ಬುಧವಾರ, ಜೂನ್ 25, 2008

Grand Canyon Hike - A dream come true

For the un-initiated, follow these links first to know about what is GrandCanyon and what exactly is the rim to rim hike.

our plan was something like this.

June 20th: leave SanFransisco, Reach Las Vegas by mid-night (by flight).

June 21st: 12:30-6:00AM - Drive to North Rim. Park the car.
06:45-12:00PM - Catch a shuttle from North rim to south rim. (its only one per day shuttle).
04:00PM - Start trek from South Kaibab Trail, reach Bright Angel Camp Ground, Stay there in the night.

June 22nd: Start early, reach Ribbon Falls, spend some time, reach Cotton Wood Camp Ground, Take some rest.

June 23rd: Start around 5am, reach top by 12pm, get into the car, drive to LasVegas, catch the return flight, get back home, live happily ever after.

this is all perfect, and was planned very tightly, and there was no gap for any messups. Lets see what happened actually..

June 20th: Achalesh reaches Airport on time, (ie, before 9:30pm), me and Aspu reached 3mins before the flight time, and we all missed it (as Achalesh boooked the ticket together for all 3). Kiran and Nadeem were at LV by 11:30. As our flight was the last of the day, we couldn't get into next flight, and they told we can land in only next day morning flight. No flights were available in other airlines too.. To keep up the plan of making it rim to rim hike, we had to take one more day off, or split the group, both was not an option for us. We slept in SFO airport only, on the floor, over our sleeping bags.

June 21st: Kiran and Nadeem reached North rim early morning, and took the shuttle as per the plan. We got into first flight to LV in the morning. Reached there, still not sure what to do, to keep up the plan. We were thinking of renting another car, goto SouthRim, join Kiran and Nadeem there, do the trek as planned, but stay in North rim for one extra day, and catch the shuttle to south rim, and get the car back to LV. that means, we had to take 1day extra leave :( well, while booking the car, we got the idea that we can just do the car rent one way. Ie, goto southrim using car/bus, meet our team, do the hike, get in the car we have in north rim, get back to LV as planned. It worked out well, and we were there at south rim 6hours later, not with much sleep. Started Trek around 6.30pm, hence did only 20% of the trek when there was sun light.

Reached Bright Angel Camp Ground, tired and exhausted, at 12:15AM, slept without eating as we were feeling so dry, and tired.

June 22nd: 7miles to cover, almost flat ground. left camping site at 7:15am thinking we can make to Ribbon Falls (~6miles) well within time. But, my legs didn't co-operate much, I was much slow than my expectation, hunger made it worst. I couldn't eat anything as I was feeling very dry, survived only on Gatorade and water. When Sun came up, situation became even worse, the temperature grew very high. It was very hot inside the canyon. I had to take frequent stops. Our group was all broken, mostly me and achalesh were together most of the time. I almost fell near ribbon falls, then i realized its because of sun + hunger. Ate a protein bar, felt little better. Made up to ribbon falls, and slept there for ~2hrs. When gotup, most of the muscles were complaining. Realized that without eating proper food, I am not going to finish the trek and even though it was very hard to eat, ate 2 chapatis. Left to Cotton Wood CampGround. Slept.

June 23rd: 12:00AM Got up at ~at this time (little earlier actually) and ate 2more chapatis. Started to hike towards the north rim as its a 4500ft hike of 7miles. We had heavy backpack (~30+ lbs). Best part of starting the hike early was, we had chance of watching the Canyon in moon light, which was an amazing experience. This trail was completely on the edge of the ridge, 90% of the time. We missed lot of nicer views because we hiked it in night, but we had no option. We knew it will be very hard to trek in sun light. well, to my surprise, I was at last but one stop (1.7miles to north rim), well before 8am. I slept a bit there, as i was very tired and was lacking sleep. (sitting on the rock, leaning on another rock). I had camera inside in my bag, and I was so tired that I had no energy to take it out :O, also north rim is very beautiful, so i thought i will keep the views just in memory.

Well to explain you how hard it was for me, i took 3hr30mins for last 1.7miles.

When I got back, my calf muscles were so aching that I couldn't walk properly.

