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How Not to Hike the Tanner

South Rim Hikes

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Linked Description  • Tanner Trail, AZ
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Canyonram
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How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Jul 29 2011 11:25 pm

This hiker illustrates the way to NOT hike the Tanner Trail in Grand Canyon. He films himself going down to Cardenas Butte and then thinking the better of the danger of continuing on. He's claims to carry 50-60 lbs of gear, inadequate water for the July weather, no sun protection, starts late in the morning, adbandons his gear, strips off his clothing and is exposed to the full sun, doesn't know the mileage, no map in use on the trail? (but on the video). Not sure if he has a permit---the Backcountry Office made a big mistake if they issued him one since this hike is beyond his current level of Canyon hiking ability.

He helps himself to water cached along the trail (hide those jugs unless you are donating them). I've left donated water along the trail before but I also label it as such. He way overestimates his travel miles---Cardenas Butte is about 4.5-to-5 miles down and then back up---he claims 30 miles in his final video frame. When he gets to the top, he stops to double check the information on the warning sign at the trailhead. Don't think he understands how close he came to heat stroke/dehydration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcYHNNxM4aQ

Perfect training video. The one right thing he did was 'ABORT' when he realized he was pushing it too far.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by joebartels » Jul 29 2011 11:52 pm

Glad he made it out okay! He's lucky he went in the dry month of June. Doubt he would have made it in the current humidity since sweating doesn't cool your core like it does when it's down near 4-8%

The exaggerated distance doesn't surprise me, I hear and see it almost daily.
Funny guy though...
"number of sore legs, 2"
something like "here you don't want to LiveLikeTim" :lol:
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by nonot » Jul 30 2011 1:39 am

The backcountry office is not at mistake of anything - they issue permits to anyone who legally asks. It is not their job to judge the worthiness of any individual that would apply for the permit, and that's the way it should be. If people overestimate their ability and die as a result, it is not the park's fault either, the park provides the warning material about the strenuous nature of the Grand Canyon. Let's not make the government into babysitters for each and every one of us, it has gotten far too close to that in our daily lives already.

Guy was in way over his head, too bad some people don't know how to plan and get themselves into trouble when a simple check of average temperature should make it easy to figure out. Managed to at least make a few smart moves towards the end - waking up early to hike out before the heat of the day.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Jul 30 2011 2:04 am

Backpacking the Grand Canyon for Dummies 101 :scared:
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Jul 30 2011 10:09 am

Hello Nonot,

Of course the Backcountry Rangers (BCR) judge hikers as to the fitness/ability level when they apply for a permit, be it walk-in or via mail request. Grand Canyon hikes are kept in a database so the staff can quickly call up your previous experience in the Canyon. They look at your hiking background, place of origin, and your proposed route on the permit application. If you've never hiked the desert SW and want to do a backcountry route you stand a good chance of being denied. The answer is not that you are not qualified but 'no space left for those dates/that route.' They have to do this because not everyone applying for a permit is an extreme hiker.

Good BCR's will ask a few subtle questions and direct a hiker to a trip that will be a challenge that can end in success for the hiker. There's a reason a few permits are held back for walk-ins at the designated campgrounds---to redirect the overly ambitious and still get them into the Canyon. The progression is from the maintained Corridor Trails to 'threshold' trails like Hermit to primitive trails (like Tanner) and then 'wild' backcountry routes.

Do you honestly think that a BCR staff is going to sign off on a backcountry route for a hiker with no Canyon experience, no knowledge on how to navigate, no idea of how to locate water, etc? The BCR have to live with their decisions and how they hand out permits---they will say 'NO' by giving the bad news that 'no more space available on that route. . . let's check and see what we have at Indian Gardens." You can call that babysitting if you like (which is an appropiate term for those hikers with a baby's knowledge and experience).

