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Monday, June 2, 2014

Grand Canyon Part 5

Part 1
Part 2 + Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Let's back up for a minute, shall we? Now that I've established that no one fell off a cliff or got fatally bit by a rattlesnake you won't mind that I drag this out for another month or so, right? (Don't worry. I am going to try to wrap this shit up this week, because there are other things I want to blog about, dammit)!

I'm going to spend a little time talking about the Rim to Rim to Rim, for those of you who aren't very familiar with it. I just jumped right into these recaps, under the assumption that you:
1. had done the research
2. prepped for the trip like we had
3. had a boyfriend who had done it before, so you knew all about it!

Sorry, that was dumb and irresponsible of me. Although, probably not as irresponsible as not doing ENOUGH research beforehand.

So, if you'd done the R2R2R before or know all about it, then you probably want to just skim the post for pics and then exit. Back to the recaps tomorrow, folks!
The Grand Canyon from the South Rim

The Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim (aka R2R2R and double crossing) is crossing the grand canyon from one rim to the other and then turning around and going back to where you started. We started at the South Rim. Why? Because that's what The KoB said to do (and logistically, it just made more sense for us to fly into Phoenix and drive up). Depending on the route you take, the whole R2R2R is 42-46 miles. 

Our route choice was the longer*, but less steep 46ish mile distance. 
A deceptive elevation profile map of 
The South Rim to the North Rim
In Greek Meters.

It wasn't a race or even an "organized" group event. The water "stops" that I refer to are just water spigots that are along the trail for hikers, campers, runners, etc to use while on the trail! Those water sources are a true luxury and I am grateful to those associated with the National Parks who made them possible!

The day before.
Awww... look how clueless and overconfident I was.

The main water "stops" along the way from the South Rim to the North Rim and their mileages (roughly, I think) are:

Bright Angel Trail head to Indian Garden- ~ 5 miles in
Phantom Ranch ~ 10 miles in
Cottonwood Campground ~ 16 miles in
Pumphouse ~ 17.6 miles in
Supai Tunnel ~ 21.3 miles in
North Rim ~ 23 miles

Elevation (and if your eyes weren't glazed over  yet... now they will be...)
Bright Angel Trailhead: 6,860 feet
Phantom Ranch: 2,546 feet
Cottonwood Campground: 4,080 feet
Pumphouse: 4,600 feet
Supai Tunnel: 6,800 feet
North Rim: 8,241 feet

So much, vert, bro.

The KoB got a little frustrated with us during and after whenever one of us would say... "wow, I didn't realize there was so much elevation in such a short amount of time." He would sigh loudly, and say... I gave you a topographical map. Does anyone know how to read a topographical map?" NOT EVERYONE IS AN EAGLE SCOUT, KoB!!! 

Plus, I mean.. sure, I had looked at it. But, for chrissakes, I had done a little bit of climbing before:

From my Garmin in 2010 when I "paced" my friend
Craig during his Squaw Peak 50 miler.
I also did not really look at the elevation profile before that trip either.

But, ummm... 17 miles, with the last 10 miles downhill... ummm.. not a good comparison. !

Seriously... shit was real.

There were TONS of people on the trail. More than I imagined. Not so many that you were annoyed, but so many, that you never felt really alone. A lot of people were just doing the Rim to Rim, but we also ran into quite a few that were doing the Rim to Rim to Rim.
All business.

The trails are graded as steep as a donkey will tolerate. So, there are a helluva lot of switchbacks up the rims. And it's so deceiving while you are hiking, because you look up and you think you see the top. But, BUZZKILL... it's not the fucking top. You are NEVER getting to the fucking top. Well, eventually you do, but it's not when you think it is. 

Okay... hopefully this is a semi-informative recap of the trail. And if not... well... sorry.

*If there is a route that requires MORE mileage. The KoB will pick it every damn time. Swoon. 

ETA: Thanks to Melissa for pointing out that the word is spigot (not spicket, as I had thought/pronounced all my life). Learn something new everyday!

1 comment:

Carina said...

Lightbulbs for readers around the globe just clicked on! Thanks! When you'd said you saw others and they'd asked you about what time you'd started, I was guessing that it wasn't an organized mass start, but it still wasn't quite clicking. As for the elevation, yeah, those numbers are very hard for me to envision as someone who rarely sees a total change of over 500 feet over the course of many, many miles. Almost like jurors throwing extra zeroes onto an award -- just random numbers, totally meaningless it seems! But I am guessing you felt every single foot/meter...