Monday, December 29, 2008

Grand Canyon, Day 4

By 5:00am, we were both up. We weren't moving, we weren't looking forward to the task of getting dressed in the freezing cold. The sleeping bags were warm and outside was not. At 6:00am we both bragged to one another how we were able to change out some clothes while still in the sleeping bag. This skill takes much practice! After an hour and half breaking down camp in the dark (and with only one headlamp which Dan got to keep in the tent) we were on our way.

The first part of the hike was the River Trail, aptly named as it followed the cliffs along the Colorado. It was very moderate and a good way to start the day. We could see the sun hitting the upper layers of rock like a spot light thousands of feet above.

After a quick stop for bagels, we followed the trail up along another creek. The riparian landscapes were very pretty. Around 10am we started seeing some people on their way down. They couldn't believe how much warmer it was getting, as they started their days at zero degrees. We didn't notice how much colder it was getting until we got halfway up the trail to the Indian Garden Campground. At this point we were hoping for a sunny spot for lunch, but the ranger said we wouldn't see sun again until we got to the rim. He was right. The shady high canyon walls were cold and we kept stopping to put more layers on and minutes later stopping to take them off because it got steep and we were working hard.

The last 4 miles of the trail (9.7 overall) were very steep and full of icy switchbacks. Our microspikes were awesome and we didn't even slip. 6 hours and 40 minutes after we set off on our adventure we topped out at the South Rim. It was very sunny and relatively warm. After a good stretch and some munchies, we hit the road. We made it as far as Kingman, AZ (right on the CA/NV/AZ border) and called it a night after long showers and steak dinners.

1 comment:

Brian said...


No, seriously, wow. You guys rock.