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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

it wasn't that hard

Postby gawyn_98 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:15 pm

I did south to north in 11 hours in mid-june '06. The worst part of the trip was the shuttle the day before. Being stuck in a van for 5 hours with some obnoxious doctors from the mayo clinic and whiners from phoenix who thought their 3-day trip across the canyon was epic. When they found out I was doing the rim to rim in a day and was from Florida, they thought I was nuts. I thought they were snobs and couldn't wait to get out of that van.

Anyway, the hike was awesome. Left the south rim via the kaibab at 4:40am(hiker shuttle driver was very nice, as was the ranger-looking guy who was on the bus with me). Got down to the river by 7:40. Reached Cottonwood by 11:45 (whew - hot, but soaked my clothes in the freezing river periodically). The climb up the north canyon was brutal - reached the top around 4pm. If I was in better shape the climb up north would have taken a lot less.

This year I'm considering North to South, spending the night at Maswick, and then South to North to get back to my car - anything but being stuck in the Trans Shuttle with a bunch of posers.
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Rim-to-Rim in the August heat

Postby computingdoc » Mon May 21, 2007 2:07 pm

I was 54 when my (reluctant) wife and I did this classic on a hot, hot day. I heartily recommend this hike to anyone who is willing to train for it. The report is:


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Postby AWH » Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:29 pm

Did my first Rim-to-Rim last week (Oct 10, 2007). NK->BA in 7 hours, 15 minutes!

I chose North Kaibab to Bright Angel, since I could not find overnight accomodations on either rim and I wanted to try and make it to the South Rim in time to catch the 1:30 pm shuttle back to the North. It worked.

Left the North Rim Campground at 4:00 am (Black Diamond Spot headlamp!), walked to the NK trailhead, stopped to adjust equipment/re-tie boots/stretch, and dropped over the rim at 4:18 am. Sun came up at around 6 with enough light to extinguish the headlamp.

Hit Phantom Ranch in under four hours. Pace was mostly around 3.2/3.5 MPH according to GPS watch (Forerunner). Picked up steam to 4 MPH going up BA after the River Trail all the way to Indian Gardens. Slowed a bit from there. Overall average of 3.3 MPH. Over the top at the South Rim at 11:33 am.

Brought 1.5 liters of Gatorade, some trail mix and four GU packs. Re filled water bottles at Phantom Ranch, and half again at Indian Gardens.

Saw very little direct sunlight with this itinerary. First time was at Phantom Ranch. Went away along the River Trail. Got some more near Indian Gardens, but went away again a bit later. Not planned, but very nice.

Weather was near freezing at the start, and in the 60's at Phantom when I went through at 8:15 am. Mid-70's when I finished at the South Rim. I wore convertible pants, a long sleeve Dri-Fit shirt, a thin pullover fleece, a knit cap and cotton gloves. The sleeves got rolled up quickly on the fleece on the way down. The hat and gloves came off at sunup, replaced by a ball cap. At Phantom the pants became shorts, the fleece came off totally and the shirt got the sleeves rolled up. Very comfortable the whole time.

No mules or other people on the way down. On my way back up, I passed three mule trains going down, so little time lost there. I really hate trying to pass a mule train going the same way.

Only issues were a small blister on the left foot and a bigger one under the big toenail on the right foot. I need to try some different socks and more diligent re-tying for the downhills.

No special training except that I am a decent marathon runner (3:45) and stay in very good shape. Just now training for a winter marathon.

Given the completion time, I may consider a rim-to-rim-to rim next spring, after some more training time. Or, at least, Hermit->Tonto->Bright Angel as a dayhike.

--Andy

PS: Many thanks to this site for ideas on logistics.
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Re: Rim-to-Rim in the August heat

Postby great » Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:34 am

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby Stinkycheeseman2 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:42 pm

Couldn't remember my password so now I am Stinkycheeseman2.

We completed that trek back in 2005 going North to South, spending 2 nights on the North rim and going back South to North. Times were pretty good at about 10 hours N2S and 9 hours S2N. I think the person who says he met us was mistaken as we did not have any issues like that.

Went back the following year with a group and did the same hike. Unfortunately I battled pnuemonia a couple of weeks before hand and the trip up the North rim was brutal for me but about the same for everyone else. The best part of the N2S trip was that it rained all night before and most of the day during the hike. We considered skipping it but pressed on and were rewarded by waterfalls coming from everywhere and running creek beds which are normally dry. A couple of crossings were a little dicey but we teamed with others on the trail and made it work. The main creek going down Bright Angel Canyon on the North side was running so heavy you could hear the boulders churning through it. Heard a couple of boulders cut loose on the canyon walls too but nothing came close to us. The hike back N2S was great and I can only attribute it to acclimating on the North rim.

