Monday, October 18, 2010

Grand Canyon - Rim to Rim

Last Friday I took a quick trip up to one of the 7 Wonders. The Grand Canyon. It really was a quick trip. We left Thursday at 4 pm and got back Friday night at 10 pm. But we did a whole lot... Like, 21 miles.

We set up camp at the top on the South Rim:
After waking up at 3:30, we hit the trail right at 4:30am.
We made it to Bright Angel Campground at the bottom in just under two hours. We really made great time going down.

We found some picnic tables at Phantom Ranch and stopped for about a half hour to eat and recoup.

It was 7 miles from top to bottom, and then from there, it's 14 miles to the top via the North Kaibab Trail... only 14 miles.
Gotta stop the blisters before they start.
We hiked a bit more and stopped to eat again a couple hours later.

About the time we saw this chopper flying through the canyon, we were hoping they had sent it for us... or at least I was.
Cottonwood Campground is the halfway point on the North Kaibab, meaning there's only 7 miles left! I was wishing I hadn't used to much energy coming down the South trail so fast earlier. But the Canyon sure is beautiful.

This is the last picture I took before I died. I had just ran out of water. And it was hot. This is right after the last bridge you go over in the canyon, and from there, it was just steep switchbacks all the way up the last 3 miles or so to the top.
Luckily, there's a water station at about 1.7 miles left. We rested and refilled there before starting the last stretch of switchbacks. But right after we started from there, it started raining. It was falling nice and steady almost the entire rest of the hike out. And it was cold. And miserable. Though I really think the cold that the rain brought helped ease the pain and soreness in my legs. Really. It was kind of a blessing in disguise. But a miserable blessing, because I don't like hiking in cold rain. I was fortunate that I bought myself those new hiking/outdoorsy pants you see me wearing, because they dried super fast when the rain stopped (and here Shirley thought I was dorky for buying those pants).

All in all, it was fun. And though I tell Shirley there's no way I'd ever do it again... I really would. Though next time I would make sure to train much better beforehand. I made it out in 11 hours. Seriously one of the hardest things I've ever done.