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#31432 - 05/20/13 11:20 PM Grand Canyon Rim to Rim
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
After months of planning, we finally did it.
My wife, daughter and myself set off early Wednesday morning to meet an Internet Wacko and do a car swap in Barstow Ca. All this to avoid the expense of the trans Canyon shuttle, and more importantly to take our daughter out of school one less day.

It was looking like the whole thing was in jeopardy due to a sailing incident that twisted my left knee pretty good. This was 10 days before the trip.
On top of that, my wife broke her right small toe swimming, 20 days before.
The only one that was in one piece was our 7 year old daughter.
Our spirit was unbroken and we carried on with our plan.

We meet Steve right on schedule. He looked like an honest fellow that I could trust our 99 4Runner with over 200K miles on, with check engine light coming on at times, numerous squeaks and rattles and marginal tires...
After all I was getting a nice VW station wagon in exchange, with only about 100K miles. I was hoping for a brand new Volt...
We were on our way to the North Rim and Steve to the South.

We arrived in time to take a short walk down the trail , just to get a feel for it. My knee with a neoprene brace on was about a C- but I had to do it there was no turning back.

We checked in at the Kaibab Lodge, outside the park and waited for our hiking partners, friends of my wife that took the shuttle from the South side.
To my horror they unloaded 2 monster backpacks with everything in them including the kitchen sink.
This was after back and forth emails between us where we were specific about what to take and what not to.
Our packs were under 15 LBS without water, theirs 35 LBS.
Rain jackets, rain fly, backpack rain cover, day packs...and then some.
They did not want to part with any of it except one day pack and one jacket that we left in Steve's car.
After about 3 beers I felt better about the whole situation.



Morning came and we were at the trail head at 6AM.Temp was in the 30s according to Steve's Car thermometer.
We put everything on that we could, we had little warm clothing.



Using trekking poles made the knee situation better but it was the magnificent Canyon that made me forget about the pain and I started to feel good about the hike.
The views are indescribable, one must go and experience the place for themselves, no pictures or movies or words can do justice.



We were passed by a older fellow that was training for a RIM to RIM to RIM run.
He was 84 years old and was amazed that a 7 year old was doing the hike. It was us that were in awe. Here we are broken knees and broken toes and we're in our 40s.


I made sure that we're stopping every hour or so, depending if we found a shady spot or not. Food and fluids, including electrolytes for everybody.
I also insisted that we change socks and let the wet ones dry outside the pack until the next stop.



We took advantage of every stream crossing to get our shirts and hats wet.
Our daughter had a Chily pad that retain moisture for a long time and cooled her off.



Thanks to JAGC Hiker's advice we took the side trail to Ribbon Falls where we meet Steve for the key exchange.
It was the perfect spot to spend 2 hours while we waited for the sun to go down some and for us to go trough the BOX.



When we left the Falls it was getting cooler and we arrived at the infamous Box with no sun in it.
You could still feel the heat radiating of the rock walls.
Thanks John !

We arrived at Phantom Ranch about 6:30 PM , found a camp site had dinner and went to bed happy that the worst was behind us.
We used a Big Agnes tent, no rain fly, thin fleece blankets homemade with material bought from JoAnn Fabric store, foam t-rest mats.
Looking up at the sky at night was a special treat. We like this desert hiking stuff.
Next day we did a small hike along the river trail, took a dip in the Mighty Colorado River, had lemonade and sent post cards and yes , gasp, I had one beer.
Our daughter took part in 2 Ranger talks and earned a special badge that kids can only get at the Phantom Ranch.
The Phantom Rattler Badge is given to kids that hike or ride a mule to the bottom of the Canyon.
The night came and we fell asleep under the stars again.
The next morning we were on the trail by 6:30.



Going up it's the easy part and we were making good time.
It was not as hot as the first day, still we were getting wet every chance we had.
We had cloud cover the last 3 hours of the hike and even got a few sprinkles.
Eventually our daughter was going faster than the rest of the group. I told here to go at a pace that she's comfortable with and can keep that pace all day in need be.




I had to stay with her, she was passing all kind of hikers, young,old and in between, while talking and counting switchbacks out loud.

Link to a short video where she was going to give me a heart attack.

http://jsclimbs.zenfolio.com/p800649264/e6fa871f2

Her and I topped of at 2PM , Daniela came 30 minutes later, our hiking companions a whole hour later.


