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.


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

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