the trail that could assist if she ran into difficulty. Who knows what happened to them, but hopefully they made it back home safely, whatever route they took.
Once I’d reached the Grouse area, I took the BCMC Trail up to the chalet. After climbing almost 600m on the Baden Powell, I found the BCMC a bit difficult at first and the going was fairly slow. As I got higher though, I could feel myself getting stronger again. The terrain is slightly easier as you get up towards the top on that trail and I was thankful to reach the chalet. I’m not sure how long the BCMC took on this occasion, but it probably wasn’t my best. My back and legs were hurting by the time I reached the top, but after refilling my water I was able to start running again with no issues.
The flies on Grouse Mountain were just terrible. You couldn’t stand still for more than a few seconds without being covered from head to toe. There were no tourists up there, not outside anyway. I could have had pretty much the entire mountain to myself if I’d wanted. I didn’t hang around and made my way down the endless switchbacks of Grouse Mountain Highway. After descending a bit lower, the flies cleared up a little. I was able to snap the pictures above but then became very mindful of the distance I still had to run and the rapidly decreasing daylight. I figured I had another hour of running and not much more time than that before it got dark. So off I went. It’s a long descent, I think around 12k, but it’s probably 95% downhill. I was able to run at a much quicker pace than I would have normally, so I got back to the house at around 21:30. I remembered the run taking closer to 3 hours, but it was actually 4. Probably should have taken a headlamp!
My legs were feeling a little shot when I walked into the kitchen. I might need to take a rest tomorrow and hit it hard again on Wednesday. I was hoping to run every day this week ahead of my tapering next week, but I also need to be sensible and listen to my body. My body says rest time.