It was one of our best hikes and would do it again if we can. I recommended to everyone young and old.
Thanks to Steve for the car swap and to JAGC Hiker for the info about the Canyon and for helping Steve with the car parking. To bad we could not meet at the rim for a beer.
I called but only got your voice mail.
Maybe next time.
If anybody want to go through about 200+ unsorted and unedited pictures here's the linky

http://jsclimbs.zenfolio.com/p800649264

Happy trails,
Julius























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#31433 - 05/21/13 09:07 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Julius S.]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 386
Loc: Reno, NV
I loved your pics and report. I told my wife this morning let's plan on hiking GCR2R next May. I think I'll take a 2 week vacation so I can also stop at Zion Park and probably Las Vegas. Bravo!!! to you, your family, and Steve.

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#31438 - 05/21/13 10:39 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6822
Loc: Fresno, CA
Great report, Julius. That little one is amazing! She's a credit to you and Daniela.

Reno Frank, take a tip from Whitney Fan, who did the crossing last fall: Start your planning now. (I believe Julius did the same thing.) If you don't get lucky and find a car-shuttle option and day-hike like I did, you will need to arrange lodging at both ends, and trail permits. They are all in heavy demand, so the earlier you line things up, the easier it will be.

You will definitely enjoy Grand Canyon.

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#31450 - 05/21/13 03:18 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Steve C]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Julius -- what a TERRIFIC trip report! I loved every part of it. The general narrative (I used to know him when he was a lieutenant), the humor, the pictures, the enthusiasm you displayed (mirroring my own that I had had when doing the hike) . . .

That Internet whacko you met will have a tough time matching your trip report with his. (It's psychology, folks . . . trying to give Steve a challenge!)

And -- YOUR DAUGHTER IS A TERROR! Is she of this earth? Is a Matterhorn summit in her future? Wow.

Got to your report before Steve's picture link. Now I've got your link too.

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#31452 - 05/21/13 03:23 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Whitney Fan]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6822
Loc: Fresno, CA
> It's psychology, folks . . . trying to give Steve a challenge!

Thanks! I've already got writers block. smile

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#31453 - 05/21/13 03:30 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Whitney Fan]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
Julius, a follow-up -- just looked through all your pictures.

Besides being a terror your daughter is as cute as the proverbial button. And your wife looks EXACTLY like the common bond she is between you and your daughter.

Besides being proud of your hike it sure looks like you can be equally as proud of your family.

(I am NOT an Internet whacko! grin

thanks

On to Steve's pictures . . .

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#31454 - 05/21/13 03:55 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Whitney Fan]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
OK, now done looking through Steve's pictures . . .

Steve, don't worry about "writer's block". If you're a little delayed with your trip report, not to worry. You have a pretty nice little report already with your captioned pictures.
The captions were all interesting.

I also enjoyed the diversity in the pictures -- the fauna, the flora, the geology in addition to the usual suspects. ("Another hiker on the trail" -- is that wagga?!)

Interesting also to see part of the South Kaibab Trail, which I hadn't done. And always fun to relive my North Kaibab Trail adventure through both your pictures and Julius'(and the Bright Angel Trail with Julius' pictures).

But you're not as pretty as Julius' daughter! grin

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#31456 - 05/21/13 08:09 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: RenoFrank]
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
I loved your pics and report. I told my wife this morning let's plan on hiking GCR2R next May. I think I'll take a 2 week vacation so I can also stop at Zion Park and probably Las Vegas. Bravo!!! to you, your family, and Steve.


Thanks RenoFrank
Don't take this hike lightly. It is loooooong down hill from the North side. We trained in the local hills in hot weather every chance we had.

If I was to do it again, I would skip the Kaibab Lodge, get to the trail-head around 3PM, and hike in to the Cottonwood Campground. The Kaibab Lodge accommodation were ... on par with camping.... wrong, camping would be less smelly.

Unless you want to do it in a day , like the Super-hikers
(Steve and Whitney Fan), splitting the R2R in 2 or 3 days would give you more time to enjoy the splendor of the Canyon and save your feet and knees.

My wife planned the whole trip including permits and lodging
I'm just the scrawny muscle behind the brain. She did start the processes early on. My brilliant idea was the car swap.

I did notice that a lot of the camp sites at Phantom Ranch were empty, one can wonder if the Park Service holds on to some spots, or there are that many cancellations/ no shows?

My girls are talking already about doing the whole thing in reverse, S to N. another car swap...?
Don't push your luck J



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#31457 - 05/21/13 08:29 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Steve C]
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Great report, Julius. That little one is amazing! She's a credit to you and Daniela.

