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mini location map2010-11-06
32 by photographer avatarazdesertfather
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Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 06 2010
Backpack29.03 Miles 7,566 AEG
Backpack29.03 Miles2 Days         
7,566 ft AEG
 no routes
Went down South Kiabab Saturday afternoon to Phantom Ranch, then from Phantom Ranch to Cottonwood CG on Sunday and further up North Kiabab on Monday to the North Rim, arriving at the North Rim Monday afternoon. Took 2'45" to go down S Kiabab, 4'25" to go to Cottonwood and 7'00" to go from Cottonwood to the North Rim, so actual hiking time ended up being 14'10", not counting sleep time.

Left the car at the Bright Angel TH and caught the bus over to S Kiabab TH. On the bus, the driver told me that he just dropped off an ultra-marathon runner who did a R2R2R that day in 11 hours flat, and was a bit bummed saying that was his worst time. :doh: :wlift: Saw a few other runners on the days out on this trip, but no one who was gonna hit that kind of time!

Nice trip down South Kiabab on Saturday afternoon...the switchbacks in one area are so numerous it looks like something you'd find in Tibet! I think I counted nearly a dozen as I looked down below Skeleton Point? Once I got down to the tunnel to cross the bridge, I saw a bighorn sheep standing over the tunnel. He looked at me curiously with his head cocked several times, but just kept going about his business. Spent the night at Phantom Ranch, where there were big metal ammo-can type boxes on the picnic tables to hold your food and trash in. I put my food in one and without sealing the lid over it I stepped away for a couple of minutes, only to come back and find a ringtail trying to figure out how to get into my Ziplocs :D He took off like a shot into the bushes.

On Sunday, it was going to be a slow day just going to Cottonwood Campground, so I added in a bunch of side trips like Ribbon Falls; also River Loop & Clear Creek (listed separately). Tried going to Ribbon Falls from the south entrance, but it involves some bushwhacking that we weren't prepared to do with big heavy packs on, so we backed out and then went in via the north route (across the bridge). Beautiful area! I dropped my pack at the turnoff and my friend decided not to try it, so he stayed back with the packs while I ran up to the falls. As I was jogging, I ran right up on a couple of deer who were stunned and just froze in place, allowing me several attempts at pictures...I was no more than 30-40 yards away from them. Made our way into Cottonwood, and filtered water out of Bright Angel Creek.

Monday was the push up to the North Rim, and it was the most challenging day for me. The temperatures dropped and precipitation came in. Approaching Supai Tunnel there was a light drizzle, but north of the tunnel it turned into a more steady rain...a rain of little frozen ice pellets. I was told by others coming down from the rim at the tunnel that there was hot coffee in the gift shop that was still open by the lodge, so after coming up the rim I made a beeline for the java, then sat down in the gift shop eating a 100 Grand and sipping coffee, thawing myself out. I eventually had to make my way to the North Rim Campground, where I met my friend and we set up camp ... as snow was falling. It was their first snow of the season, and it was a steady fall from about 5pm until after 9pm, with 1-2 inches of accumulation and lows that night in the mid 20s. In the early part of the evening I had to keep getting up to bank on the top and sides of my summer tent to knock all the accumulating snow off it.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." — Henry David Thoreau
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