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Grand Canyon Rim to Rim
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Record Times for Rim to Rim
“Can anyone let me know if there is a site that shows Grand Canyon Rim to Rim record completion times? Also looking for Rim to Rim to Rim finish times as well. The competitive Triathlete in me is curious to know before my September trip. Any help is appreciated. Thanks, Dan”
“try posting that question at www.summitpost.org - in the AZ or Southwest forum - there's a bunch of crazy ultra runners on that site - they might know where to point you.”
“Last year one of the regulars on backpacker.com did a trip like this. His wife died from heat stroke or something.
I don't know the area, but the heat is apparently a real issue.”
“yea, now would definitely be a bad idea to try for the record. temps down there have to be murderous in the daytime. late fall would be a good time, but then you have the issue of running out of daylight, plus the roads to the north rim are closed at some point. find out when the north rim is closed, and do it right before that”
“then again, the record's probably just 4 or 5 hours, daylight really wouldnt be an issue. mule trains might slow you down if you run into them, however. see if you can find out how to best avoid them”
“see if you can find out how to best avoid them
Straight down the canyon wall comes to mind... but that's probably not feasible.”
“This is all I found: from: http://www.grandcanyontreks.org/faq.htm
The rim to rim run across the Grand Canyon has always been regarded as an adventure runners great challenge. Not sanctioned by the Park Service, the annual event is held each October, unofficially. In 1981 the quest for canyon speed-hiking records begins in earnest with Allyn Cureton's three hour, six minute North rim - to - South rim traverse. The 20.6 mile, 10,550 vertical foot record stands to this day.
Ultrarunning Magazine lists Allyn Cureton, 64 years old today, of Williams, AZ holds the records:
Single Crossing (N. Kaibab - S. Kaibab) on 10-4-81 in 3:06:47 (20.6 mi.)
Double Crossing (S. to N. to S. Kaibab) on 11-9-81 in 7:51:23 (41.2 mi. ca. 12,000' elev. gain)
There have been a number of folks try to break Allyn's records and they were hammered. Note that Allyn was 44 years old when he set these records.”
"Not sanctioned by the Park Service" must be for a reason. Why don't you ask the Park Service instead of just attempting to discover the reason personally?”
“seeing as how its "not sanctioned by the Park Service", they probably wouldnt tell him, because they probably dont keep records.
and why would IMD be a troll? he's asking very specific questions regarding a specific area, and not causing trouble. not every newb is a troll”
“He might learn just why it's "not sanctioned by the Park Service." In other words, they might warn him of specific, dangerous spots along the trail and/or other things to consider.
I did not call him a troll. I simply asked him a "yes/no" question since he appears to be new on TT.
Besides, I'm jealous since it is something that I can no longer attempt.
last edited: 6/24/08 8:19:45 AM”
Thank you for the great info!
“Thanks to everyone for getting this info to me so quickly! I especially want to thank spindlette for the www.grandcanyontreks.org website. This is exactly what I was looking for. I do not take offense to questions or names concerning my inquiry. No, I am not a troll (whatever that means). My best friend and I plan this trek in mid September. We do a lot of heat training here in Phoenix and know how to prepare and maintain health during endurance events. A plus is that he is a physician that keeps me in check. We will decide soon if we go Rim to Rim or Rim to Rim to Rim. More to come! Thanks again! Dan”
“You're welcome IMD.
Have fun, be safe, and please come tell us all about it.”
“asking someone if theyre a troll is the same as insinuating it. why would you ask someone that? if they are, theyre gonna say no, and if theyre not, theyre gonna say no”
“I guess you know best.”
Tentative Goal Set
“My buddy and I are pretty sure we will go Rim to Rim and set a completion goal somewhere between 5-6 hours. We both have an Olympic Triathlon the next week and this option gives us daylight for the entire Trek. We have no concerns about fitness but we will be well prepared for hydration and nutrition to work towards a successful trip.”
“Be sure and report back how it goes!
Good luck in the tri!”
Rim to Rim Report
“Well we did it! This past Sunday (9/14/08) the two of us started at the North Rim on the Kiabab Trail and started our run down to the bottom at Phantom Ranch. Then up the Bright Angel Trail to the South Rim. We decided our goal would be to complete it all in under 6 hours. We beat that time finishing at 5:33:30. My partner in this whole thing (IronmanMike) was a speed demon down the 14+ mile to the bottom. I had a hard time keeping up with him but I am stronger going up hill and felt good through the Devil's Corkscrew and the last 3 miles to thew top. We finished the 24+ miles total together. I really feel 5 hours is very doable. We spent almost 20 minutes at Phantom Ranch just talking with other campers and we stopped to take a lot of pictures the whole morning and still finished before 11am. We are sore like after a marathon and still hope to be recovered enough for this weekend's Olympic distance Triathlon. Thank you all for your help! What a blast and accomplishment! We were pumped! IMDan”
“sweet! congrats. very inspiring.
but after all, it's just walking.”
