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DayHiker.com • View topic - Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby peterhol@aol.com » Tue Oct 19, 2004 4:14 pm

I just went back to the Grand Canyon to do in one day what I did in two last year. On Oct. 13 I ran/hiked solo from the South Rim to the North Rim and back in 12 hours, with another hour for breaks. The weather was perfect, temperatures 32-80. I carried a thin fanny pack belt with a sandwich stuffed in the water bottle pocket and sport drink powder in the narrow side pockets, an empty bottle slipped over the belt itself, and carried two bottles of sport drink in hand. One of these I kept empty on the downhills, filling it only when necessary. All water spouts were still running except for the Supai Tunnel, making it easy to travel light. (By now the North Rim water will be all shut off above Cottonwood Camp at the halfway point, requiring thoughtful planning for a Rim to Rim). I ran all the dowenhills and half of the uphills, hiking the steeper upper sections. 45 miles, with about 10 miles walking. I started at 5:53 A.M., used a headlamp for the first 15 minutes, and finished in the dark also, using the headlamp for the last half hour. It was great. I will write it up more fully soon and post it on my website,
peterhol@aol.com
 

Postby Candace » Sun Nov 07, 2004 1:06 am

That is an awesome time. I did Rim to Rim to Rim the same dates you did this year, but I sleep over at t he Thunderbird and return the next morning.

My times from North to South this year were 8 hours, hiking all the way, no running, and 10 hrs. 15 mins. South to North. I do this twice a year, every year and it's the greatest day hike in America-- way better and more scenic than Whitney.
Candace
 

Postby remdog » Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:49 am

I'm not an experienced hiker, but I enjoy the outdoors and am in pretty good shape. I'm male, 36. I've been thinking of doing an 'extreme hike' and the rim to rim certainly is one possibility I've been considering. I was actually at the grand canyon 10 yrs ago but at the time it was late summer, and on the south rim I managed only about 2 hours on one of the trails, roundtrip.

Would u recommend the rim to rim for someone like me? What's the best time of year to do it?

thx.

Robert
remdog99@hotmail.com
remdog
 

Postby DayHiker » Tue Jan 04, 2005 11:01 am

Robert, based on your posting information the answer is: NO. do not try the rim-to-rim. "I'm not an experienced hiker" is the show stopper. This is a tough hike. April/May or October is best time to hike into the canyon (cooler). Try rim to Indian Gardens first. Then reassess "I'am in pretty good shape" self-diagnosis for future attempts.
DayHiker
 

Postby loraine » Tue Jan 18, 2005 6:56 am

Dayhiker regarding your reply to Robert, if someone can do Whitney in a day and has done Rim to rim relatively easily in two days - do you think rim to rim in one day is advisable, and what if we can only do it in early Sept. (extreme heat factor)?
loraine
 

Postby cahikes » Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:45 am

ioraine; if you are currently in the condition to do whitney in a day and expect to stay that way, then i don't think you'd have any problems with a single day rim to rim with regard to conditioning. the key here is the canyon temperatures in early September which would overcome the best conditioned hikers. If you were to try it at that time of year, I'd suggest that you leave early in the morning, expect to spend the hottest part of the day at Phantom Range under the shade resting, taking in fluids and then going out in the evening, hiking out in the dark with a headlamp (this is a north rim to south rim route). I know the employees that are leaving Phantom Ranch for their off days either go out early in the morning or out in the evening via the Kaibab Trail as it shorter. Problem with that is that you need a car waiting at the that trailhead as the shuttles will have stopped running by the time you top off. There is also no water that way unlike the Bright Angel which has water at various locations. If you go out Bright Angel, have a reservation for late arrival at one of the lodges. Better yet would be to have someone shuttle your car over to the south rim and check in the room for you.
cahikes
 

Postby DayHiker » Sat Jan 22, 2005 3:33 pm

To Summarize:
Yes, if you can do Mt Whitney, one day hike under 15hrs and you can do a two day hike of rim-to-rim then: you could most likely do a rim-to-rim in one day in spring or fall (check weather report for cool weather).
DayHiker
 

Postby topojim » Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:15 am

I did the rim-to-rim with a friend this past July (hiking not running, one way only, south to north), after having done Whitney in one day the year before. The two are comparable in distance and difficulty IMHO. With Whitney you have the altitude issue (I had no problems with altitude, but plenty of people do). At the Grand Canyon, it's the heat.

