Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim

Sep 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Current Topics of Interest
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I am a geologist who has lived in Phoenix, Arizona since 1994 and I have never been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon National Park. Ya, I know what you are thinking. How is this possible?? Well, I’m finally going to make up for all my years of ignoring the bottom by not only going all the way down but also going across and back up to the other side. I am attempting the classic rim-to-rim hike in just a few days. I’d like to say that I am in tip-top shape for this 23 mile walk in the park (LOL), but my reply is Absolutely Not.

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I know for a fact that this upcoming hike will be harder for me than Half Dome, Uluru, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and the Inca Trail combined. I am both dreading the last 5 miles up the north face of the canyon and exhilarated about the journey and accomplishing such an amazing hike. I’m also thankful that I am going with a great group of hikers who have done this trek before. My good friend Donna, who I went to Cambodia with will be my hiking partner. Thank goodness she’s ex-search & rescue. Her task is to get down and up the canyon. Thus first video is of us preparing the food for the hike. It’s going to be a long day and food is a good motivator!

I tried to pack light but when I got to the canyon I decided to get rid of most of the stuff I had packed.


The journey started at 3:30 am from the Bright Angel trail head on the south rim. I had never hiked with headlamp before and I found it disorientating. After about a mile I moved my headlamp so that it was around my waist. I didn’t want to tumble over the edge.


It was a really nice night. The low was around 40 degrees and getting hotter every step into the canyon. There was a slight crescent moon and the stars filled the sky. Early dawn began to light the rocks around 5:45 am.


The total time crossing the canyon was 15:30 but we took our time and made many stops. I must admit that this was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done. At the end it was all about putting one foot in front of the hour. We started in the dark and ended in the dark. Here are some of my favorite pictures along the way:




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  1. Wohoo! Can’t wait (for it to be over…hahahaha)

  2. Hi Sian,

    Just enjoying all your interesting pic’s.
    Good for you to do that.
    Love You

  3. LOVE the pics! Nice flow. Makes me want to do it again. NOT!

  4. Thanks for posting the pics. Looks like you had a great time. Awesome job that you finished it! :-)

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