Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim

Eleven hikers traveled to the Grand Canyon this past weekend to do one of the classic hikes in the southwest. We had great weather, took lots of photos, and had a few developments. The Rim to Rim to Rim hike is 45 miles in two days. It's a tough hike with lots of elevation gain at the end of each day. About half the group was uncertain if they wanted to hike back (23 miles) the second day or take a shuttle. (Slide show of the hike)

Shuttle or No Shuttle:

This was Judy's third attempt to make it both days. Harlan was not 100% and was uncertain. Peppe had trouble last year and wanted to see how he felt. Linda Lou has done many extreme hikes and felt confident. This was Lori C's first attempt, and she was determined to make it. Susan and Barb were veterans having done the hike three times and were not worried. Brian, Barb's son, had no choice. He was going to make it. Lori and Jim planned to take the shuttle. I had an extremely difficult time back in 2003, but I made it.

First Day:
We were on the bus that took us to the trailhead at 6 am.
After numerous photos, we headed down the Kaibab Trail. At Phantom Ranch we ran into hikers from the Mountaineers Club. Everyone was feeling good as we headed for Cottonwood Camp, some seven miles away. Before reaching Cottonwood Camp we took a side trip to Ribbon Falls. This is where we lost a few people. Harlan was thinking we were ahead of him and did not hike to the falls. Jim twisted his ankle and did not want any extra mileage. We left Ribbon Falls, filled our bladders at Cottonwood Camp and started up the grueling seven miles to the top of the North Rim. Everyone made it, but not at the same time. By 7 pm we were all eating at the deli on the North Rim.
The Cursed Room:
To keep things simple Harlan and I shared a room. I did my usual staring at the clock, because I could not fall asleep. About 1:30 Harlan started throwing up and up and up. He had food poisoning. His choice was made: he was taking the shuttle the next day.Except for 45 minutes I had not slept in the last 27 hours. Good way to start a 23 mile hike!
Day Two:
Peppe and Linda Lou took the first shuttle to the trailhead. That was the last we saw of them until the South Rim. The other six, including myself, started down the North Kaibab Trail around 7 am. We stopped off near Ribbon Falls to look for Lori's glasses. She had lost them somewhere around the falls the day before. We did not find them and got back on the trail. By noon we were at Phantom Ranch. The South Rim was nine miles away and almost 4,500 feet above us. I was tired, but still physically
felt good. Susan and I started off at a good pace leaving the others behind, but by the time I got to Indian Springs (4.5 miles from Phantom Ranch) the lack of sleep caught up with me and so did the rest of our group. The final miles were kind of a blur. I had trouble deciding where to place my feet, since I had to wear tevas due to a bad blister. I made it to the top shortly before dark where Susan was waiting for me. Everyone else had already finished.
Everyone did well the second day. Barb, Susan, Brian, Lori C, Peppe and Linda Lou had no problems; Judy broke her curse and I learned that I am cursed. That was my last time for Rim to Rim to Rim. Not being a fan of trails, I'll stick with peak bagging.