Saturday, June 5, 2010

Crossing the Grand Canyon, Rim to Rim to Rim

It's getting close.  As you can see from the picture above, I've started the panic purchasing, wondering all what I will need.  One thing you don't want to do, and I am doing, is to try stuff during the event, for the first time.  A couple items in this pile will be new, including all the gel, goo packs.  Also the Hammer powder, before, during and after.  I love the marketing on it...:-)  Before is Heed, during is Perpetuem, and after is Recoverite.  What do you imagine when you hear those names??!

Actually, today is an important day.  I'm late, but I think it's still okay.  I'm shipping some of the above and clothes to the South Rim, El Tovar hotel.  We couldn't get a reservation there, but we stayed there before.  It's a totally awesome historic hotel, on the South Rim.  They said they would receive our package and keep it, and we can pick it up from the bell stand when we arrive.  We're starting from the North Rim next Friday, so I need it there by Friday and I am shipping Saturday, today.

Getting There
I'm flying in to Denver Wednesday night, and we'll drive down to the North Rim on Thursday.  It's quite a drive.  I think in the order of 10-12 hours, but most of it is incredibly beautiful scenery, and it's great catching up, and relaxing time, with my best friend.  I'm really looking forward to that.  We stay in the cabins at the North Rim, and eat at the Lodge, an amazing building, right on the edge of the Grand Canyon, so you can eat and look out at the Canyon, as the sun sets.  One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life.

Photo from the National Park Service
The hike
Here's where the fun begins.  We have done this hike before.  It's a big hike.  Basically all day.  Last time we took a particularly slow pace, with a really fun break at a waterfall.  The hike took 12 hours, almost exactly.  This time I am thinking it will be closer to 9-10 hours.  I think 9 hours would be pretty quick, so 10 hours is maybe closer.  We will see.  So, the hitch this time, is we are going in summer.  We've been watching the weather, and Phantom Ranch is showing 108 degrees for the high.  Youch.

There's stuff we can do, to minimize the impact, the most interesting is to adjust our start time.  Last time we started at 5 am and finished at 5 pm.  I am thinking if we start around 3 am we will be passing Phantom ranch at breakfast time, like 8-9 am and out around 12 or 1 pm.  My guess, Phantom Ranch will still be in the 80's when we make it through.  Also, we will have a new moon.  I think that's a euphemism for no moon.  :-)  Last time we used headlights.  We maybe didn't need them, but we will this time, for sure.  Aside from that, I'll wear a hat and a soaked bandanna around my neck.  Drink lots of water, salt, potassium (as shown above...)  There's water about every 4-5 miles, so that's nice.  It'll be great.

The other trick is the return is obviously the same distance, but the North Rim is about 8,000 foot elevation, and the South is about 7,000 feet.  It's not a huge difference, but after hiking 20 some miles, adding another 1,000 feet is a bit of a doozie. 

Jib Jab
I gotta get my stuff in the mail.  More later.  Stinson Beach this weekend, Seattle Monday Tuesday, Denver Wednesday, Grand Canyon Thurs-Sun, Monday Denver to SF, Tuesday-Friday Chicago.  Busy days ahead.

Photos of the Canyon I got from here.
The park's Digital Photo Archive contains 100 public domain photographs from Grand Canyon National Park that may be selected from a thumbnail gallery - then downloaded (4x6 inches @ 300 dpi)


  1. don't go without me next time

  2. Tim - Wow! You've posted some terrific photos from your GC trip! What an incredibly fabulous time you must have had!

    How are those Mojo bars? And which of the electolyte boosting products did you feel worked best? Or were all of the "fitness" products basically the same, suggesting the most important criteria was simply a matter of taste (i.e. a personal preference for "bread" flavoring v. "coconut"?)


  3. Sorry about the typo. I actually meant to say "electrolyte" above (not "electolyte.")


  4. Hi Tammy! Thanks for the comments! It is an incredible trip. Kinda fun for me to read my before comments, after-the-fact. I'll do another post with some pictures from the trip soon. Geez, what a great time....sigh.

    Mojo bars are great!! Salty and sweet, and seemed very tasty, not so woody, as some of them are. On the electrolyte stuff, I ran across a number of folks suggesting the Hammer products, so when I was at REI, I found it. They do this before, during and after product. I used the before and during...the during is that yeasty tasting stuff. Actually, I think it all was good. I think the key was keeping the calories and water coming, the whole time, and not waiting till I was hungry or thirsty. The other thing that I think was really helpful was taking Advil as a preventative. I think it keeps swelling down, and takes down any pain.

    Anyways, still can't stop thinking about an awesome trip...