“no, it's just running”
“Well done IMDan and IMMike. :)
How was the heat? How much water did you carry?
Will the pics be put up online?”
Update on the Update
“Hey spindlette! Thank you! It was your original info that really helped us plan for last Sunday's adventure. The weather was really good. It was 47 degrees at 5:40 a.m. when we left the North Rim. Very nice. We shed the long sleeve Under Armour shirt by hour #2. It was probably only 70+ degrees at Phantom Ranch (the bottom) only because it was still pretty early. (before 8:00 a.m.) The day's high was in the mid 90's but we were done way before that! Minimal wind and only 3 mule trains to let pass up the Angel Bright Trail.
I hope this works - here is a link to my photos at Athlinks.com. Check it out. You may have to register to view but they are good shots.
Let me know if this works and you can view this.
If not try this link to my profiel and then find the photo album.
Let me know what you think!
“Glad to help. A most excellent adventure! The first link worked fine with no need to register.
Such a beautiful place and a brag-worthy time. You two don't even look stressed!
Will you do it again?”
“Thx! Definitely Yes! We gotta get that sub 5 hour time! It is actually more desirable to us to go back to Rim to Rim to improve that time than it is to go Rim to Rim to Rim. I think we can do it but it would be MAJOR endurance test - and it would be a LONG day. I compare what we did to a good marathon - where RimX3 would be more like an Ironman or Ultra Marathon type experience.”
“Though I'm not going for any records here, I'm planning a more leisurely rim-to-rim Grand Canyon backpacking trip for this May (assuming I get permits on the 1st). Are there any little tips or pointers anyone who's been there might have for me?”
“dont try to ford the colorado.”
“Bring lots of water.
South Kaibab is a more interesting trail than Bright Angel. Steeper, but the views are better.”
“I'll be going from the north rim to the south rim... I hear South Kaibab is only worh it if you're going from south to north... though I guess as long as we take plenty of breaks to admire the view going up, that would work”
“take your time going down and up. kaibab is all in full sun after morning and there is no water along it.
take an extra day and spend it all in da hole exploring the magnificence.”
Don't leave your food out for a second. The squirrels, pole cats and mice will get it. The mice spent hours but finally chewed through my Ursack to sample my food on one trip. Buy a Ratsack early, and use it. The store on the south rim has them, but I have seen it where they where sold out.
Take your time and enjoy the scenery. It is not a race. Three nights, four days is nice. Four nights, five days is better.
Don't miss side trips to Ribbon Falls, Plateau Point, and the cantena at Phantom Ranch.
Try to get reservations in early for a dinner at Phantom Ranch. If that fails, get on their waiting list. I got two dinners by being on their waiting list as they get a few cancellations.
Water is not a problem on a rim to rim. But heat in May could be a problem. Plan on leaving early, i.e. just after sunrise, to beat the heat and get to your next destination before noon.
Bring lots of film.
Photos of our Rim to Rim trip:
“Yes, South Kaibab is shorter and steeper than BA. If I had it to do again I'd go Up it rather than Down, LOL
If you wind up there in Summer, night hikes with a Full Moon are great. Be on the lookout for posts from Mary Phyl and a guy named Hnak. They're local and have experience in the Canyon measured in Years.”
“holy cow, plateau point, is that ever a fcking sweet spot”
“great photos, prosecutor.”
“great advice everyone, and great photos Prosecutor. Now I'm getting really excited. I'll definitely pick up a ratsack - I've had mice get into my food at Havasupai and it really made for a difficult trip.
As of right now, we're looking to make it a three-night-four-day trip. I wish it could be longer, but one person in my group can't take any more time off than that.
We'll definitely try to make as many side trips as possible. My group is pretty hearty, so I don't think there'll be any whining about side trips. Especially to the cantina
last edited: 12/31/08 8:45:14 AM”
“Just faxed in my R2R request for May as well...5 nights -> Monument, Indian Gardens, Bright Angel (2) and Cottonwood. Good luck!”
““Just faxed in my R2R request for May as well...5 nights -> Monument, Indian Gardens, Bright Angel (2) and Cottonwood. Good luck!”