Did Whitney the following year in about 15 hours up and back and it was much more painful than the GC R2R either way. The altitude was tough as we did not acclimate at all. I think we also got dehydrated because unlike the GC you have to be very diligent about drinking as you don't seem to realize the need like you do in the GC where its so much warmer. I also think just spending 15 hours on your fees will wear you out and it did me in.

Went to the GC to do it all again last year and a pretty severe cold front swept in with wind chills on the North rim at minus 10 in mid October. Winds were 70 to 80 mph on the North rim and according the the NWS the highest in recent history. Needless to say we bagged it and went to Vegas instead. We expected the GC would still be there this year and amazingly we appear to be correct. Best rule I have heard is the trek doesn't count if you don't make it back.

Have seen one person die on our very first trip (heart attack) and read the book about everyone else who has died in the GC and its not worth it to take chances. Its a very unforgiving environment. Its always better to over prepare and make sure you are 100% ready. Its always amazing to see how many people are trying to make it up either rim in extreme pain. I have seen wives yelling at their husbands when they couldn't get up, people sitting on the side of the trail crying and the aforementioned tourist from Germany who did not make it out alive. Don't take it lightly.

Going back in a couple of weeks and are preparing now doing 5 to 10 miles in Phoenix each day. Its been 3 years and we are chomping at the bit to get back up there. Its a truly amazing experience.

Good luck to all.
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby Day Hiker » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:39 pm

Cheeseman - Thanks for your report on your Grand Canyon Rim to Rim day hiking activities. Look forward to reading your post about your latest hike. I just reread this thread and I'm compelled to urge anyone thinking about doing this multi-rim Grand Canyon hike to read all of the caveats and suggestions on this forum and the articles on this site before attempting it. Like Half Dome and Mt Whitney, people have gotten in serious trouble doing it - sometimes fatally.
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby fre » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:27 pm

Planning a South Kaibab to North rim in Mid July. Will probably be hot, but we plan to leave around 5:00a.m. to try and limit the amount of time in the heat.

The first time I did an extreme canyon hike was in 2004 with my college buddy. We went in May when it was 100+degrees and did Bright Angel to Phantom ranch and back. Didn't really prepare and I was hurting afterwards. Since then I have done South Kaibab to Tonto to Bright Angel with the wife and also South Kaibab to the river trail to Bright Angel with the wife.

Most recently I did North Kaibab to Bright Angel last September with really nice 70 degree weather because of the overcast. I brought my highschool buddy and he didn't prepare at all even though I told him to. I had been preparing for awhile, running 5 -7 miles three times a week and doing hill runs. Needless to say he made it, but was hurting while I was just cruising. Of course afterwards he said it was one of the coolest things he ever did. It definitely makes the hike more enjoyable when you are prepared though.

On my North to South rim hike I had a 1 gallon camelbak, a poncho, since there was a chance of rain and 4 met rx energy bars (only ate 3). Love my Asics, never have gotten any blisters in them.

Trying to think of a good way to get a decent breakfast that early in the morning, since all the other times we have just waited for the cafeteria to open. Unforntunately, we can't wait this time because of the heat during that time of the year.

It's crazy the people that do what the thread poster did, I can't imagine turning around and doing another 20+ miles. Even though I felt good last time, my feet were still hurting pretty good. Fortunately, I am only a slight masochist, so I don't think that will be in the cards for me.
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby Dave in Syracuse » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:05 pm

Hello to all, and thanks to those of you whose posts on this topic have already provided me with some additional insight into the rigors of the Rim to Rim hike. I'm tentatively planning to go South Rim to North Rim on May 19th, and then back on the following day. (Yes, I have a reservation at the North Rim Lodge, so that important little detail has been taken care of.)

I've previously hiked from the South Rim to River and back (via S. Kaibab) in an afternoon, 2:40 on the descent, twenty minutes looking around at the mouth of the Bright Angel Creek, and then 2:47 on the ascent. Since then, I've been hoping to have the opportunity to do the Rim to Rim to Rim in the course of consecutive days. If I enjoy the over-and-back walk and think it's feasible for me to do so, I'll give some serious consideration to going for a Rim to Rim to Rim in under 24 hours the next time I'm able to get out to the Grand Canyon.

