The log saw at Park Place Lodge proved to be reporter Kimberley Vlasic’s undoing. Photo by Gretel Keeble

Behind the scenes at Ferne’s Extreme Griz competition

Not so Extreme Griz: The Free Press reporter discovers competition is not for the faint-hearted

Extreme is not the first word people would use to describe me.

While I’m always up for an adventure, my physical pursuits in the winter are limited to yoga, snowboarding and cross country skiing – always at a leisurely pace.

However, as I was handed a hack saw for the wood cutting challenge in this year’s Extreme Griz competition, I was feeling confident.

It didn’t seem to matter that I’d never even held a hack saw before, let alone successfully used it to saw through a log the size of my thigh.

That confidence, it turns out, was misplaced and two minutes later I was struggling for breath, my arms and back aching, and my dutch courage nowhere to be seen.

With three minutes left on the clock and the saw stuck somewhere in the middle of the log, I contemplated giving up until shouts of encouragement from the watching crowd spurred me on again.

When the countdown to zero began, a friend jumped on the other end and we furiously chiseled away. Despite our best efforts, the log remained determinedly intact.

My performance during the other physical tasks was not much better. My keg flew the shortest distance, my axe did not find the target, once, and it took my leg wrestling opponent only milliseconds to fling me to the ground.

I did, however, excel in the pancake eating to place second among the girls (much to the horror of my watching boyfriend, adding water is the secret) and had a spectacular comeback in the obstacle course, which featured hurdles, sleds and fat bikes, and was facilitated by GearHub at Rotary Park.

Strahan Loken was named Extreme Griz while 2018 Grizette Bridget Brown successfully defended her title, this year receiving her very own crown after publicly campaigning for one last year.

While I may not have proved myself to be the toughest in the competition, I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I attempted the tasks with the support of my fellow competitors and friends.

Regarded as a Griz Days staple and long-standing Fernie tradition, Extreme Griz is the epitome of this fun-loving mountain community that I have the fortune to call home.

Thank you to the organizers and sponsors for facilitating this year’s event, and to my fellow participants for putting up strong but friendly competition.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Entrants in this year’s Extreme Griz Competition. Photo by Vince Mo

Just Posted

City seeks public input on new cannabis retail license

The application must first gather approval from city council before being approved by the province

City of Fernie responds to high water levels

The city is monitoring water levels daily in order to keep residents safe

Ready, Set, Learn bus excites incoming students

EIDES’s Ready, Set, Learn bus delivered early learning packages throughout Fernie

Deer fawning season begins in B.C.

WildSafeBC is reminding people how to react if they come across a deer fawn

The Fernie Academy hockey players sign to play in the NA3HL

Dylan Baker, Chris Consolozio, and Bowen Arola continue their hockey careers in the NA3HL

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Most Read