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Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Whitney Fan #26641 08/07/12 03:03 PM
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WhitneyFan,

My group is doing similar hike as yours but next year labor day weekend and staying at Phantom Ranch for a night before exiting south rim via BA trail. I'm sure the logistics you have worked out will be very useful to anyone planning R2R hike.

Good luck for your october trip.

Thanks,
Stalin

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Stalin #26664 08/07/12 09:51 PM
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How'd you get resys at Phantom Ranch? I've been unsuccessful.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
RenoFrank #26666 08/07/12 09:59 PM
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Are you guys referring to the cabins at Phantom Ranch, or to camping at Bright Angel Campground (in the same area as Phantom Ranch)?

I got a permit to stay in the campground fairly easily with some advance planning. It does fill up very quickly, but if you make sure to get your permit application in early on the first day you can, and also have backup dates you should get something.

I don't have any experience with reserving cabins at Phantom Ranch proper, so can't help you there. I do hear it gets booked well in advance though.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
RenoFrank #26747 08/09/12 03:04 PM
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Phantom Ranch has both cabin lodging mainly for mule riders, as well dorms for hikers with separate rooms for male and female. They carry only 10 beds per gender so spots gets booked soon as soon as the window opens up.

Yes I was lucky to get my call through on Aug 1st 6am Pacific from sunny bay area, after getting repeated busy lines, to reserve spots on labor day weekend FOR next year.

Btw, I kept calling from 3 mobile phones and a landline, hoping that one would get through. Apparently, got lucky with landline.

Stalin

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Stalin #26750 08/09/12 03:18 PM
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Oh, that's right - I totally forgot about the dorm option. Good deal - no need to carry the added weight of overnight gear.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
jmthiker #26952 08/14/12 10:39 AM
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wholly cow- this is quite an informative thread. I havent had the chance to sit down, write down notes, and digest it quite yet. I am half tempted to hike with a tent rather then hotel it, but that might change as I really think it through with the extra weight it would require.

Thank you all, great insight but it needs a through read through and a little computer research. Logistics logistics logistics


_m

*just a friendly southern cali girl with a monkey on her back where ever life takes her*
Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
jmthiker #27028 08/16/12 07:29 PM
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Hi,

What is the difficulty of single day rim-to-rim versus a day hike of Whitney?

Steve,

What happened to the attempt to do three round trips on Whitney in a single day? I saw in the Portal Store that an ultra marathoner did two round trips in 6.5 hours ? Some people are very remarkable

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
BayAreaDoug #27030 08/17/12 12:40 AM
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> What happened to the attempt to do three round trips on Whitney in a single day? I saw in the Portal Store that an ultra marathoner did two round trips in 6.5 hours ?


The 3x Whitney Main Trail attempt stopped at 2X. They started in the evening, after being awake all day, and were too tired after 2x on no sleep.

They talked of trying again, but starting after first getting sleep. I don't understand why they are concentrating on the Main Trail. Doing 3x via the Mountaineers Route would be easier.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Steve C #27048 08/17/12 09:39 PM
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Interesting question re: difficulty of rim to rim vs. Mt. Whitney main trail in a day.

It's been discussed before, and I can't remember what the results were (and am too lazy to research it) -- but I tend to think the answers skewed toward Mt. Whitney.

I'll have my own personal feeling about this after I do my rim to rim hike on October 3.

At face value . . . 22 miles round trip for Mt. Whitney vs. 24 for rim to rim (North Kaibab & Bright Angel trails). 6,100 feet elevation gain for Mt. Whitney vs. about 4,500 (after going down about 6,000) for rim to rim. Lower elevations for rim to rim (highest about 8,100 vs. the 14,500 for Whitney). But going UP at the END instead of the beginning for rim to rim (I'm quite interested in what THAT will be like -- it's 15 miles and about 6,000 feet down before then going another 10 miles up some 4,500 feet).

(All the above is predicated on a rim to rim hike in reasonable temperatures -- May or late September/early October. Throw in hellish heat at other times for the rim to rim and the answer might well be rim to rim.)

