Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rim to Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon


April 13, 2014

The moment I read Liz "Snorkel" Thomas' article Taking trail back from the runners: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim, I knew I wanted take on this challenge. This is classic ultra run for trail runners and at approximately 42 miles, it looked like a very doable day speed hike. When badass hiker Casey "Siesta La Mona" Mangnall told me she was up for joining me on this adventure, I quickly committed to flying directly from the Lowest to Highest Route to Siesta's home in Salt Lake City. From there we drove down to the Grand Canyon.

Siesta and I had met briefly, north of Ashland, on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013. She seemed very cool and her pace impressed me, so I decided to take a chance. I'm glad I did. Our first time hiking together was a 14 hour double traverse of the Grand Canyon.

Route and Details


Siesta led the charge that morning, jogging down hill, plunging into the darkness all the way to the Colorado River. By the time we reached Phantom Ranch, there was plenty of light and temperature rose quickly. The sights were stunning and the red rocks cast long shadows until the sun finally broke free over the tops of the towering cliffs. The climb up to the north rim concluded with an inverted tree line and a beautiful pine forest. It was chilly and I put on my jacket as we broke for some snacks and water.


The shuffle back to the river seemed to go by quickly, but the last climb back to the south rim, that's where I found out how much gas was left in the tank.


I didn't know what time goals to set my for myself for this challenge. I just knew I wanted finish in a single day. I feel pretty good about the time of 13:52. That's right around a 3mph pace. Siesta finished a little bit after. We stuck together until the last climb back up from the Colorado River.



I was really happy to have such a great hiking partner along for this adventure and I hope that we get to hike together again in the future. I also hope to return to the Grand Canyon someday with a better sense of what I can do on a trail of this length and incline.