But the feeling of completing a trek which deserves a high physical and mental fitness is great. The feel of Grand Canyon, its grandness, its height, its depth everything was amazing.

After coming back my first words were "I did it!"

Few points to be noted:

* GC trek is 'no trash zone' ie, you are liable to prosecution if you throw trash inside the canyon. Hence carry only things in plastic/paper covers. (so it will be less weight).
* People were amazed that we made it with such high amount of weight. Being light weight is the key for a good Rim to Rim Hike. We carried unnecessary weight. (food + cloths)
* Heat is your main enemy (everyone who did GC trek may agree with it), so plan your trek accordingly.

Imagine what all I carried? 2 sets of 20 chapatis (~1kg each), 2 chutni bottle, 1 pickle bottle, 1 kissan jam bottle, 1 tomato ketchup, and 1 + 1 + .75 + .75 liters of water + cloths (including a blanket which i never used :O). sadly I had to carry them all the way, as I couldn't throw them, and carrying that much weight is not even thinkable now, but I did GC rim to rim hike with that much weight. Though I feel foolish, its a pleasure I did it with all that weight.

photos here

"Grand Canyon" ಹೀಗಂತ ಒಂದು ಜಾಗ ಇದೆ ಅಂತ ಕೇಳಿದ್ದೆ. ಎಲ್ಲೊ ಒಮ್ಮೆ NGC TV ನಲ್ಲಿ ತೋರಿಸಿದ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿ trek ಹೋಗೊದನ್ನ ನೋಡಿದ್ದೆ. ಬಹು ಕಷ್ಟ ಅಂತ ಅವ್ರೆಲ್ಲ ಹೇಳ್ತಾ ಇದ್ರು. ಎರಡು ತಿಂಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ನನ್ನ ಗೆಳೆಯ ಅಚಲೇಶ್, "ಮಗ! Grand Canyon rim to rim trek ಬರ್ತಿಯ? permission ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದೆ" ಅಂತ ಹೇಳಿದ ಕೂಡ್ಲೆ "ಹು! sure ಮಚ! i am in" ಎಂದು, ರಜೆ ಕೂಡ ತಗೊಂಡು ಬಿಟ್ಟೆ.

ನೋಡ್ತ ನೋಡ್ತ ಎರಡು ತಿಂಗ್ಳು ಕಳ್ದೆ ಹೊತು. ಸರಿ ಎಲ್ಲ್ ತಯಾರಾಗಿ, ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ ರಾತ್ರಿ ಎರ್ಪೋರ್ಟಿಗೆ ಹೊಗ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ ಎಮ್ಮ ವಿಮಾನದ್ದು ಬಾಗ್ಲು ಹಾಕೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದ, ಅವತ್ತು ರಾತ್ರೆ ಅಲ್ಲೆ ಮಲ್ಗೆದ್ದು, ಬೆಳ್ಬೆಳಗ್ಗೆ ಒಡ್ಹೋಗಿ Q ನಲ್ಲಿ ನಿಂತು, ಮೊದ್ಲ ವಿಮಾನ ಹಿಡ್ಕಂಡು, ಲಾಸ್ವೆಗಾಸ್ಗೆ ಹೊದ್ಯ. ಅಲ್ಲೊಗಿ ಬಾಡ್ಗೆ ಕಾರ್ ತಗಂಡು flagstaff ಅನ್ನೊ ಊರಿಗೆ ಹೊಗಿ, ಕಾರು ಅಲ್ಲೆ ಬಿಟ್ಹಾಕಿ, ಬಸ್ಸು ಹಿಡ್ಕಂಡು south rim ಗೆ ಹೊಗ ಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆ, ಬರೊಬ್ಬರಿ 6 ಗಂಟೆ ತಡ.

1 ಕಾಮೆಂಟ್‌:

Thoughtographer ಹೇಳಿದರು...

Lucky you, my friend! I went there during last week of Dec with an intention to do a one-day trek and guess what, the canyon was painted white! Yes, it does snow in GC, when your luck runs out :) We just enjoyed the sunrise and spent one extra day in LV! I am still hoping to hike one day! Lets see...