In October we joined a group of friends on a Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike organized by Karen Rieffer of Sierra Vista. The route had us descending from the north rim on the North Kaibab trail, staying two nights down at Phantom Ranch, then ascending to the south rim on the South Kaibab trail. Others in the group took the Bright Angel trail up to the south rim, about 3 miles longer, but had drinking water en route which South Kaibab did not.
The 14 mile descent on North Kaibab was spectacular, the views just got better and better, and we enjoyed a short detour to Ribbon Falls (about 8 miles in) before completing the hike to Phantom Ranch. There, at a ranger program, Robert said, “I’m going to go lie down”; next thing Liza knew he was laying in the dirt passed out. (And her first thought was, “I thought you were going to the room, why are you lying down here?”) Seems the combination of little to eat (only snacks) and then happy hour before dinner at Phantom Ranch dropped his heart rate too low. Luckily a doctor was there and helped him out, telling him to have some sugar and stop taking his heart meds for the duration of the trip!
South Kaibab was a little short of 8 miles and we made good time, leaving Phantom Ranch in the dark at 0530 and arriving at 1050 (temporarily delayed by a mule train :-). We had ample food for the hike and felt good. It was somewhat disconcerting though to have the University of Utah ski teams (men and women) pass us jogging down South Kaibab and, as we heard later, passed our friends going up Bright Angel!
We overnighted on the south rim at the Maswik Lodge before making the drive back home. Big thanks to Bob White and John Black for driving our van!
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