Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

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bruyere
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Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby bruyere » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:06 pm

On Easter weekend, a group of 14 of us from North Van and Calgary headed down to Arizona for a night in Sedona, 2 nights in the Grand Canyon, and a night in Vegas to top it off. I haven't done much worth sharing here lately (the odd half marathon, a bunch of trail runs, bla bla...), but I thought I'd tell you about this one.

Saturday, we went for a shake-out run in Flagstaff, with ultra phenoms Ian Torrence and Emily Harrison (fresh off her win at the Lake Sonoma 50). Yes, I'm name dropping. ;) Though we got rained and hailed on at the start, it was a beautiful run out to a volcanic crater and a lookout. Funny moment: When one of our guys, settling in beside Emily as we set out, asked her, "So, Emily, do you run much?"

Sunday morning, we were up at 3:30 to get set for our 5:15 departure for the South Kaibab trail head. Off we went, at 5:50. It was a beauty of a day, though the forecast was for storms later in the day. That was a bit worrying, as we had been caught (again) in hail when we were checking out the trail head on Saturday afternoon, and it hurt! In the end, our outing saw only sunshine, aside from an hour or two with a bit of merciful cloud cover. The temperature at the bottom of the canyon was a blistering, and unseasonably hot 100F. It was a bit brutal.

I started the day with my rainbow compression socks, shorts, long sleeved shirt (that Columbia one meant to keep you cool when wet), light jacket, gloves, and a buff worn as a toque. I had a Salomon Hyrdo S-Lab 5 pack stuffed with wraps, chews, an emergency kit, headlamp, short-sleeved shirt, second buff, sunscreen, and Bodyglide, and 3 litres of water.The jacket and gloves soon came off, as did the buff, replaced by a cap. Throughout the day, I wet my sleeves and 2 buffs to help me stay cool.

We ran as group down to Phantom Ranch, pausing many times for photos along the way. Then, we split into 3 packs: Those who were turning around to go back up, those who were going 40 or 50km, and those of us who were thinking we would, or might, do the whole 68km (or 72km, if we went back up Bright Angel).

About 10km in, I decided that I wanted to play it safe, and turn around at the Pumphouse Ranger station, as I was a bit worried about getting into trouble with the heat during the climb on the way out. It seemed like a good turn-around spot, as it was still a bit of an extra challenge, and there would be water. We were running in little groups, with 3 in front, then me with another guy, Pat, who had said he would go with whatever decision I made (which I appreciated so much!), and 2 more behind us. Just after I had made this decision and shared it with my buddy, Rune came back to us to tell us what the pack in front was thinking. It was the same thing. We had a big group chat, and decided to push on the extra .7miles after Pumphouse, to Roaring Springs, just for fun, and the three who were still thinking of going the whole way would make their final decision there.

In the end, the decision was made for them. When we arrived at the Pumphouse, we found the water taps were dry. A woman there was very confused as she told us that she had gotten water not five minutes earlier. It turned out that a water pipe had broken. There was no more clean water from there on. One would have to go all the way back to Phantom Ranch. While we did have stuff to treat water we collected, everyone opted to play it safe and head back. Along the way, we found the spot of the pipe break, with water gushing out from the pipe that runs under the trail. Ugh.

So, back we ran to Phantom Ranch, walking at times as the heat was rather intense. Since we hadn't gone the whole way up, we opted to detour to Ribbon Falls, where we refreshed as we took in the beauty. Then we attempted to reconnected with the North Kaibab trail, only to discover that it required a river crossing with which some were not comfortable, so we had to backtrack and retrace our steps. Nothing like adding distance in a long day on the trail!

We took a nice, long rest at Phantom Ranch, enjoying the lemonade and the shade, and then moved on. We opted to take Bright Angel back up. It's something like 5km longer, but it has water on the way, and some stunning views. It was a good choice!!

I reached the top at 6:55pm, making my time out there 13:05. For a girl who normally doesn't do so well in heat OR at drinking and eating properly, I did really well, and am quite proud: I ate all 3 of my wraps, some chews, a Fruit Source bar, and part of an apple. I drank consistently, with plain water in my pack, and water with Nuun in my 2 small bottles (LOVE Salomon's soft bottles), and the lemonade. I finished really strong, running parts of the second half, and hiking really quickly. I never felt too tired, and the day after, the only evidence of the outing was one blister and slightly sore calves. I didn't even get a sunburn! Quads and thighs were, and are, totally fine. 3 days later, my calves just have a teeny bit of tightness.

