We get a lot of questions about Grindaholic founder, Gerry Rahn. While his Grindaholic philosophy has been well documented (here) we thought we'd take a moment and dive into the mind of this tireless Grouse Grind warrior for some extra insight. Here’s what we found.
1. So, how many times a week do you do the Grouse Grind?
Four to seven times per week, but who’s counting?
2) Don't you get bored doing the same hike week after week?
Actually, not at all. If anything I connive to work it into my hectic schedule to get up there as much as possible. I enjoy the challenge each and every time, meeting new people every day rain or shine.
Think about it, do you ask a surfer why he/she surfs the same spot every week? Or a jogger why they run the seawall every day?
3) What are some of your other favorite hikes in BC?
Adjacent to the Grouse Grind is the BCMC and the Flint & Feather. Both of those are awesome. There is also the Chief in Squamish and Seek the Summit. Black Tusk and Whistler trails are awesome, as is the Tea Pot near Cultus Lake. Mayne Island has several trails I enjoy as well!
4) What are some of your favorite hikes outside of BC?
I would say Diamond head in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii. What a view!
5) If you could give just ONE tip to a first-timer about to hike the Grind, what would it be?
6) What is ONE thing you would tell (new and/or current) Grouse Grind hikers not to do?
Avoid leaving anything on the trail to keep it free of garbage like water bottles and paper wrappers etc.
7) What's the craziest thing you've ever seen on the Grind?
Too many to recall on the spot. But a few that come to mind include a woman wearing 5” pink stilettos and stumbling her way up the 1/4 mark of the Grind. I also saw someone carry a road bike all the way up the Grind for charity. Another was seeing a group of about twenty people hiking with watermelons as a challenge to see who make it to the top with theirs in one piece. I think a few were eaten for sustenance along the way!
8) Any scary wildlife encounters on any of your BC hikes?
I have seen several bears throughout the years, but they usually just go about their business. All you need to do is give them space and never get between the Mama bear and her cubs!
9) Any scary people encounters on any of your BC hikes?
One time I came upon a woman who appeared to be very nervous. She asked me to stay with her as she felt this guy was following her up the Grind. I gave him a good stare down and I went all the way up with her to allow her to be comfortable. He scared easily, so things didn’t have to get ugly - you don’t want to mess with a Grindaholic!
Also, some guy spit on me when I passed him on the 3/4 mark on the way up the Grind. I was working on my personal best that day, so I let it slide, but just once ;)
10) Parting words?
Where to begin??
There are the basics, such as to wear proper running shoes and clothing, take a water bottle with you, give way to others going faster than yourself, try not to rest for too long (less than a minute), stay hydrated, and go in pairs or with more people if inexperienced. In addition, always let someone close to you know when you’re going on the hike and when to expect you back. Keep a fully charged cell phone on you at all times and get the hike done well before dark.
But most importantly, always show respect to others on the trail and they will afford you the same.