I enjoyed the video and many comments - all from we that venture into the canyon rather than sit at the rim. Renewed memories and experiences. I just returned after, at age 72, completing my 16th r2r2r including Ribbon Falls in 29 hours on May 19-20. Left N. Rim at 4AM in 4" snow, and snowing, with cool weather all the way - the best conditions. I ascend the S. Kaibab - it's shorter and faster. Each year I camp a week on the N. Rim, hiking the rim trails and relaxing before and after my r2r2r. N Rim is so much more enjoyable than the S. Rim zoo - thus I do not have to stay on the S Rim. Each of my treks has been a unique experience - dealing with the heat and adjusing to the conditions and my training. I meet many interesting people along the way. Each hike starts with a step I repeat 110,000 times with pacing. All are proceeded by adequate training and preparation. On to next year.
I prefer to take a lot of time while hiking in the GC and there is something there for everyone. Let each enjoy it in their own way. My first R2R was in 1974,at age 35, and now when I'm there I wonder if this might be my last visit, so I really drill in the sights and sounds.
I did R2R in 2005 with some friends in one day from the NR to the SR coming out on Bright Angel. We went in May and it was mid 30's top of the NR and by the time we got to Phantom Ranch it was close to 100 degrees. The hike up the South Rim was brutal. Here is the deal, us endurance junkies have to think of something creative to do. It isn't that we can't enjoy the R2R hike, if I want to enjoy and smell the roses then I take the boy scouts or my family and make it a few day trip. It doesn't mean that I can try a difficult challenge and enjoy that challenge. Training for something like this is the best and the journey is the best part. In fact, our same group is planning on increasing our challenge this October by doing R2R2R straight through, sounds like it will be a challenge. For those that have done this what kind of shoes have you worn for 50 miles. Heavy duty hiking boots seems to miserable so we are thinking a stiff trail runner. Ideas? If so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Canyon can provide whatever adventure scenario you seek. Personally, I go into the Canyon to be IN the Canyon. I hike like a slug in order to take it all in. I have plenty of time schedules and stress in the 'real' world and go to the Canyon to get away from those things. I did a forced march R2R many years ago and vowed to never do it that way again. Last one to the top is the Winner because that person spent the most time IN the Canyon. What did you see? is more important to me than how fast did you do it?
I thought I recognized this one - Shelly and I had traded a number of Tweets before she headed off on this adventure. Fun to see the video again. Having completed R2R2R six times (Bright Angel to N Kaibab and back the same way), and suffering awful blisters just one of those times, I can attest to how painful the last 5 to 8 hours can be. Ouch!
Hoping to do this again perhaps this Spring if life allows it...and my training actually takes place. :-)
5 years ago was the 1st time I ever hiked the canyon. I went down Bright Angel to the river and back in 8 hours...Hardest thing I ever did @ that time...Then set a goal to do a R2R, but I didnt know how I would get back to the South Rim once I made it to the North Rim..So I made my new goal to do R2R2R... Finally accomplished my goal and scratched it off my buck list Oct. 2010...Finished in 13 hours. Want to do it again in 10 hours.
A group of completed our first R2R2R adventure on September 24th, 2010. We started down the South Kaibab trail at 7:30 pm and enjoyed the full moon while topping out at the North Rim just before 5:00 am on the 25th. It was cold and windy and made for a chilling experience since we were wet from perspiration...Headed back and arrived at Phantom Ranch at about 10:00 am..and finished the last 10 (slow) miles with each of us arriving at different times. The fastest just under 20 hours and the slowest(me) just under 22. Great experience. Not planning on doing it again.
I finished my third R-R-R on May 24th of this year, my 70th birthday. I've done it to celebrate significant birthdays and hope to try again on my 75th. However I do it over 5 days. Ironically, I was headed down the SK the same day as you, and we probably crossed paths.
As a 60 year old flat-lander from the east coast it was quite the experience for me! Traveled the same route and I can't imagine trying to do it in one day. I took my time backpacking and took in the scenery. It was awesome!
These old bones loved the heat! 106 in the shade down at the ranch!
Wow,that is intense. My hat is off to to both of you!
Came across your article in the August BP about the ten best hikes and your r2r2r hike. It brought back some good memories of my first r2r2r in '08. I loved it so I thought I'd share the video I made as well.
I am looking forward to doing it again soon.
Hi there! Thanks, all, for your mostly kind words. This was an adventure of a lifetime for me. Despite the blisters, it was spectacularly inspiring, given the sights and achievement and camaraderie.
@Mollie, I used Leki collapsible trekking poles for most of the way, a 100 oz hydration pack in a medium-sized daypack, wore trail running shoes. despite my blisters I have always hiked in trailrunning shoes, for long distances with no problems... . Let me know if you have additional questions.
I don't see the point in doing such a hike other than hiking has become such a BORE to you that you have to do something so extreme to get a thrill or high or maybe it's just plain PRIDE so you can make a video to brag about what you have done,but in doing so you put yourself in danger and many others who will try to duplicate what you did or even try to surpass it.What is up with the adrenaline junkies ?! Why can't you just enjoy hiking outdoors without doing something crazy or dangerous.
did the r2r, north to bright angel last year. 100 degrees at 8pm. it was sooo much fun, only i came back with 2 fewer toenails!
Have done this twice in the last 30 years BUT we always did it in 5 days....much more enjoyable. Stopped at Ribbon Falls for fun of it... never thought much of this kind of marathon hikes...stop and smell the flowers... enjoy a dip in the creeks...
Thats so cool,, we were there the same week and had just completed a rim to rim the day before she came out and we saw her at the top.. it was cool to see this here. Made me feel like a wimp thought,lol , Gret job Shellie and John!!
I did the same hike last Sept for fun. My recommendation for anyone wanting to try this..... Bring plenty of pain killers! :)
I hiked rtrtr solo on May 22, 2008, getting lucky with unseasonably cool weather. I left South Rim via Bright Angel trail at about 3:15 am, arrived to North rim just about noon, and back to South rim about 10:30 pm, a bit over 19 hours. Truly, the only "bad" part was the death march from Indian Gardens to the South Rim trailhead after about 44 miles. The mental exhaustion was about as intense as the physical pain. For two days I walked the "Kaibab Shuffle".
To train, I hiked and walked a LOT, and five days before the trip did a 30 mile walk with pack, to see how I fared. During the trip north, I would stash supplies that I would need on the return trip, but beware of scavenger animals. I also took a SPOT locator for emergency. For personal challenges, I recommend this hike, but BE PREPARED, and have a plan, and don't go if it's too hot.
This is the equivalent of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. This is truly an accomplishment! Some people hike for the fun of it. Others relish the pain. I prefer the fun approach although my wife likes the accomplishment approach (and the pain).
Did rim to rim, south to north, Kaibab all the way. Very harsh. Would never hike at night! Too scary, and the scenery is like no place else on earth. Take the time to savor it.
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