Grand Canyon planning

DSC04092Above – Grand Teton and Table Mountain, seen from Fred’s Mountain pass

It’s been awhile since if wrote up anything, mostly due to the fact that buying and then setting up a house is way too much work. I am now a homeowner, and now that everything has settled down, I hope to be able to bring some more trips for everyone to read about this summer here and in TrailGroove.

I was able to get out for a few small trips this winter including the Ouray Ice Festival which is always a blast. I also had multiple articles published, including my teton trip, my Utah highline trip, the 4 pass loop, layering in the cold (two parts), and how I put together my first aid kit (and why)! Check them out in Issues 11, 12, and 13.

My first trip of the spring/summer is another trip to the Grand Canyon. The route looks to be around 50 miles of backpacking, plus potentially up 14 miles of additional day hiking if feel up to it. The route is from Hermits Rest to Hermit Rapids, then along the Tonto Trail to the Bright Angel Trail, down to the Colorado River again to cross at the bridges, and then back to the south rim via the South Kaibab Trail.

Apparently the Grand Canyon backcountry rangers aren’t use to people wanting to backpack more than 10 miles a day, and I received multiple warnings from them that I should reconsider my trip. Quoting the email I received from Ranger Welles “The itinerary you proposed is difficult for even the most experienced Grand Canyon backpacker”. I wonder if they are oblivious to the multiple ultra-runners that run the canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim in a day (41-47 miles and over 10k’ of gain, depending on the route)

Last spring I backpacked to the river in 3 hours, and backpacked from the river to the south rim in 5 hours, with energy and time to spare. The only “difficult” day planned this spring is the last day, which is 14 miles and ~5k’ of gain from the river to the rim, which I anticipate taking between 7-8 hours at a mild pace.

After the Grand Canyon, I am planning to meet up with Aaron, the editor and owner of TrailGroove, for some fun in the Arizona Strip and then Canyonlands. We also decided to plan a second trip to the needles section to see Chesler Park in early April too.

As for my plans this year, I am eager to finally backpack the Under-the-rim trail in Bryce Canyon, run my first marathon (The Colfax Marathon), the Wind River Highline trail in Wyoming, and the Wonderland Trail in Washington state. I am also going to try to start section hiking the Colorado trail, which I had planned on doing before my surgery last spring, and throw in some 14ers for taste when I decide I need some altitude. If this summer turns out half as well as last summer, I’ll be ecstatic!

Posted in Planning and Prep, TrailGroove Magazine

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