If all goes according to plan this spring, I'll be doing this hike with my nephew (42), who has no "below the Rim" hiking experience at the Grand Canyon, but is reasonably active and currently training for the adventure. We plan on taking our time, with an expectation of starting down the S. Kaibab at about 6:00 a.m. and reaching the N. Kaibab trailhead in the late afternoon.

I have several specific questions in response to which I'd really appreciate anyone's experienced input:

1) What sorts of food and beverage are available for spontaneous purchase at Phantom Ranch? We don't want to have to register in advance for their formal meals (and then have to time our arrival and departure for meal times), but we can travel lighter if Phantom Ranch can serve as a "fast food" stop. Is there stuff there for spontaneous credit card purchase?

2) What's our best bet for avoiding mule trains on the S. Kaibab descent? Is there a timetable of mule departures available that we can see in advance in order to tweak our starting time to avoid getting caught behind a mule train?

3) For those of you who are veterans of the Rim to Rim hike, what is your (honest) average weekly walking and running mileage for, say, the two months prior to the hike? Obviously, it's not easy for those of us in the East to train in venues that match the elevation loss and gain, but I'd love to hear what training mileage some of you veterans have had in preparation.

4) What's your experience with being able to "hitch" a ride from the N. Kaibab trailhead to the N. Rim Lodge in the late afternoon in mid to late May? Should we expect to have to walk the additional distance from the trailhead to the Lodge? If so, how long is that walk, and is it as flat as the maps appear to indicate?

5) How about getting from the N. Rim Lodge back to the trailhead early in the morning on our second (North to South) day? Are there many vehicles (or a shuttle van) heading for the trailhead in the morning?

6) What do the Park Rangers on the South Rim want/expect to know about our hike--if anything? We'll be staying one night in the Maswik Lodge on the 18th, and then leaving our rental car in the parking lot there (for easy access from the Bright Angel trailhead, where we plan to emerge on Thursday evening). Should we be reporting our planned itinerary to the Rangers in advance?

7) How significant are the increased dangers of doing the Rim to Rim solo rather than with at least one other person?

8) Assuming that we're feeling well on the second (North to South) day, how feasible is it to take a detour to Plateau point on the way back up the Bright Angel Trail?

Thanks, in advance, to anyone who'd care to reply in answer to any or all of these questions!

Dave
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Dave's Grand Canyon Rim-Rim-nextdayRim

Postby DayHiker » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Dave,
You appear to have researched your upcoming Grand Canyon Rim-Rim-nextdayRim adventure well ... here are some thoughts:
The mule train has always quickly passed me. As I recall you can buy sports bars and related things at Phantom ranch but probably not sometime I'd bet on. I doubt the shuttle in the morning back to North trail head will be early enough (6am?). It should be ok around 4pm to take you to the lodge. OK to leave your car and not tell ranger what you are doing. In fact if you tell ranger he will tell you not to hike Rim-to-Rim. Regarding hiking by yourself, checking out Plateau Pt on the way back, it depends ...
Best of luck and hope you have a great time! Please post your hiking adventure results.
Thanks,
DayHiker
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby Dave in Syracuse » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:37 am

Wow, DayHiker, that was a prompt reply!

Thanks for the answers! I'll certainly post with a post-hike report--and probably be back with additional questions as they occur to me in the mext couple of months.

Some previous experience with a mule train on Bright Angel Trail makes me think that my typical pace is faster than theirs. I figure our worst-case scenario is that a mule train starts just a few minutes before we do (on S. Kaibab), and we have to creep along behind them as far as Cedar Ridge. That, for me, would detract from the views of the initial part of the descent.

Training mileages, anyone?

Dave
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby fre » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:44 pm

1) I just bring a few energy bars with me, they don't taste the best but for a single day hike, it isn't a big deal to me.

2) I believe they leave around 5a.m., so if you think your pace will be faster, then leave before 5a.m. (4:30ish). Of course that means it will porbably be dark out for the first bit of your hike.

3) Just rim to rim I would say even 3 miles 3 times a week would be enough. With wanting to hike back the next day, I would up the mileage a bit to at least 5. Mix that with some running up flights of stairs or stadium steps and you will be set. I ran 5-7 miles twice a week with a third run being on stairs for 15 minutes or up a short steep hill (1.5 mile) and I was overprepared. I did that for about 2-3months prior, although I was already in decent shape before that. Having said that, I only did one way and didn't hike back the next day. My biggest issue was sore feet, so I could have hiked back muscle and cardio wise, but I think I would be pushing my feet.