Summer is NOT the best time to do this hike, to be sure, but with good planning (and good conditioning) it is reasonable. We hit the trail at 5:00 (first light, via South Kaibab) and were at the river by 8:30. The key is to get through the depths of Bright Angel canyon before the sun rises over the rim and cooks you. The lower part of the North Kaibab trail coming up through Bright Angel canyon is virtually level, so you can make good time--we were in shade pretty much all the way through this stretch.

Once you get out of the inner canyon, it gets HOT, and there's a several mile stretch below Cottonwood that will be plenty toasty, but again the grade is gentle. This is the one stretch that you must take care on: keep drinking, and make a couple of trips over to the creek to soak yourself. I went through a half gallon of water on the way down, and another half gallon (sports drink this time) between the river and Cottonwood. Cottonwood has shade and drinking water, and is 20 degrees cooler than the surroundings.

Once you leave Cottonwood, you'll have a couple more miles of hot hiking, but once you turn into Roaring Springs Canyon, you get out of the sun again, and you don't have problems with heat the rest of the way up. The climb up through Roaring Springs Canyon is a butt-whupper, though, especially the middle stretch up the Supai formation: it isn't all that steep, but by then you've walked a long way already... We reached the north rim at 6:15, and we really took it easy on the ascent from Cottonwood.

In the summer, there is water at the river, at Cottonwood, at the house you pass at the base of Roaring Springs Canyon (at your last crossing of Bright Angel Creek), and at the Supai Tunnel, so you don't need to carry more than a half gallon of water in the summer.

I would not try this hike from north to south in the summer, because you'd be doing the hardest climbing at the hottest part of the day, and there is no water anywhere on the South Kaibab trail.

In spring or fall, heat won't be the issue, but daylight might be. You do NOT want to have to do any of this hike in darkness, because some of the best views are at either end! Also, of course, be aware that in April, you'll probably be faced with snow toward the top of the North Kaibab, and the north rim facilities will be closed, so you'll have to hike back across....

It's an awesome hike! The stretch of the North Kaibab trail where you traverse the Redwall formation is just amazing... and the sunrise views from the South Kaibab are not to be missed.
topojim
 

Postby Candace » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:33 am

I would absolutely not recommend doing rim to rim in one day if you're not an experienced hiker. In fact, if you're not an experienced Grand Canyon hiker I wouldn't touch it. That's not to say some people couldn't attempt it and hike it successfully, but not a great majority could.

I would try going down the South Kaibab to the river and back in one day. If you can do that, that's a good start, but I would get into excellent shape before attempting rim to rim.

Finally, I would never do it any other month aside from October and November. Even in October, temperatures are sometimes 115 degrees at Cottonwood campground. I would not try it in May, the way the sun sits in the sky makes shade extremely rare in May.

Good luck!
Candace
 

Postby Tito the Great » Sun Sep 11, 2005 1:36 am

I just did the Rim to Rim,did it "SOLO",from North to South.Did it as b-day present to myself. I did it in 7 hours and 44 minutes...got lost for 25 minutes...never been there before...quite easy... I may try to do it again...looking back I can see all my mistakes.I know I can do it under 6 hours...Any idea of how fast is the record?
Tito the Great
 

Postby StinkyCheeseMan » Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:59 am

My wife and I leave Friday to hike South to North on Saturday, spend two nights on the North rim and hike back on Monday. Did the same hike a couple of years ago but only spent one night on the North rim before hiking back. We also planned ahead this time and actually mailed some items to the North rim so we don't have to carry them all 23 miles across.

On our previous trip we went South to North in about 10 hours and North to South in about 11 1/2 hours. Both trips were slowed due to some heat issues with one person in our party and a twisted knee by another. However, taking our time greatly reduced the pain.

For anyone cautioning about the heat, you are absolutely right. We are from Phoenix and have been training at about 10 miles a day in the heat but still plan to be extremely careful. As of today, it actually looks like a cold front might present different challenges. In just a couple of days, we have gone from planning for 100+ degrees on the bottom to worrying about cold wet weather going up the North rim.

