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1197. North Rim to South Rim (10/11/19)

Hikers (16): Adam, Alan, Brenda N, Christina, George, HaJo, Jeff, Jim, Jolly, Karl, Peter, Rudi, Sarbinder, Shuli, Sophie, Yipeng
Distance: 24 miles
Rating: 5 difficulty, 10 beauty
Park info: Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

Write-up by Peter and Alan -- Pictures by Adam, Alan, HaJo, Jim, Karl, Yipeng

We had to visit Grand Canyon National Park at least once this year in honor of its centennial (the canyon itself has been around for a few million years longer). Last time I visited, we did the whole enchilada -- this time I planned to do it the more civilized way and actually enjoy the views for a change, so I broke it up into a two-day trek.

The group met up a little after 8am on a chilly Friday morning for the first leg, going from north to south. Alan and Christina were doing the R2R2R and had set out from the South Rim at 11pm the previous night. They emerged out of the canyon right on schedule and joined us for the INCH cheer before heading back down. Great job! I will hand it over to Alan for the rest of the writeup ...

Great pics from the hike are here!

1, 2, 3 ... INCH!

Alan's notes: Christina and I started from the South Rim at 11:10PM Thursday and set an INCH record by hiking 23.5 miles just to get to the start of an INCH hike. The only people we saw for the first several hours were 4 guys who had started R2R2R at 4AM Thursday and had not yet reached Indian Garden by the time we saw them, so they probably didn't finish in 24 hours. We started seeing lots of people around 6AM Friday as it began getting light and we were climbing the North Rim, and we passed some of those people on the trip back to the South Rim. We were making good time at the Supai Tunnel but then kept stopping to dump clothes, put on dark glasses, get water, wait for a slow mule train to pass, etc. But not to worry - our timing was perfect because we arrived at the North Rim at 8:25 for an 8:30 start. Our hike highlight was the rousing cheer we got when the other INCHers realized we had arrived - thank you all for the encouragement!

The hike back was hard but surprisingly uneventful. It was great to have more company and to be hiking in light. The temperature was perfect. We had thought it would be cold on the North Rim because it was 28 degrees on the South Rim when we started, but it didn't seem bad at all, and the cold rim temperatures meant the canyon floor was only in the 70s. Most of us arrived at Phantom Ranch between 1:30-2 and left around 2. We were wondering where George was because he was the only one who we hadn't seen or knew was ahead. I went by some other people who were complaining they had been hiking for 12 hours and mentioned it was 17 for me, which didn't seem to stop them complaining. Jeff and Yipeng went by me on the way to Indian Garden, and I saw Peter and Yipeng there, so I know I wasn't doing too badly. I struggled up to the South Rim at 6:10 with George (who had snuck by us at Phantom Ranch), finishing in 19 long hours, and Christina finished a few minutes later. I screamed "redemption" when I got to the top (see hike 1056).

On a personal note, I would like to point out that I have now hiked 92 miles in the Grand Canyon with INCH and have one lousy leaf to show for it. However, I can't whine too much, because when I began planning to go back to the Grand Canyon early this year for redemption, I was worried this would be a solo hike, but instead I got Christina to keep me company on the way over and pick me up after I crashed a few times and another 14 INCHers on the way back. I would also like to whine that Peter didn't carry a bottle of liquor across the canyon, so we could do shots for my 2nd forest on the South Rim, but he did buy me a beer, so I can't complain too much.

On Saturday, while other INCHers were hiking back to the North Rim, I decided to take a stroll along the Rim trail. I was so worn out, I took a bus back after 5 miles and then had a 2 hour nap. Nevertheless, another trip highlight was that night, which I can sum up paraphrasing the classic Visa card commercial:

Alan's 2nd forest
Shuli's 270th leaf

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