For our video star who went down the Tanner---a BCR staff would quickly size him up and hit him with a few key questions meant to let him know he is not equipped for the Tanner---lack of knowledge, lack of sufficient water, too much pack weight, late June Inner Canyon temps, etc. A good BCR will inform the hiker at the same time they do not insult the hiker: "How much water do you have?" "Three gallons for the round-trip? "The Tanner is a dry trail . . . how much water do you use per hour when the temperature is 100F+?" "You don't know? We'll it can be up to 1 liter per hour on the trail . . . do you know how many miles it is to the River?" "Do you have a Topo map?" "Do you have a way to resupply at the River?" . . . these kind of questions are not outright denials from the BCR, that decision gets generated by the unprepared hiker. Hopefully.

Do you really think that a BCR is going to issue a backcountry hiking permit to a husband-and-wife with no outdoor experience and three toddlers in tow? Under your 'let 'em die' theory, I suppose they should. On the other hand, a husband-and-wife with extensive outdoor experience with toddlers in tow do get a permit---extreme hiker and author Wayne Tomasi routinely took his small children and then grandchildren along on Inner Canyon hikes. Thankfully the BCR staff have the good sense to redirect that family with no experience while at the same time they hand out backcountry permits to experienced Canyon hikers.

Do you have a source that supports your claim that: ". . . they issue permits to anyone who legally asks. It is not their job to judge the worthiness of any individual that would apply for the permit." I'm curious to read the official NPS policy and if this is the current approach.

If you were sitting behind the BCR desk and a totally naive husband-and-wife walked in with their three toddlers and requested a two-day permit for the Tanner in July . . . would you issue them the permit?

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by nonot » Jul 30 2011 12:26 pm

Of course the Backcountry Rangers (BCR) judge hikers as to the fitness/ability level when they apply for a permit, be it walk-in or via mail request. Grand Canyon hikes are kept in a database so the staff can quickly call up your previous experience in the Canyon. They look at your hiking background, place of origin, and your proposed route on the permit application. If you've never hiked the desert SW and want to do a backcountry route you stand a good chance of being denied. The answer is not that you are not qualified but 'no space left for those dates/that route.' They have to do this because not everyone applying for a permit is an extreme hiker.
Completely false, rangers are unqualified to assess fitness/ability, and how would one do that via mail request is beyond me. You are correct that rangers may assess the information you provide in your permit request and RECOMMEND that you change to an easier itinerary, but they cannot deny you a permit on the grounds of perceived ability or fitness.
Good BCR's will ask a few subtle questions and direct a hiker to a trip that will be a challenge that can end in success for the hiker.

Sure, the rangers try to help people avoid getting in over their head through recommendations, but not by denying permits. Permits currently exist to avoid overuse of having more people camping within a use area beyond the limits they have imposed, they are not some type of "qualification" issuance that indicates they have judged a hiker worthy of their itinerary.
There's a reason a few permits are held back for walk-ins at the designated campgrounds---to redirect the overly ambitious and still get them into the Canyon. The progression is from the maintained Corridor Trails to 'threshold' trails like Hermit to primitive trails (like Tanner) and then 'wild' backcountry routes.
That is not the reason - the reason is to ensure walk in permits are available and not make it a reservation only system, it has nothing to do with this topic.
Do you honestly think that a BCR staff is going to sign off on a backcountry route for a hiker with no Canyon experience, no knowledge on how to navigate, no idea of how to locate water, etc? The BCR have to live with their decisions and how they hand out permits---they will say 'NO' by giving the bad news that 'no more space available on that route. . . let's check and see what we have at Indian Gardens." You can call that babysitting if you like (which is an appropiate term for those hikers with a baby's knowledge and experience).
Completely false, BCR staff can and do sign off on backcountry permits for individuals they personnally feel will end in trouble for the permit holder. They will not deny the permit on the grounds of a personal judgment against their ability, to do so violates fair use laws regarding control of public lands and goes well beyond what the staff are qualified to do.
For our video star who went down the Tanner---a BCR staff would quickly size him up and hit him with a few key questions meant to let him know he is not equipped for the Tanner---lack of knowledge, lack of sufficient water, too much pack weight, late June Inner Canyon temps, etc. A good BCR will inform the hiker at the same time they do not insult the hiker: "How much water do you have?" "Three gallons for the round-trip? "The Tanner is a dry trail . . . how much water do you use per hour when the temperature is 100F+?" "You don't know? We'll it can be up to 1 liter per hour on the trail . . . do you know how many miles it is to the River?" "Do you have a Topo map?" "Do you have a way to resupply at the River?" . . . these kind of questions are not outright denials from the BCR, that decision gets generated by the unprepared hiker. Hopefully.
The individual appears to have obtained a permit for his itinerary despite obviously having no clue for what he was in for hiking that in the summer. They likely made him sign the death notice slip along the paperwork path to get his permit, same as anyone else, that emphasizes the hiker is doing something dangerous and recommends they consider an easier itinerary. They do not ask most of these questions, though some of these items are listed on the permit request - with your permit comes a map and a trail description and warnings about Tanner being dry, and warnings about the heat, and recommendations for what to do about water. If the morons choose to ignore all this information, they can, you cannot prevent people from doing stupid things.