Reno Frank, take a tip from Whitney Fan, who did the crossing last fall: Start your planning now. (I believe Julius did the same thing.) If you don't get lucky and find a car-shuttle option and day-hike like I did, you will need to arrange lodging at both ends, and trail permits. They are all in heavy demand, so the earlier you line things up, the easier it will be.

You will definitely enjoy Grand Canyon.


Thanks Steve,
I like the Spark Plug reference to our daughter in the picture caption, she's firing on all cylinders, all the time!
Can't wait for your TR
J


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#31458 - 05/21/13 09:08 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Whitney Fan]
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
Originally Posted By: Whitney Fan
Julius -- what a TERRIFIC trip report! I loved every part of it. The general narrative (I used to know him when he was a lieutenant), the humor, the pictures, the enthusiasm you displayed (mirroring my own that I had had when doing the hike) . . .

That Internet whacko you met will have a tough time matching your trip report with his. (It's psychology, folks . . . trying to give Steve a challenge!)

And -- YOUR DAUGHTER IS A TERROR! Is she of this earth? Is a Matterhorn summit in her future? Wow.

Got to your report before Steve's picture link. Now I've got your link too.


Thanks Whitney Fan,
The General turned in to a Major pain in the arse once he was promoted from LT.

Truth be told I would be lost without spell check. I would be like Obama without a teleprompter or W without Cheney
( equal opportunity offender here)...( they are all crooks according to my daughter).
Born behind the Iron Curtain I was lucky not to be immersed in "bilingual education" when I came to this Great Country.
I learned everything I know from books, TV and Mountains.
The more I know Mountains the less I like people... but I digress...
Steve has nothing to worry about.

Matterhorn? Maybe later. This June we're going for Williamson and Tyndall if my knee holds up.
Late July is open for suggestions, vacation time is already booked.
J



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#31469 - 05/22/13 08:49 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Julius S.]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 386
Loc: Reno, NV
Thanks, Julius for the info. I guess I'll try to do a lot of online research. Anyone know if this will work? Arrive at South Rim and camp one night (Where?) Leave car(s)(Where?) Take 7:30 AM shuttle to North Rim arriving at noon. Have lunch somewhere then head down trail and camp one night at Cottonwood Campground. Next day hike down to Bright Angel Campground. The next day hike around near BA Camp. (Should I camp more than 2 nights here? Are there many day hikes in this area so that I would want to camp more nights here?) Next day hike up to South Rim. Camp one night at South Rim (Again not sure where. Can I park and leave my car(s) at a campground on South Rim?)

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#31475 - 05/22/13 10:50 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6822
Loc: Fresno, CA
RF,
I'm not sure how light you are willing to camp, but the spot I used is undeveloped: barely fire circles, no picnic tables. Just parking pull-out areas. But if you are just going to park, sleep, then go, it would be ok. It is on the N. Long Jim Loop road in Tusayan. I saw the S. end of it as I drove through town, too. On the Google map, it is called Fire Road 2607. My Garmin road gps couldn't find the north end turnoff, since it has been recently changed. Map link of turnoff. There are at least a dozen spots to park and camp. This area was practically deserted when I was there. I only saw two others camped there the afternoon I checked it out. Maybe JAGCHiker can report on how heavily it is used during the peak summer season.

You would want to then drive into the GCNP and use their huge parking lots to park your car while you are on the trail. The shuttle people would tell you the best place for parking.

I would think one day at Bright Angel campground would be about enough -- it gets hot down there, but you can play in the stream to cool off. Julius might have ideas. ...and take Julius recommendations for a super-light backpack! You DON'T need warm clothing or sleeping equipment.

If you want, I believe you can contact the concessionaire, and reserve a breakfast (5:30 and 6:30 only) at the Phantom Ranch canteen. Might make for an unusual experience.


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#31485 - 05/22/13 01:30 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Steve C]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 386
Loc: Reno, NV
Steve, I see you slept in your car. Can a person pitch a tent in that area? Do others do that? Good info on parking. I'm guessing the shuttle people deal with that often.

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#31486 - 05/22/13 02:00 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6822
Loc: Fresno, CA
Yes, you can pitch tents there. There were several when I checked it out the afternoon I arrived.

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#31490 - 05/22/13 08:27 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: RenoFrank]
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
Thanks, Julius for the info. I guess I'll try to do a lot of online research. Anyone know if this will work? Arrive at South Rim and camp one night (Where?) Leave car(s)(Where?) Take 7:30 AM shuttle to North Rim arriving at noon. Have lunch somewhere then head down trail and camp one night at Cottonwood Campground. Next day hike down to Bright Angel Campground. The next day hike around near BA Camp. (Should I camp more than 2 nights here? Are there many day hikes in this area so that I would want to camp more nights here?) Next day hike up to South Rim. Camp one night at South Rim (Again not sure where. Can I park and leave my car(s) at a campground on South Rim?)


