How To: Conquer the Wreck Stairs


I don’t know about you but I personally consider the wreck beach stairs as a sort of initiation to UBC. My first week of school was filled with talk about this amazing beach yet many let it slip that we’d be accessing the beach via approximately 490 stairs. You can imagine the surprise and concern that quickly consumed me as I not only thought about how I’d get down the stairs but that I’d eventually have to go back up them. Although, valid concerns, I was enthused by the adventure of it all. To this day, about three years into my undergrad, I still remember watching the calming pinks of the sky turn into the most vivid oranges as the sun took a dip beside the mountains. With all this said, if you like to plan – here are my top 5 tips to conquer the Wreck Stairs!


  • Hydrate

It’s so important to have some water handy at all times, especially during this hot Vancouver summer. Don’t forget to fill a water bottle or two for your beach adventure! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you twice about the amazing benefits of H2O. 

  • Good Company

Grab some friends to make the journey a bit more fun so you have people to chat to while you conquer the Wreck steps. There’s nothing like a good laugh or thoughtful conversation to fuel the soul. If you like flying solo, choose your favourite tunes or press play on a new podcast to pass the time!

  • Take Breaks

A simple yet crucial reminder to rest when you need to! There’s no shame in taking a beat to pause and catch your breath. Give yourself an encouraging pep talk and once you’re ready to continue, the stairs will be waiting for you. 

  • Breathe

Again, it may seem straightforward but sometimes we tend to hold our breath or shorten it when the body gets stressed. So, just take a moment to observe and notice what your breath is doing and how you can maximize each inhales and exhales. Take a second to soak in that salty fresh Pacific North-West air.

  • Views

Simply knowing that on the other side of the stairs is a gorgeous ocean view can do wonders for the motivation levels. Whether you’re climbing up or down the stairs – keep the view in mind and congratulate yourself on the achievement of soaking in some of the best of what nature has to offer.


A sneaky bonus tip – I highly recommend a pre and post stair stretch. To help prevent injury and soreness, take a few minutes to warm up your body so that you’re in prime condition to tackle the stairs, your future self will thank you. If you need some stretching inspiration, check out the Move U Crew’s movement breaks on the UBC Rec Instagram page under the reels and video section.