Do you really think that a BCR is going to issue a backcountry hiking permit to a husband-and-wife with no outdoor experience and three toddlers in tow? Under your 'let 'em die' theory, I suppose they should. On the other hand, a husband-and-wife with extensive outdoor experience with toddlers in tow do get a permit---extreme hiker and author Wayne Tomasi routinely took his small children and then grandchildren along on Inner Canyon hikes. Thankfully the BCR staff have the good sense to redirect that family with no experience while at the same time they hand out backcountry permits to experienced Canyon hikers.
The only conditions under which a ranger can deny a permit when the use limits have not been reached is if they felt it would create a life-threatening situation. If a ranger discovered someone was bringing a toddler down the Tanner trail with them in July, I imagine there could be an exception made under outrageously dangerous circumstances. One would hope these items are non-occurances.

Do you have a source that supports your claim that: ". . . they issue permits to anyone who legally asks. It is not their job to judge the worthiness of any individual that would apply for the permit." I'm curious to read the official NPS policy and if this is the current approach.
Do you have a source that supports your assertion?

Here is what is on the GCNP backcountry permits page:
Permit requests are responded to through U.S. Mail - never by fax or e-mail. Due to the volume of requests received, the park cannot confirm receipt of requests until they have been fully processed. Please allow at least three weeks for processing.

When space is available and all fee requirements are met, a permit will be issued and mailed to the trip leader. The permit is valid only for the trip leader named on the permit. Overnight hikers are not permitted to enter the canyon without a valid permit in the trip leader's possession.
There are 2 requirements: space is available, and you pay your dues. There are no other requirements for obtaining a permit. There are many recommendations.

If you were sitting behind the BCR desk and a totally naive husband-and-wife walked in with their three toddlers and requested a two-day permit for the Tanner in July . . . would you issue them the permit?
The toddler case is a strawman example that falls under "a life-threatening situation" and could lead to a permit being denied, but not necessarily. What I would do is irrelevant, doing their jobs requires them to obey the restrictions and limits of their duties, otherwise they are abusing the power given to them. Rangers do not play doctor, they are unqualified to assess fitness and ability, they cannot do much more than check quantity of permits against dates and fees.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Jul 30 2011 2:21 pm

Nonot,

A few years ago I did some training development for the hospitality company at the Canyon. One of the classes I developed was called 'Keep 'Em Safe---How to Protect our Guests.' One of the challenges for the hotel desk staff was how to inform guests to the potential dangers of the Canyon when the naive guest would present themselves at the desk wanting to know how to hike down to the river and get back in time for brunch. To collect some ideas on how to educate the guests, I interviewed a few of the Backcountry Rangers as to how they handled similar situations and how they would handle the unprepared. I also attended the 'Preventative Search and Rescue' Training offered by the NPS to train volunteers on how to 'educate' people to not endanger themselves. That is my basis for my description of the process.

