|Backpack||50.00 Miles||4 Days |
|11,000 ft AEG|
|Erfullung des Traums von Hartmut - Fulfilling Hartmut's Dream|
Wir hatten eine grosse Abenteuer
Hartmut was born 24/10/42 in Berlin as the Nazi's were starting to lose the war. He survived Allied bombings and Soviet Army raids. He grew up and lived in Communist East Germany. He had a dream of someday hiking the Grand Canyon, but figured it would be a dream unfulfilled. Eric is friends with Hartmut's son-in-law. One thing led to another. For his 68th birthday, we would help Hartmut realize a lifelong dream.
We met at Eric's house for introductions and logistics.
We departed 0430. Arrived GCNP at 0800.
We proceeded to the Visitor Center where we dropped Joe and Hartmut to discover the Visitors Center.
Eric and I drove to the Bright Angel TH, Mark followed us so we could set up our end of hike shuttle.
Eric and I checked in at the Bright Angel Lodge for the Phantom Ranch meals. Mark drove us back to the Visitor Center. We took the Green Bus from the Visitor Center to Yaki Point.
We began our hike down the South Kaibab Trail at 0940. We stopped often for photos.
We arrived Phantom Ranch at 1300 and ate lunch. We continued on to Cottonwood Campground.
We arrived at 1700. Most of the good sites were already taken so we took a smallish campsite and set up camp as it started to drizzle. With our campsite already cramped, we hurriedly prepared dinner.
We turned in early because of the weather and in anticipation of our hike to the North Rim.
We got up around 0600 and ate breakfast under threatening skies. We left Cottonwood at 0830 and headed up the North Kaibab Trail. We weren't entirely sure of the water situation so we each carried at least 3ltrs and Mark carried two extra 1l Platypus bladders that he cached along the route. The clouds hung low over the North Rim and we could not see the top of the Rim. Many runners were coming down the trail on some organized North Rim to South Rim run. Hartmut set a good pace. Dauertempo. We took a few short breaks to adjust clothing layers and snack, but mostly just kept hiking. We went through the Supai Tunnel and took a break. The water was on. The trail was wet and muddy. Soupy on the Supai. We made it to the North Rim at 1240. It was cold. No water on the Rim. We took a few photos, ate lunch and were back on the trail by 1300. Hartmut commented on similarities and differences with the Alps where he hikes.
The clouds lifted a little but it was still damp and muddy. We stopped again at Supai to top off our water and to use the restroom. We continued on. Joe was having some hip issues on the downhill stretches but the Advil helped. We stopped at the table at the Aiken House. Met a couple of gents from Saskatchewan who were just starting up to the North Rim. We made sure they had headlamps, briefed them on the water and wished them well. (We would see them again at Bright Angel Campground and hiking out the Bright Angel Trail at Indian Gardens). We met a group that was speaking a slavic language. It turned out they were Lithuanian.
Got back to Cottonwood a around 1630. Eric, Joe and I soaked in the cold water of the Ranger pool.
Rain held off so we had a nice leisurely dinner and talked
Our easy day. I gave the group several options involving 1) direct to Bright Angel Campground 2) sidetrip to Ribbon Falls, 3) and/or a side trip to Upper Ribbon Falls and/or a sidetrip to the Overlook about Phantom Ranch on the Clear Creek Trail. We left camp around 0900. We took the side trip to Ribbon Falls. At the bridge I talked with John - a guide for Just Roughing It adventures. He was leading a group of 5 people on a 4 day 3 night trip from the North Rim to the South Rim. Joe, Hartmut and I continued to Ribbon Falls while Mark and Eric stayed at the mouth of the Canyon with our Packs. We went up behind the Falls. Hartmut and I went up to the Alcove to see the Stalactites and Stalagmites. We met up with Eric and Mark at the mouth of the Ribbon Falls Canyon.
Mark and Eric scouted ahead for a route across Bright Angel Creek so that we did not have to go back the Bridge and over Asinine Hill. Mark said "this looks like it might be doable." Turns out he was right. We made it across with only a few foot faults into the stream. Hartmut set the pace and just kept on going.
We joked that he was our Hase (rabbit). He set a good pace and would not stop. He said that when he stops he stiffens up so he prefers to just keep moving.
We made it to Bright Angel Campground around 1230 and got our pick of sites. Eric picked a great site along the creek and we set up. We soaked in the cold water of Bright Angel Creek. Ranger Scott Francis came through. We chatted but he was on his way to tell some hammockers (hangers) that they could not tie their hammocks to the trees. The Restrooms were in bad shape with nonworking urinals.
We went to the Phantom Ranch Canteen for beer and camaraderie. A little before 1600 we went back to our campsite. Hartmut, Joe and I hiked through camp to the Silver Bridge on the Colorado River. We took photos and headed back so that we could all go the the 1700 steak dinner at the Canteen.
At dinner we were at the first table. The five of us and three men from Denmark. We had let them know that it was Hartmut's 68th birthday so the waiter brought out a birthday cake with candles and we all sang Happy Birthday.
My son had taught me alles gute zum geburstag which amused Hartmut. Eric and I had some
Herradura Seleccion Suprema ultra anejo tequila. Mas mejor.
After dinner they went back to camp and I checked the arrangements to lighten our packs and ship out some gear by mule.
We turned in around 1900, Hartmut had hoped for some clear skies to see the stars, but this trip did not cooperate.
Powerful winds kicked up and continued all night.
I woke early to break camp and get the cargo sack to the mules by 0630. I put in around 10lbs, Joe added his tent, some excess food and some gear of approximately 8lbs and Hartmut added clothes and gear of approximately 8lbs. This lightened Hartmut's considerably especially since they had consumed the 8lbs of food that he had packed in. I went up to the Canteen and logged our cargo with the Wranglers. We ate breakfast at the Canteen then went back to break camp. We started hiking up the Bright Angel Trail a little before 0800. Along River Trail a mule train of tourists passed us. At Pipe Creek, Eric, Mark and Joe stayed at the junction while Hartmut and I went to the beach and the Colorado River. Hartmut touched the Colorado and I took photos. We reached Indian Gardens at 1030 where we took a break in a little shelter. It was drizzling off and on. We ate snacks, adjusted layers and started the final 4.5miles to the Rim. Hartmut set a good pace and we made it to the 3 Mile Resthouse in 45 minutes and kept going up the switchbacks - the serpentinen. We made it to the 1 1/2 mile resthouse around 1200. We took a break and adjusted layers for the final push to the Rim. We reached the South Rim around 1245.
We went to the mule barn to pick up the cargo sack. Then we went to the Mather Campground and the showers to clean up. We stopped at the Pizza and Pasta restaurant in Tusayan then came home.
|Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier. |
life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. Andy Rooney