4-5) don't know

6) The rangers don't care about what your doing as long as you don't stop to camp without a permit. Just park your car in a valid parking area and you will be fine.

7) There are quite a few people that hike the main corridor trails, so hiking by yourself, as long as you are comfortable with your limits and are well prepared, wouldn't be overly dangerous and many people have done it. Having said that common sense says it is always safer to have somebody else with you, but just like anything, you have to weigh the risks.

8) Plateau point is 1.5 miles or so out of the way (one way) or a total of 3 miles out of the way for the loop from indian garden to plateau point and back. If you you don't mind adding 3 miles onto a hike that's already 24 miles then go for it. It will really depend on how you feel at that point as the hardest part of the hike is that last 4.5 miles after indian gardens.
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby Dave in Syracuse » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:48 am

Thank you, FRE, for your very helpful reply!

I'm impressed by how little training you needed; you must still be under 30. ;-)

I may be erring on the side of caution, but I'm approaching this like training for racing a marathon. I'll have a steady diet of 40+ mile weeks, topping out with a couple weeks in the low 50s (mostly walking, with the 15 miles a week of quality running that my knees allow). I'm walking my training miles much faster (16:00/mile) than I'll do the hike with my nephew, and I've been walking road courses with significant hills all winter. Once the snow is gone, I'll shift my longer walks (12 to 16 miles) onto some trail loops with a lot of elevation gain and loss. Also, I'll be out in Zion in April, which will give me some good hiking on steep trails. (I may even take a stab at my personal best for walking the Angel's Landing ascent: 47:33 from the trailhead sign on the Grotto side of the Virgin River to the top.)

I'm pretty confident that I have the aerobic capacity and muscle endurance to do the Rim to Rim to Rim today. My training is largely motivated by my own concerns about foot-soreness--especially on the second day. I'm hopeful that the 300 miles I put in between now and mid-May will have my feet more than ready for the rigors of the second day.

On another matter that has come to mind: What can you veterans of the Canyon tell be about "the Box" on the N. Kaibab Trail? Specifically, how treacherous is it likely to be in mid-May on our way north at 10:00 a.m. to noon? How tough is it likely to be on the north to south second day, closer to noon?

Dave
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby fre » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:03 am

To answer your first question, I am 29, so just a bit under 30. I do understand as you get older it might take a little more effort to get in shape, but if you are doing 15 miles a week jogging with 40 miles of walking (don't know how you find the time), then you should be more than ready.

As far as how hot it gets in the box area, that depends on the day. The first time I went in may it was around 105 or so down by Phantom Ranch, so it would probably be similar in the box. The first 3-4 miles or so after Phantom Ranch is close wall canyons, so most of it should be in the shade, however the next 4-5 miles is completely open and exposed until you hit the Roaring Springs canyon after the Cottonwood campground.

You could get lucky with an overcast day like I did in September and have a 70-80 degree day, but I wouldn't bet on it. I think heat is one of those things that some people do fine in and others not so well. My wife doesn't cope with heat nearly as well as I do, but there is the Bright Angel Creek all along that area, so you can always cool off there.

I drank a huge 1.5 liter bottle of water the night before our hike last time and drank quite a bit on the way down, even though I wasn't really thirsty. I wanted to make sure I didn't get behind in hydration, because if you hit a really hot/uphill area and are behind on hydration you will have a hard time catching up.
Last edited by fre on Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby Dave in Syracuse » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:59 am

Thanks again, FRE!

Very helpful--and comforting to know that there is access to BA Creek throughout "the Box." I have no problem with slowing down and staying wet the entire five miles if the weather is hot.

Two summers ago I hiked well past Telephone Canyon on the West Rim Trail on a day that was over 100 degrees. I think it was a good six-hours of walking (round-trip), and I carried and drank quite a bit of water. We'll water-up at Phantom and probably be fine even without the wet t-shirt contest along BA.

Just youre reference to "close-wall canyons" gives me the desert hiking fever! I can't wait to get back out there!

I appreciate your information!

Dave
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim Oct. 2004

Postby Dave in Syracuse » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:02 am

[quote="Dave in Syracuse"]

Just youre reference to "close-wall canyons" gives me the desert hiking fever! I can't wait to get back out there!

[/quote]


And I guess the desert hiking fever leads to mis-spellings! Sorry for the extra "e" on "youre," and I should have made it clear that I was in Zion for my longer West Rim Trail hike in summer of 2008. "West Rim Trail" might perplex the Grand Canyon afficionados!

Dave
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