Is my description the 'offical' written policy----I don't know. It is the reason I asked for you to present your evidence for your description of the way the Backcountry Rangers are to act. Are you professing your opinion as to what the Backcountry Rangers are to do based on your own vision of how the Park service is supposed to act OR do you have a written policy/procedural manual that describes the process? In fact, you look to be backing away from the 'if they want a permit and there's room they get the permit' with some cautious exclusions---which is exactly what I say happens during the permit process.

I looked at the video again and paused it at key points---I didn't see any permit tag dangling from his pack or anything else by our lone hiker that would indicate that he had been to the Backcountry office and was doing a permitted hike. What did you see in the video that made you think that he did? Usually you get a one-page description of the trail along with your permit---if he had that, he would have been more accurate with his mileage and location descriptions???

My question to you "If you were sitting behind the BCR desk and a totally naive husband-and-wife walked in with their three toddlers and requested a two-day permit for the Tanner in July . . . would you issue them the permit?" is not a strawman argument. It is also one that happens all too often in the Backcountry office----I mentioned it because it happened when I was researching my training classes and spent time in the office observing the process. I incorporated that in my role playing portion of my class and had attendees act out the scenario. The goal was to inform the guest by offering up equally interesting Canyon adventures.

If you truly believe that a visitor gets a permit if there is space---then you would answer that you would issue the permit to the family of five. If you make a judgement call on whether or not the hike is safe and appropriate, you would divert them to a different Canyon adventure. The choice is yours to make. How you make the call is of course relevant because it shows where you really stand on the issue.

I can't imagine a Backcountry Ranger sticking with the job if they only thing they were allowed to do is rubber-stamp dangerous hikes simply because there is room in the Canyon. The Rangers I spoke to over the years take the 'protect and serve' portion of their job description pretty seriously and are not in the business of rubber-stamping permits when the situation is clearly beyond the hiker's capability. If that's all they had to do, we'd have a automated machine at each trailhead to collect fees and spit out permits---no questions asked, no human input from an experienced Ranger to advise you on your agenda.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by nonot » Jul 30 2011 4:26 pm

I am not backing away from anything. You continue to repeat the same statements over and over.

I would issue the couple with the kids a permit, I see this as Darwinism, there are quite a few people we might as well get rid of. Asking me what I would do is irrelevant to your original statement about how the park service issues permits. Your counterarguments are ridiculous - toddlers are not hiking the Tanner Trail in July. Now I remember you - you are the same person who insisted on blaming the park service for the guy that died on the hike last summer. This is absurd.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Jul 30 2011 7:37 pm

Nonot,

You do not have anything to back away from because you have said nothing. You make declarative statments about Park policy but then have nothing to support those statements---just because it is your personal opinion about how permits should be handed out doesn't make it official policy.

Of course unprepared hikers (with their toddler children) are heading down the trails everday. Go stand along the BA and watch if you don't believe me. That's not to say that toddlers cannot successfully navigate the trails. If you have opportunity, check out Wayne Tomasi's book "Grand Canyon Hiking Adventures---South Rim Edition" (2008) for toddlers hiking backcountry routes (including the Tanner) the right way--under the guidance of prepared parents---there are plenty of family photos of his children/grandchildren on wilderness routes and in places even experienced Canyon hikers do not see.

I never blamed the Park Service for Andrew Brunelli's death. My concern was the bad information printed in Backpacker Magazine concerning the Grandview-Horseshoe Mesa route, not anything about the Park Service. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you are the poster who attacked another member (a Native American man new to the forum) with such venom and hostility that he left the forum? Did that make you feel good?

Your favorite statement appears to be "This is absurd." What is absurd is your statement that you would issue a permit to a naive family with toddlers so Darwinism can get rid of them. That, my friend, is not only absurd but a little sick as well. Seek help.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Tough_Boots » Jul 30 2011 8:28 pm

nonot wrote:They will not deny the permit on the grounds of a personal judgment against their ability, to do so violates fair use laws regarding control of public lands and goes well beyond what the staff are qualified to do.
I have no clue which one of you is right about this permit thing, but I do find this statement interesting. How exactly would one be qualified to make this judgement call? I've hiked with a lot of folks who can tear up a trail who don't look at all in shape and I've hiked with people that look insanely fit who have trouble with very moderate trails. Last time I went home to visit, I took my personal trainer friend hiking and she was embarrassed at not being able to keep up.

