My blog is a description of my activities and experiences I have had.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010
Trail Running in the Grand Canyon. Oct 09
Trail Running in the Grand Canyon. Oct 09
Four of us started at the South Kaibab trail head at 4:15 am for our descent into the GC. At the trail head was two vans full of people getting ready to cross the GC to the North rim. Down we go jogging along staring at the ground in the beam of our head lamp. As we descend the three other pull away. I see rock on one side and nothing on the other. After a bit, they are waiting as I catch up. I let them know that my night vision is not very good and not to worry, I will be along. As we run again I am eating there dust so I do not mind them being a little faster. I see their head lamps ahead as I run down the trail. The only other thing that changes as I descend is, once I am close to the bottom, I hear the river. I can not see it until I am on the Black bridge that crosses to the North side. The sky is starting to get lighter now and before I know it I am at Phantom ranch. I meet the group again, refill water. We are now running on the North Kaibab trail toward the North rim. It is light enough for running with out our head lamp. We pass through box canyon, a steep wall canyon with five bridges across the creek. We come to Cottonwood camp ground next. Most of the gang fills up water; I grab my pb&j and start walking with Seattle Dave. The other catches up after awhile as the terrain opens up. We are slowly climbing toward the N rim. Roaring springs is the next water stop. Mike takes the lead from here as we follow along. We are in the switch backs now as we rise upward. This starts the section of walking for us from here on out. Phoenix Dave and I pull ahead and work our way upward. One last water stop two miles before the N rim. I like this section the best. We arrive at the N rim at 10:15. Take a photo and start the long run back down to Phantom ranch. We are retracing the route we came up. I run most of the descent to PR arriving at 1:00. This is great trail running. There are great views and perfect trail conditions. I pass many people hiking in this section. There are a few groups of rim 2 rim runners and hikers. Highlights of this N Kaibab trail were, I was running along and caught up with a mule deer on the trail. He started running in front of me for a little while. It was incredible to run through layers of different type of rock. You realize how deep the GC is after going from the top to bottom and back up. I eat my last pb&j as I walk out of PR. The temp in the shade is 86. Running over the silver bridge leads me to the S side of the canyon and up the Bright Angel trail. I have to wait once over the bridge for two groups of people on burros. The burros leave a lovely odor on the trail. I hit a sandy beach like section of trail that I am able to run. The trail is in rough condition due to the burro traffic. I walk most of the trail from here on out to the S rim. The trail follows Bright Angel creek. This is very convenient as I can dip my hat in the creek for an easy cool off. My stomach is giving me some problems as I ascend. I think it is the heat. I am able to force a gel down as a walk along. I know my body needs the fuel to get up this hill. At Indian Garden there is a rest/water stop. I get one more gel down with lots of fresh water. It is 4.5 miles to the top from here. There are two more rest/water stops at 1.5 miles distances till the top. This section of trail is like hiking Mt Si. There are lots of people. This is the second most visited national park, what did I expect. I make the top out at 4:40. I get a hamburger while I chat with other waiting at the rim. Mike and the two Dave are on top a little while latter. What a great experience for my first visit to the Grand Canyon.