I will let you all know how it turns out next week.
StinkyCheeseMan
 

Postby SCHiker2 » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:48 am

Candance, that is not true about Cottonwood hitting 115 in October. Cottonwood is 4000, roughly the same altitude as Sedona. Average Temp would be around 80 in the month of October. May hit the low 90's max in October.

Here's a question for anyone, I am going to hike rim2rim2rim going for the 24 hour mark. Would I get into trouble for doing this if I got stopped and was advised not to do this and I kept going?
SCHiker2
 

Postby cahikes » Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:53 am

SChiker2, The only thing I can see you getting trouble for is the following: If on your return hike back, you decide to bivy until light comes up, you may be cited for camping without a wilderness permit, that's if they catch you. No wilderness permits are required if you are day hiking that includes rim2rim2rim. They will probably remind you that you have to hike out and can't camp. If they caught you, they would probably tell to hike out. I've had backcountry rangers in the Sierra check my pack to confirm that I was on long day hike/climb and not to illegally camp in the backcountry.
cahikes
 

Postby Deathmarch » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:54 am

According to National Geographic's Secrets of the Grand Canyon, in 1981 "the quest for canyon speed-hiking records begins in earnest with Allyn Cureton's three hour, seven minute North rim - to - South rim traverse. The 20.6 mile, 10,550 vertical foot record stands to this day."

I just can't believe he took the short route.
Deathmarch
 

Postby StrokeSurvivor » Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:59 am

I did rim-rim-rim OCT 7-9. It was the fifth time I've hiked across & back & the 13th time rim-rim since my 1st rim-rim-rim in 1990. On OCT 7, I may have met StinkyCheeseMan and his wife "Lisa". Lisa was having a hard time hiking out because of knee pain. I gave her my "Cho-Pat" knee brace, which helped, and she sent it back with a nice note. I've hiked the Grand Canyon during late SEP or early to mid OCT every year since 1997, except 2001 - when I had a stroke that weakened my right side. It took a long time to re-learn how to walk and recover my strength enought to hike, but I did half way down each side in 2002, rim to rim in 2003 and rim-rim-rim last year and this year. The only permanent disability from the stroke is that my esophagus was paralyzed and I have to squirt hydration and nutrition thru a tube in my stomach. Because of the time it takes to mix Ensure powder and an electrolyte drink, then squirt it thru my tube 2 ounces at a time, it takes me longer now - about 9 to 10 hours of hiking time and 2 or more hours doing 9 -10 fuel/rest stops. I am only 62. On the trail this year, I met a guy who is 79 and he was doing rim to rim for the 33rd time this year. He said, last year, when he was 78, he did rim to rim 42 times. Because of my tube feeding/drinking, I need to plan ahead and maybe this info will be useful:

LANDMARK WATER TIME DIST CUMUL ELEV
N Rim TrailHd No - - - 8240
Supai Tunnel Yes 40min 2.0mi 2.0mi 6840
Powerhouse Yes 80min 4.0mi 6.0mi 4500
Cotton Campgrnd Yes 30min 1.0mi 7.0mi 4040
"Swamp" No 85min 3.5mi 10.5mi 3240
Phantom Ranch Yes 80min 3.5mi 14.0mi 2480
Creek Crossing No 55min 2.5mi 16.5mi 2900
Indian Garden Yes 85min 2.6mi 19.1mi 3800
3 Mi Resthouse Yes 45min 1.7mi 20.8mi 4340
1-1/2 Mi Rest Yes 45min 1.5mi 22.3mi 5600
South Rim Yes 55min 1.5mi 23.8mi 6860

Rim to rim across the Grand Canyon is a great hike! But, you do need to train. Training at altitude is best. If you are coming from sea level, you should train really hard. I always hike with at least one other person, sometimes with 4 or more. If you can bring a non-hiker to drive the car (and your stuff) around to the other side, you can pack light. We drive to the N. rim, stay overnight, hike N. rim to S. rim on day 2, spend 2 nights on the S. rim, hike S. rim to N. rim on day 4, and drive home day 5. Consuming enough water, electrolytes and carbohydrates is important.
On hiking days, I take in about 4800 calories and almost 3 gallons of water. Trail running sandals work good for me - no black toenails or toe blisters.
rickdavis320@comcast.net
StrokeSurvivor
 

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