Inverted Mountain Climbing
THE STATISTICS: 17 miles in 29 hours: 1 MILE DOWN (7 miles from South Kaibab trailhead to Phantom Ranch); 1 MILE BACK UP (10 miles from Phantom Ranch to Bright Angel trailhead)
HIGHLIGHT: Seeing California Condors riding on the currents high above our heads
This was grueling AND exhilirating. DO IT IF YOU CAN!!!!
Be aware: The going downhill was harder than you'd think.
We did train in advance (as best you can on the prairie of Oklahoma), but other than that we used the National Park Services warnings as mere suggestions. DON'T !!! They know what their talking about. People die every year hiking the Canyon, and usually it's from the kind of arrogance WE MEN commonly display about such things (most of the deaths are males in their 20's !!!)
Our hike was unavoidably shortened because the damn rim to rim shuttle didn't pick me up on the North Rim at 5am according to the reservations I made 4 months in advance!!!!! This caused us to have to change our course at the last moment (that's usually how trouble starts.)
The WARNINGS we ignored:
1. Wrong Hours - We hiked during peak sunlight hours ( 10am to 4 pm) in 112+ temperatures
2. Heavy Packs - Our packs weighed around 40 lbs. each, much larger than anyone else that we came across - AND we carried WAY TOO MUCH porn !!
3. Too Fast - We did the trip without enough of a rest period at the bottom. By the time we reached the top, The Duke was sick and my knee was in such extreme pain that I could barely walk.
4. Stay Together - There was a period of an hour at the top wherein I had no choice but to believe that The Duke had gone over the edge in the dark ......... (he found a second exit - I almost killed/kissed him when I found him)
5. Just Plain Common Sense- We should never have agreed to pay those hookers "in advance" to meet us at the bottom (turns out John's a "bottom" !!!!) HA HA !
All in all I would jump at the chance to do it again. It is indescribably beautiful !!!!