Is my memory correct that the predominant viewpoint is that Whitney is a little harder? Folks?

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Whitney Fan #27056 08/18/12 09:23 AM
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I second that. It all comes down to handling heat vs. altitude. I lean towards altitude as heat can be circumvented by hiking out in the evenings.

Stalin

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Stalin #27057 08/18/12 09:34 AM
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I've done both, and no question about it: Whitney is more difficult. You do make a good point about finishing up hill, which I feel makes your hydration and nutrition more important. While on Whitney, gravity is your friend, and you can sort of "coast" home, not the case with the Rim to Rim. Here, you mush have something left in your tank. Hence the need for proper nutrition and Hydration.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
John Sims #27059 08/18/12 02:02 PM
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For me Whitney via the Main trail takes 2 to 2.5 hours longer to do the round-trip than do go from the South Rim to the North Rim via South Kaibab/North Kaibab, and that's with the side trip to Ribbon Falls on the North Kaibab trail. Whitney also feels a lot harder because of the higher elevation.

If you do the hike, don't miss Ribbon Falls - it's just a short hike from the main trail and it's really beautiful.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
KathyW #27061 08/18/12 07:23 PM
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KathyW, that's interesting about your observation that the Whitney hike is 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer. It's interesting because that sort of meshes beautifully with my estimate for the time it will take me to do the canyon hike. I'd posted way above my time for the Whitney round trip . . . 4:00 AM to 6:42 PM (with a hour and 5 minutes on the summit), or 14 hours and 42 minutes. Subtracting 2 or 2 1/2 hours from that gives either 12 hours and and 42 minutes or 12 hours and 12 minutes.

My canyon estimate (again, posted earlier) is leaving at 6:00 AM and finishing NLT than 7:30 PM -- or 13 1/2 hours. So, actually, perhaps I've estimated too conservatively? I'd been "on the bubble" about doing the side trip to Roaring Springs, and hadn't really considered Ribbon Falls -- but perhaps I should schedule these in.

Please tell me -- did you actually do this hike (down the North Kaibab, up the Bright Angel)? What were your exact times as far as start and finish? And did that hike include both Roaring Springs and Ribbon Falls, or just what exactly?

Thanks!

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Whitney Fan #27074 08/19/12 06:31 PM
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Whitney Fan- I did this hike last year- North Kaibab and up Bright Angel. It took us 11 hours, and that did include a side trip down by Phantom Ranch to take a little dip in the Colorado River. I am normally around 12 hours round trip on Whitney Main trail including time at the summit.

This is a great hike, I know you will have a lot of fun!

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Whitney Fan #27075 08/19/12 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: Whitney Fan
KathyW, that's interesting about your observation that the Whitney hike is 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer. It's interesting because that sort of meshes beautifully with my estimate for the time it will take me to do the canyon hike. I'd posted way above my time for the Whitney round trip . . . 4:00 AM to 6:42 PM (with a hour and 5 minutes on the summit), or 14 hours and 42 minutes. Subtracting 2 or 2 1/2 hours from that gives either 12 hours and and 42 minutes or 12 hours and 12 minutes.

My canyon estimate (again, posted earlier) is leaving at 6:00 AM and finishing NLT than 7:30 PM -- or 13 1/2 hours. So, actually, perhaps I've estimated too conservatively? I'd been "on the bubble" about doing the side trip to Roaring Springs, and hadn't really considered Ribbon Falls -- but perhaps I should schedule these in.

Please tell me -- did you actually do this hike (down the North Kaibab, up the Bright Angel)? What were your exact times as far as start and finish? And did that hike include both Roaring Springs and Ribbon Falls, or just what exactly?

Thanks!


All three of my hikes up the N. Kaibab trail have included the side trip to Ribbon Falls (It's just 1/2 mile round-trip and very beautiful - also, if you hit that area when it's hot out you can go under the falls and cool off). I never left the main N. Kaibab trail at roaring springs, but looking back I wish I had gone to see the water gushing out of the cliffs.