If they do make judgement calls, I would assume it would have to be in extreme cases or else you'd be dealing with a different judgement every time based on what ranger is working the desk. It doesn't make sense. If someone traveled across the country and are denied at the door, then that decreases the number of adventure-tourists with money. Word gets out and others find a new place to backpack. The only real way would be to judge how well equipped the permit seeker is and that might give some understanding of how prepared that person is. The last time I had to get a backcountry permit in Georgia, I had to go through a checklist with the ranger before heading out. I would assume its the same here.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by PaleoRob » Jul 30 2011 9:22 pm

Tough_Boots wrote:How exactly would one be qualified to make this judgement call? I've hiked with a lot of folks who can tear up a trail who don't look at all in shape and I've hiked with people that look insanely fit who have trouble with very moderate trails.
My thoughts exactly. I am short and fat, but I can hike rough, long trails. I know fit friends that can't handle a 5 mile flat trail, because they aren't used to it and they don't have those muscles trained as they should be. Example:
Guy comes down from Colorado to work at the dam for a couple of weeks. He's fit, and a hiker, plus he's from Colorado and hikes a fair bit up in the mountains. I figure he's fit and a competent hiker, especially after he's told me about several of the trails in the Page area. He wants to hike The Ropes trail, and in fact had done some scouting before on it. So he hooks up with me, since I've done The Ropes before. He, myself, and my good friend from the dam head out after work and hit the trail. We cross the sandstone, no problem, but going down to the river this guy from Colorado starts struggling hard. We hit the river and basically have to bounce back up, no break, because it took this guy so long to get down. My friend and I have to keep stopping constantly and making sure this guy is going to make it. He's sitting down for breaks every 5 minutes on the way up. When we finally hit the top, he bends over double and just wheezes and gasps for several good minutes. We make it back to the car, and after he's gone on his merry way by buddy and I just look at each other incredulously. The guy from Colorado presented himself in a manner to give us the impression that he was experienced. He talked the talk and looked the look. Unfortunately, he was not up to task. Meanwhile short, fat me and my buddy who had one arm in a sling the entire hike did perfectly fine and would have even been able to relax at the river before having to turn back.
Knowing yourself and your limits is really the No. 1 way to limit fatalities. Having some agency try and tell you what your limits are further erodes the willingness of people to examine their own limits and in the end is counter-productive to trying to reduce hiking fatalities.
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Jul 31 2011 8:03 am

As to subjective judgements made for/against you, it happens all the time. Whether it is fair or not is a different matter. (Who got picked first for the playground game of softball? Who got the date with the cute girl/guy? Physically attractive people are rated 'more intelligent' based on their appearance, get more attention from teachers, get hired, get promoted, etc). We all do it to some extent and are surprised when the category we put a person in turns out to be incorrect.

Most of us would agree that the lone hiker in the video was in good physical condition---he makes a point of having his shirt off while filming and pointing out how good his abs look while he is dehydrated. As you listen to his narrative, you discover he does not have the trail knowledge for his hike. I would hope that all these elements would be part of whether or not he gets a permit. He would have to sign off on a checklist indicating that he understands all the trail conditions, water requirments, etc for his proposed hike and sign off absolving the Park Service of responsibility.

My first few hikes at the Canyon as a kid did not require any permit at all. You could go wherever and the Inner Canyon was 'open camping' including campfires, fishing for humpback chub, etc. I remember being ticked when the Park Service initiated hiker limits and designated campsites. From that point on, I didn't challenge the notion that the Park Rangers had a degree of regulatory control over where and when I could go but also IF I could go. Hiker limits into the Canyon do the job of turning away untold number of people wanting to spend a night in the Canyon. . . and can also be used as the 'reason' for a subjective 'No.'

