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Grand Canyon R2R2R October 10-11, 2009

 
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Winston



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject: Grand Canyon R2R2R October 10-11, 2009  Reply with quote

I arrived at the North Rim on the 9th and checked into my motel room, which I was able to get a few days before.  If you are having a hard time getting a reservation for a room at the North Rim, I'd recommend checking 2-3 days before your desired date for cancellations.  I noticed that rooms would always be available online for the following 2-3 days after the current day, due to cancellations I'm guessing.

Drove to the North Kaibab Trail parking lot at about 7am the following morning, later than I was hoping to start, and barely snagged a parking spot on the side of the road.  The lot is not very big.  Took North Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River and then took Bright Angel Trail up to the South Rim.  

Shortly after starting the hike, I came across a baby dear and its mom on the trail.


North Kaibab proceeds down a side canyon for many miles.  View from Cocino Overlook.


The last portion of North Kiabab goes through a narrow canyon.


View of the Colorado River from the middle of Silver Bridge.


There's a mine shortly after crossing the river that I didn't explore.  Since I started relatively late, I didn't want to take any detours.  Might check it out the next time I'm here.


Bright Angel Trail was much more crowded than North Kaibab, especially as I got closer to the top.  View from near Bright Angel Trail close to South Rim.


I ended up hiking about 24 miles with 5000' gain/6000' loss in 8hr 45min, much faster than I was expecting.  Got to the South Rim just before 4pm, which was perfect, because check in at my room at the South Rim was after 4.

Started my hike back via South Kaibab Trail and North Kaibab Trail the following morning at about 6:15am, so I was able to catch the sunrise on the way down South Kaibab Trail.


Saw a squirrel in the bottom third of South Kaibab.


Saw four deer at Phantom Ranch.


Back up North Kaibab.


Got back to my car around 3:40pm, so it took about 9hr 30 minutes to hike 21 miles with 6000' gain/5000' loss.  As I was leaving the park, I came across a herd of about 80 bison just before the ticket booth.  Lots of baby bison with the adults.
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<3 <3 <3 Snow


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome! nice photos, like the bison.

so would you suggest doing it this way, 2 days / 1 night starting from the North rim?

how tough was it?
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lilbitmo
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Location: Orange County

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:25 pm    Post subject: Grand Canyon Reply with quote

Nice work Winston, great pictures.

Anytime you can hike the GC it's just something special.

How hard was it to get going the second morning? Knowing that the north rim is so much higher than the south rim it had to be daunting?

Thanks for sharing.

October is the time of year that I went Rim to Rim two years ago and it was still hot at Phantom Ranch all the way thru the lower elevations down there, didn't start getting cooler until we reach 1,500 feet below the north rim.

Very Happy
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Winston



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you can start from either rim; it doesn't matter that much.  However, you can leave your car at the North Kaibab Trailhead, so if you can't get a room on the North Rim, you can just park there if you can find a space at the lot.  Not sure that is possible on the South Rim, although there's a pretty good shuttle system that probably can take you from the parking lot to the trailhead.  It's much quiter at the North Rim too.  South Rim was busy as a county fair, just crowds of people along the rim.  There are more dining options at the South Rim too, so that was nice after the first day.

I'd recommend taking South Kaibab down because it follows a ridge down, rather than a side canyon, and you get expansive views of the main canyon for much of the hike.  But it doesn't have water.  That wasn't an issue for me though, since I carried 8L of fluids the first day (extra 2L sports drink for the next day), and 6L the second.  Didn't drink more than 5L the first day, and even less the second.

If you want to see the bison, I'm not sure they roam around the South Rim.  There were huge meadows along the road on the North Rim, so you probably have a decent chance of seeing them there.  I saw them around 4pm.

I'd recommend doing it over 2 days if you haven't done it before.  This was my first time, so I didn't want to hike at night so that I could actually see everything.  R2R2R in one day is possible, but I think it would require lots of hiking in the night.  The hikes themselves were not that hard, but the weather conditions were very good.  Lows at the North Rim were in the low to mid 30's, and the highs at the bottom were in the 80's or so.  I was expecting it to be a lot tougher, but I finished both legs in under 10 hours.  There's a really long flat section at the bottom where you can take it easy, and the steepest portions maybe gained 800'/mile.
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Winston



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I felt good the next morning, but my feet started to hurt and I felt soreness in my legs about 5-6 miles into South Kaibab.  I started popping ibuprofen and acetominophen at about that time.  I definitely went slower on day 2, due to the soreness, but still made decent time.  I actually felt great during the climb up North Kaibab.  I think the impact on my feet and legs from the descent was what my body didn't like.  The uphill portion was much gentler in that regard.  

Weather was good for my trip.  I only felt hot when I was directly under he sun.  Going up North Kaibab on the way back was nice because much of it was shaded.
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Elwood
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Location: Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful, beautiful, and did I forget to mention beautiful?
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Taco
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool!!!
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rockboy



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Location: Riverside, CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unbelievable hike - very cool.  I have done the S Kaibab - what a great trail, much better than Bright Angel.
Now I have something else for my list.  Thanks!
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edenooch



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Location: Eagle rock

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool Exclamation

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