Nice trip--You'll see lots of canyon”
“Good luck on the permit. The corridor trails are extremely popular this time of year. We also tried for a R2R as well as Clear Creek area for April and did not get either one. We will be heading down Hermit for 5 nights though. :)
Don't send any money to Ratsack. It appears they are MIA. You can try to get a reply, but he reportedly hasn't answered anyone or filled orders in months now. It's a shame. They were a good product and the best option for the canyon.”
“Just heard back from the NPS with my permit confirmation for May 15-19th. Sweet
So, in the absense of the ratsack, does anybody have any ideas/suggestions about keeping critters outta my food? I'd rather not carry in bear canasters or anything major like that, if possible...”
“I believe they still have metal "ammo" boxes at Indian Garden, Bright Angel, and Cottonwood Campgrounds to store your food in. You might want to check with the park service to see if they are still there. I recall Bright Angel Campground having poles to hang your pack on.”
“okay, I got the permit from the park service. They also sent some pretty scary-worded warnings and brochures about the hike. Rest for 10 minutes every hour, carry lots of water, be ready for the hardest hike of your life, constantly be on the lookout for heatstroke - stuff like that.
Those of you who've done a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike... was it really all that bad? I won't post a hiking resume, but I'm pretty familiar with desert/canyon hiking. Just based on the elevation gain to hike out, I understand that this will be harder than just about any other canyon hike I've done, but is it really as difficult as the NPS flyers are making it out to be?”
“Our permit was approved for a R2R 5/26-30th. We will probably order a couple of ratsacks for food storage unless any other less costly ideas pop up. This will be my second GC trip with the last time being about 5-6 years ago including nights at Indian Gardens and Bright Angel...don't recall any ammo boxes at either.”
“Are you hiking out in one day or splitting it into 2?”
“actually, I'm splitting it into 4 days. One night at Cottonwood, one at Bright Angel, and one at Indian Garden.
my biggest concern is, if this is the death march that the brochures make it out to be, I need to be careful who I bring on the trip. Obviously, I won't be bringing any 300lb computer jockeys either way... but you know...
and the brochures said there were ammo tins at each campsite for food. Not sure if I'd trust them or not, so I'll be bringing a ratsack just in case”
“Forget that scary wording warning. It was written by lawyers because every year people die in the canyon, mostly from hubris/ a lack of preparation/ and a lack of good sense.
Doing a rim to rim with nights at Cottonwood, Bright Angel, and Indian Garden is well within the capabilities of a normally fit young adult. Either bring some Advil, or doing some stair climbing exercises with a full pack on to get ready for the trip. The downhills will hurt your calf muscles unless you train a little.
Save your weight and money and use the ammo boxes and skip the ratsacks.
Late May can get hot enough to kill with heat stroke. If the days are hot, plan on hitting the trail at sunrise and you will get to your next destination well before lunch and before the real oven like heat that happens in the bottom of the canyon.
A backpacker I know in his late 60's had too heavy of a pack and paid the Phantom Ranch people to pack out his surplus equipment to the south rim for a fee. This gives one a bail out option if injury strikes.
I did this rim to rim a year ago at age 57 with a little extra weight around the middle with no problem at all:
And I was not the oldest on the trip either.”
“excellent, thanks Prosecutor. That's sort of what I was expecting.
Seems like the brochures are intended to scare the layman into either overpreparing or backing out, and to at least make sure that the non-layman takes the hike seriously.
I can't wait. I'm sure it'll be completely awesome”
I'd like to do a rim to rim hike in a couple of years. Just curious how you got back to your car? Is there some sort of shuttle service available, or?”
"....how you got back to your car?"
“There is a shuttle from the south rim to the north rim. We took that, and stayed in a north rim cabin that night. Then we hiked the rim to rim. Unfortunately the shuttle is so long that it takes up the day.
If you want to see 90% of the rim to rim sights, just hike from the south rim to Bright Angel, with a layover there. On your layover day, day hike north out and back as far as you want, being sure to detour to see Ribbon Falls.”
“Thanks, Prosecutor. Sounds good.”
“We did R2R2R in October 2007 over two days. We hiked down the South Kaibab and up the North Kaibab on the first day and then hiked down the North Kaibab and up the Bright Angel Trail the second day. We stayed overnight in the lodge at the North Rim, so we only had to carry day packs. It was two fairly long days, but not nearly as tough as I thought it would be.
Make sure you visit Ribbon Falls just off the North Kaibab Trail - it's beautiful.
Some pics of our hike:
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