I'm glad you're thinking about the R2R. It is a must do.
If you're going to use the shuttle be careful. Our friends did not make it to the North side , using the 2PM shuttle until late , maybe 7PM.
If there's an earlier one, 7AM, it would be ideal. You can get dropped of at the Trail head , and hike to Cottonwood in one day. Steve mentioned that some camp sites have no shade. If you're there late, it may not matter.
Early start from Cottonwood will give you time to do Ribbon Falls, get to BA campground, and do the River trail loop . Start with the Black Bridge and return on the Silver Bridge.
We have not done other hikes from BA. I think one night at the bottom would be enough, unless you go with kids and the Ranger talks are a must for the little ones.
The 3rd day hike out and cut a notch in your belt.
I cant give any advice on Camping on the rim. We had a room with a shower.

Just think twice about what to take . Light is right.
I took a water filter that I did not use. Water on the way, and at Ribbon Falls, straight from the source, unfiltered.
Our tent was less than 3LBS, no sleeping bag,and if you get the meals at the Ranch, no stove needed.
I had a MSR Pocket Rocket and a titanium pot, we ate out of the bag and left the insulated mugs at home.
Foam pads will do, the ground is hot, unless you want more cushioning.
Our friends had 3inch thick air mattresses and they sweated against the pad.
Use a cooking scale and cut as much as possible. It will make the hike more enjoyable.
J



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#31522 - 05/24/13 07:58 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Julius S.]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 386
Loc: Reno, NV
My friends want to spend more time in the Canyon. Maybe we'll spend one night at Bright Angel Camp and then make our way over to Horseshoe Mesa and up the Grandview Trail. There must be a spot to camp between Bright Angel and Horseshoe Mesa? And my friends tell me the North Rim "opens" on May 15. What does this mean? Can I not start down from the North Rim before May 15?

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#31523 - 05/24/13 08:42 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 6822
Loc: Fresno, CA
> And my friends tell me the North Rim "opens" on May 15. What does this mean? Can I not start down from the North Rim before May 15?

It is hard to believe, seeing how many people were packed in at the North Rim Lodge last week. But that is what I am told, too. Julius' trip was keyed on the N Rim opening.

But do call: "Backcountry Information Center: (928) 638-7875 between 1 pm and 5 pm Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays" GC contacts

With the popularity of GC, it seems like they would begin allowing access earlier in the year.

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#31547 - 05/26/13 11:03 PM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Steve C]
tif Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 49
Loc: colton, ca
The north rim 'opens' later because it is around 1000' higher than the south rim, and therefore has snow later into the year typically. If I'm not mistaken, the main road into the official north rim area is snowed in until approximately then. Besides that, the lodges and other shops and such don't open until then as well.

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#31850 - 06/15/13 07:46 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: Julius S.]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 623
Loc: OrangeCounty
Julius

I was happy to find your trip report today. I read Steve's yesterday.

You and Steve coordinated this trip beautifully. In my mind, as I read Steve's report, I thought to myself how amazing Steve is for having coordinated such an amazing trip with the meet up to switch the cars and to meet on the trail to trade keys and packing the right gear for a desert trek. After reading your report I realize that Steve is is still an amazing guy but so are you and your family. To make a trip like this happen it simply takes dependable people making a commitment and following the plan.

I like that you described the fleece blankets you took for sleeping instead of taking a bag and that your packs were only 15 lbs without water. I like your tips about stopping every hour to hydrate, eat and change socks. Did the 15 pounds include carrying beer?

You have a beautiful family and a good sense of humor.

I hope toes and knees are healing well.

Thank you for sharing your trip report.

Question for you that I may relay to a co-worker: Is there cell phone service in the canyon?

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#31853 - 06/15/13 09:16 AM Re: Grand Canyon Rim to Rim [Re: lynn-a-roo]
Julius S. Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 45
Loc: Mission Viejo CA.
No beer unfortunately, but they do have it at the Ranch.
At the bottom there was no phone service. A hiker was desperately searching for a way to reach her husband to let him know that she made it OK. He was going to call the Park service if he did not heard from her. Even the staff at the Ranch was unable to help her. They must communicate via radio.
Yes, the car exchange worked great and Steve a fantastic planner.
J


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