British Columbia can challenge many parts of the world when it comes to having a rugged and challenging terrain but, be honest, who in their right mind would include North Vancouver's Grouse Grind in a list of the world's most dangerous hikes?
Well, Outside Magazine, for one, who rated the North Shore trek right up there with Peru's "Hike of Death" and South Africa's Drakensberg Reserve where, the magazine reports, so many people have died, no one bothers to count anymore.
Meanwhile the 2.9 kilometre trek up the side of Grouse Mountain is tackled by over 100,000 people a year, aged from seven to 90. Admittedly, it's a challenging steep vertical climb (hence its nickname "mother nature's Stairmaster"), but most people manage to huff and puff their way up in under two hours. Crazy dangerous, eh?
Not according to North Shore Search and Rescue spokesperson Tim Jones who told The Vancouver Sun that to even call the Grouse Grind a trail is a stretch, noting that a busy weekend might see 6,000 people attempt the Grind which inevitably means a certain number of sprained ankles and cases of dehydration.
Three people have died on the Grind since 1999, two from heart attacks and one in an avalanche, noted The Province. Around 80 search and rescue incidents are recorded each year.
The Grind's "most dangerous" moniker was bestowed just days after 18-year-old Oliver Bibby from Vancouver broke the record for most ascents after completing 16 climbs in one day.
"That was easily the most difficult challenge I've had,” Bibby told CBC. “Mentally and physically it just took everything to finish that."
The scorn with which the article was greeted locally was summed up by one Twitter user, who joked, "Seriously? Did they not take the stairs?"
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