Whitney day hikes have taken me between 13 and 13.5 hours round-trip, but I don't spend anymore than 30 minutes on top. I'm a slow steady hiker, and then just a slow hiker once I get over 10,000' elevation.

The Grand Canyon hikes started with a day hike down the S. Kaibab and up the Bright Angel Trail a few years ago - that took me 8 hours. Since then I've done 3 R2R2R hikes.

The first one was an overnighter. We went down the S. Kaibab starting at about 5:30 or 6 am and got to the N. Kaibab 11 hours later. We stayed overnight at the N Rim and hiked back down the N. Kaibab and up the Bright Angel the next day - I believe it took about 11 hours to hike back on the second day; so 22 hours total for both ways.

The second time I did it in a day (sort of). I went down the Bright Angel at night (around 8 pm) and then up the N. Kaibab, and then turned right around and went down the N. Kiabab and up the Bright Angel Trail. Surprisingly enough it took about 11 hours to get to the N. Kaibab that time too even though it was a longer route, but I really slowed down on the way back up the Bright Angel Trail (I like the S. Kaibab a lot better than the Bright Angel Trail), and it took me 15 hours to get back; so a total of 26 hours to do the 48 miles using the Bright Angel both ways.

Then I had to go back again because I hadn't done it in under 24 hours; so I couldn't call it a day hike. So, last October I started in the afternoon around 3:30 pm and went down the S. Kaibab Trail and reached the N. Kaibab Trail 11 hours later. I turned around and went back down right away, but it was still dark when I got to Ribbon Falls; so I had to wait about 45 minutes for it to get light enough for the side trip to Ribbon Falls. I just can't see doing that hike without going to Ribbon Falls because it's so beautiful. I went back up the S. Kaibab that trip and made it back to the S. Kaibab Trail in just under 24 hours - that version was 42.5 miles.

Both times I did the R2R2R hikes in one stretch, I just drove there and started hiking without getting any sleep. I don't sleep real well the night before a big hike; so I'm better off just waiting to sleep after the hike. I'm done now with R2R2R trips.

Also, October is a really nice time to do the hike - the N. Rim facilities close down in mid-October; so you have to keep that in mind.

For my next Grand Canyon trip, I want to do the Deer Springs/Thunder River Lollipop loop (as a backpacking trip), but I didn't get the days I requested for mid-October this year. I'm going to expand my request to include days as late as early November and see if I can get a permit for this year. If not this fall, I'll try for the spring.

Tips: Pack real food or arrange for a sack lunch you can pick up at Phantom Ranch - It's just not the kind of hike you can do on just goop and jell. It can be very hot in "The Box" between Phantom Ranch and Cottonwood; so hydrate well before that section. It can be really cold and windy at the N. Rim; so don't forget some light gloves, a warm hat, and some kind of jacket or warm layer to put on. Go down the S. Kaibab it's prettier and shorter.




Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
KathyW #27571 09/08/12 01:45 PM
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In the spirit -- again -- of documenting in this thread the planning and preparation for the planned October 3 day hike (and an actual trip report later will be posted in the "Trip Reports" section) . . .

This last week I called the El Tovar Lodge on the South Rim to make 8:30 PM October 3 dinner reservations. (Estimated completion of rim to rim at NLT 7:30 PM.) The El Tovar Lodge is the Grand Canyon version of Yosemite's Ahwahnee, and reservations well in advance for dining there are advised. (Whether that is REALLY so or not I'm not sure, but it didn't hurt to take that advice at face value.)

Sooooo . . . if your restaurant meals are important when you do the rim to rim, just another possible tip for you. (I told the gal on the phone that I would be completing a rim to rim just prior to my planned dining time and that my 8:30 PM request was my best estimate. I told her that if after 15 minutes past that time I still had not shown up, nor had called to alert of a delay, that I was likely way longer in my hike than I'd estimated -- and to go ahead and cancel my reservation if other diners were slamming the place and they couldn't hold it.)

Otherwise, at this point only 3 1/2 weeks away from the trip . . . all remaining "to do's" are on my calendar to do at the appropriate time (and I'll note them here when they come up.)