I had been a bit apprehensive about the trail, and the whole "plummet to your death" thing. This wasn't helped on Saturday when we heard a ranger talking about a guy who had fallen after "stepping off the trail" and broken his leg. Fortunately, they were able to carry him out. In the end, though, I had only one minor "yikes...ok...calm down..." moment, and the rest of the trail was fine. I WAS told that the trail to the North Rim is steeper, with tighter switchbacks, but I'll have to find that out another time. (Or not!)

All in all, it was a really great and invigorating experience with some great people.I did a longer distance than I ever had before, in pretty tough conditions, and I came out with increased confidence in my distance running abilities.

And then we went to Vegas.

Photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42686799@ ... 4225465786

ETA1: I didn't trip or fall down once.
ETA2: All photos were taken with my Moto X phone. I love it. Everyone commented on how great the pics were. Might not even bring my camera on the rest of my trip!
"I was thinking of you yesterday as I was running through the woods. As I jumped over a fallen tree I said "If I were [bruyere], I'd be bleeding by now"." - Turd Ferguson

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scrumhalfgirl
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:19 pm

I'm so glad you did a report - I've been wondering about your trip! Congrats!
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby Stampie » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:27 pm

Great report Heather! I would love to hear about your adventure over a coffee or a brew when you return from Europe trip!

Well done and no visible 'scars or road rash' for a certain mutual maniac to comment on. *cough* *cough* Turd *cough* *cough*
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby rungeek » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:36 pm

Great report and incredible pictures. Glad to hear you only had one "yikes" moment but from looking at the pictures its hard to believe there weren't more. I had about 10 yikes moments just looking at the pics from the safety of my desk. :lol:

Congrats on an incredible run.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby bruyere » Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:52 pm

Stampie wrote:Great report Heather! I would love to hear about your adventure over a coffee or a brew when you return from Europe trip!

Well done and no visible 'scars or road rash' for a certain mutual maniac to comment on. *cough* *cough* Turd *cough* *cough*

Sure! I'm travelling for another 5 weeks, and I'll be back at the end of May.

And thanks! I totally meant to put that in my report: I didn't trip or fall once! :)
"I was thinking of you yesterday as I was running through the woods. As I jumped over a fallen tree I said "If I were [bruyere], I'd be bleeding by now"." - Turd Ferguson

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:08 pm

wow, thanks
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby Habs4ever » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:10 pm

Great report, thank you. :D
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby purdy65 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:26 pm

Spectacular!
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby MikeM » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:35 pm

Great report and pictures! What an amazing experience.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby NMG » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:00 pm

Awesome report and awesome pics!!!!!

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby Marg » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:22 pm

Awesome!! Glad it worked out so well.
Will look at the pics shortly.


ETA - wow, the photos are stunning.
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby jgore » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:53 pm

Nice. Glad no one got hurt. :lol:

Based on your photos, I don't understand why the camera on the Moto X has been panned in most reviews. They're beautiful.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby Nicholas » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:29 pm

Nice run, Heather. I was planning on doing that run but it looks like that won't happen now...so, I can just enjoy the photos of your great day in the canyon!
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby bruyere » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:30 pm

jgore wrote:Nice. Glad no one got hurt. :lol:

Based on your photos, I don't understand why the camera on the Moto X has been panned in most reviews. They're beautiful.

Funny you should mention that. When I first started looking at phones, that's what I had read, too. Then, after I'd narrowed it down to this one or the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, I found myself reading that the Moto X camera was better, and was puzzled. Either way, I'm thrilled with my GC pics, as well as the ones from Sedona and Vegas, and others (including some shots I took of the fab cocktails we had in Montreal). The camera IS generally lacking a bit for interior shots where it's really dark, but I'm OK with that!
"I was thinking of you yesterday as I was running through the woods. As I jumped over a fallen tree I said "If I were [bruyere], I'd be bleeding by now"." - Turd Ferguson

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby West Grey Runner » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:54 am

What an awesome adventure. Thanks for posting.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby RA. » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:26 am

Fantastic photos! Great job on the run as well!
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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby Robinandamelia » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:25 am

Wow that's amazing. Congrats to you. Those photos are spectacular. What a great adventure.

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Re: Grand Canyon Rim-to-Not-quite-rim-to-Rim

Postby jes » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:02 am

Awesome trip!!! Thanks for writing up your adventure - this is on my to-do list as well!
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