I'm curious to actual policy compared to practice for issuing a permit---they can be totally opposite. I could see the policy manual requiring a permit to be issued regardless given that a campsite is available and the proper completed permit has been filed and release statements signed (as nonot states) . . . I can also see a BCR doing a once over on the person applying and making a subjective call to not issue a permit for fear the person is in over their head (which is what I was told concerning the process when I interviewed and observed some BCR staff a few years ago).

Here's the email I sent to the Grand Canyon BCR office:

"Do you ever have to 'Just say NO' when a hiker shows up and requests a permit? How would you deal with this situation:

A totally naive husband-and-wife walk into the Backcountry office with their three toddlers and request a two-day permit for the Tanner in July. There's room at their requested campsites (no one else has scheduled such a hike in July) . . . you provide the warnings and try to divert their interests to other possibilites (stay at Mather campground, etc) but they insist that is the hike they want to take with their kids. Would you issue them the permit?

I'm curious about what you can do legally. Do you have to give them their permit?"


If I get a reply, I'll post it here.

I observed that actual situation while I was researching my training class. The BCR staff told the parents 'the Tanner is full' and advised them on the free Forest Service campsites. He gave them the free bus schedule along the Hermit Road to the overlooks and advised that the Ranger talk at Mather Amphitheatre would be great for the kids. They left happy with a place to camp and some kid-related adventures. The BCR was able to completely cut all talk about the Tanner with the simple statement that the campsites were full. When I later talked with this BCR he told me 'there's no way I was letting them head down the Tanner.'

I also let the BCR know that the hiker abandoned his gear along the Tanner. Regardless if he had a permit or not, they may find his tent, sleeping bag, food, etc and initiate a SAR on an overdue hiker.

Also, here's how the NPS attempts to educate day hikers with toddlers as to going down the trails (it is podcast #5 in the list):
http://www.nps.gov/grca/photosmultimedi ... art-01.htm

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Jul 31 2011 5:58 pm

Here's the response to the question about the decision-making process that I posed to the Grand Canyon Backcountry office. Answer and permission granted to post here provided by Steve Bridgehouse:

"I have rarely had to deny permits to hikers. In the instances I have had to deny a permit, I have told the hikers that I simply won't issue a permit for the itinerary they are requesting and that's that. There has always been a sincere effort at educating the trip leader throughout the process and the final decision is a judgement call that I have never second guessed at a later time. Typically, there has been very little argument if any.

Steve Bridgehouse
Backcountry Permits."

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Nan » Aug 01 2011 8:26 am

I can't speak to the Backcountry process, but several years ago when I applied for a camping permit at Bright Angel I got a response asking me to describe my route and my previous GC hiking experience before they approved it. No idea what flagged my request in particular, seems like a rather tame one.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by fotogirl53 » Aug 01 2011 9:35 am

@Rob del Desierto
Rob, you are too hard on yourself. You're short and stocky!
Allergic to cities.

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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by desertgirl » Aug 01 2011 10:29 am

BCO does do due diligence when issuing permits within their limits.

1) I have been "held off " for permits till I called the BCO & answered their questions. This was early on & they did the right thing in asking me about experience ( I had done several trips down the canyon on other people's permits).
2) Just yesterday - I snagged a permit for Red Canyon. They pulled up my past permits for a once over & then informed me that it was a route that required trail finding at times & winter conditions can be trecherous here. Well intentioned & appropriate
3) On another past trip, where the permit holder was not qulaified but legal in requesting the permit. No prior AZ experience, new hiker on Hermit Boucher -- she had to sign a document that outlined risks and their advice that this was not recommended. She went with rest of a very seasoned group & did fine ( no special help needed). Again appropriate.

I have been on trips with folks that NEVER should have been in the canyon ( part of group that I did not know the rest & had little prior history), I have seen & been with folks who are very qulaified but are just having a bad trip & with the uber confident/ capable that screw themselves up overexerting !