Physical training as described elsewhere earlier in the thread has been going along nicely (and strenuously). 22 mile hikes, up and down my condo stairs 150 times, 3 mile runs all with the 20 pound backpack on me now. Taint' necessarily "fun", but as it is said, there is no gain without pain. I'm sure -- just like when I'd day hiked the Whitney main trail -- that NOT going through this regimen would make the upcoming hike much less enjoyable, if not actually jeopardizing it's hoped for success.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Whitney Fan #27616 09/10/12 12:14 PM
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Good Luck, Whitney Fan! Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

Looking forward to a report and some pictures. ...including the lodging/dining facilities, if you can.

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
monkie onmy back #27678 09/12/12 01:29 PM
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still set for 10-01-12 hike
was hoping for cancellations on the prior weekend so I might adjust my shuttle/hotel reservations and complete the hike on the weekend, but none yet (at least when I have checked)

this should go better than my whitney day hike attempts (twice in August 2012) - turned back both time by altitude issues

first attempt was with two others that followed the same limited acclimitization, they had no issues and summited, met me back at trail camp and we finished the hike - I stopped a short distance up the switchbacks

second attempt solo, with a greater effort to acclimatize, but still didn't pan out, had some issues of concern approx. one mile out from the summit, headed back to trail crest and down

it seems I may be a bit sensitive on this altitude issue, now considering a backpack trip from a location other than the portal rather than dayhike

will try to collect a few pics along the way

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
sssss #27680 09/12/12 01:53 PM
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sssss: There is a very good thread on AMS and suggestions here:
    Altitude Sickness Trip Report and Re-Attempt Questions
If you have any comments or questions, please do post them in that thread.

Best of luck on your Grand Canyon hike. Looking forward to a trip report!

Re: Grand Canyon- Rim to Rim interest?
Steve C #27808 09/17/12 05:08 PM
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Sooo . . . more "to do" things accomplished pre-actual trip.

I plan on waking up at 4:15 AM for my planned 6:00 AM trailhead start. (Besides the "getting up" routine there will be some time for eats of some kind or another and then you have to allow 15 minutes or so to get to the North Kaibab trailhead from the Grand Canyon Lodge.) On Sunday I set my alarm at 8:30 AM and will be backing that up 15 minutes each day (which neatly aligns with 4:15 AM for October 3.)

Why? Just another planning incidental, and many likely have also discovered this. I am a creature of the night both by predisposition, being retired, and living in the capital of hedonism. I typically am up to anywhere from 2:00 AM to 5:00 AM in the morning and get up anywhere from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Now -- if I kept THAT up until October 3, don't think it would help with regard to that planned 4:15 AM up time. Thus my alarm clock machinations -- that worked well for my Whitney day hike back in '04 (when I had to get up even earlier for a planned 4:00 AM trailhead start).

And today I called both Forever Resorts (Grand Canyon Lodge) and Xanterra (Bright Angel Lodge) to re-confirm my sleeping reservations there. Both reservations were made WAY last year and no communication had been made about them since then -- prudent to ensure things in order.

Finally, I also today confirmed the number for search and rescue. (928) 638-7805 was the number given to me by both a gal at Xanterra AND the Grand Canyon Backcountry Information Office as the one appropriate to call should any emergency need attention.

An email will go to a loved one tonight with that # along with planned itinerary information, physical and car description, and instructions to call that # if I don't call her by 10:30 PM (3 hours after my estimated NLT finish to my hike). Hopefully a standard pre-hike preparation for anyone, especially hiking alone. Although I expect -- like the Whitney Main Trail -- to run into many people, the length of the hike and potential dangers justify making the "what if" preparations.

Between some chow before hiking and a nice meal after it at the El Tovar, I'm thinking 5 Cliff bars (about 1,200 calories) will be enough for me on the hike (YMMV). Bought those over the weekend and still have to buy 4 20 oz. Gatorades -- that may be all I'll need (again, YMMV) especially with multiple water sources on the trail.

Only a few more "to do's" left which I'll post here again when accomplished. Then, as previously stated, the trip report itself will go into that section on the board.

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