I don't see them just saying "NO" if you are legal & understand /signoff on the risks. I do see them strongly recommending ( I'd be a fool if I ignored their effort) & persuaively suggesting alternate options for who they deem a risk.

Knowing what works for you the hiker & also makeing due diligence in understanding & being open to react to the group;s least common denominate keeps people safe. Its hard to "ABORT" especially for the many for whom GC is "one in a lifetime" unlike us who are lucky to have the greatest playground as "Plan B"!

Personal responsibility is key in hiking anywhere ..heck, in just about doing anything. No one can "police" that!

& On that kid in the canyon note. We had the misfortune of telling a parent that their child was suffering from extreme heat stroke while in the kiddie carrier coming up BA in late 90's. Found out later that the infant had perished. If you looked at the group -- hikers all fit as fiddle -- fit enough to haul their 2 childern + backpacks for camping at the river. I am not sure BCO could have helped them.

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azbackpackr
River Paddler
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Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Flagstaff, Arizona

Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by azbackpackr » Aug 10 2011 11:47 am

I was hoping you'd post that story, Ambika. I remember your telling of it, very tragic.

I applied for a solo permit for Monument Creek/Granite Rapids camps several years ago. BCO would not issue it to me unless I could assure them that I could walk all the way out to Hermit's Rest (the entire road was closed for repairs) PLUS do the hike. I didn't go because of the closed road issue. Then later found out that they opened up the road again well before my proposed itinerary. They do send out letters like that before issuing a permit, especially for solo. And I DID have previous permits on record, but none were solo.

Not sure if this contributes much to the discussion.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

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Canyonram
Seed Gatherin' Kokopelli
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Joined: Jun 01 2006 9:03 pm
City, State: Payson, AZ

Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Canyonram » Aug 10 2011 12:20 pm

Latest response from the BCO / Grand Canyon to my query regarding the decision-making process on how permits are issued. Mr. Wunner is the Supervisor of the BCO:

"Anyone hiking outside the corridor in June, July and August would receive extra attention and their hike would be flagged. Normally your trip is flagged if you hike more than 10 miles on any given day, you are a solo hiker, your hike involves a river crossing, your hike does not make sense to us or if you are travelling to a select few sites on first or last day such as Hermit Rapids). But during the summer we flag all trips outside the trans-canyon trails (corridor) regardless of group size or distance.

Our goal is to insure that said group is made aware of risks involved with summer hiking in the desert. It is primarily left up to the group to make a final decision on where and when to hike.

Mark Wunner, Supervisor
Grand Canyon National Park
Backcountry Information Center
(928) 638-7679"


A few years ago, I went into the BCO with 'Maverick,' the 80+ Grand Canyon hiker who was known for his many R-2-R hikes. Maverick was wanting to do the Colin Fletcher Tonto Trail route and he asked me to assist him in caching supplies along the way. He was wanting to make a name for himself as the 'oldest' Man to Walk Through Time. We went into the BCO with a couple different dates/routes---we wanted to see about renting a mule to carry water, etc for the cache locations. Once we had the supplies stashed, Maverick would solo hike in the Fall. The new BCO staff person did not recognize Maverick and she looked at us and told me, "Perhaps you and your Father would like to do one of the Corridor trails first." Of course, if you knew Maverick you know how he reacted---he read the poor girl the riot act about how great he was at hiking the Canyon, blah-blah-blah. My disappointment was that she thought Maverick was my Father, not my Grandfather. We get too old, too fast. Rest in Peace, Maverick.

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Jim_H
Climate Windchime
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Joined: Sep 08 2006 8:14 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Jim_H » Aug 10 2011 12:43 pm

Maverick? You mean Mel Gibson, or James Garner? ;)
Nothing more enjoyable than a good hike out of town.

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Tough_Boots
Forest Gangster
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City, State: Phoenix, AZ
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Re: How Not to Hike the Tanner

Post by Tough_Boots » Aug 10 2011 12:50 pm

@Jim_H

Don't forget Tom Cruise! (Top Gun) :)
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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