R2R2R in Grand Canyon!
Five of us caught a 5a shuttle over to South Kaibab TH. We barely made it to the bus :)
We hopped off and made our first mistake of the day: used the bathroom and got behind the large group of people on the bus, who were mostly not running or in a hurry at all.
Gear check: Ultimate Direction hydration pack with 2 x 600ml bottled in pockets and plenty of calories - Clif Bars, Lara Bars, Tuna PAcks, Jerky, and RK single packets (PB/Honey/Egg Whites)
3 of us were R2R2R from our group, but, there was alot of people doing the same thing - the trail was crowded until Phantom Ranch. We made down across the bridge over the Colorado by about 8a. Parted ways with our other 2 guys in the group and set off from Phantom Ranch up through the flat part ot Cottonwood and then on up the North Kaibab to TH on my own. Happily we agreed to our own paces at Phantom Ranch. Ran out of water w/ 1 mile to go up to the North Rim - yikes. Rested 30 minutes or so, refilled water and joined a group of Canadian folks going down to return on their own group R2R2R journey. Made it back to Phantom Ranch, and was feeling a bit beat up at this point. about 3pm, and strangely, Phantom Racnh was deserted. At this point, MY watch is showing 42 miles, and I have realized long before that GPS is not accurate. I take a break, refill water (ran out again), and head out for the final climb going up Bright Angel to the South Rim. Crossing the Steel bridge was terrifying. Steel grates are see through (watching the Colorado rush by beneath), and they move around when you step on them. I really struggled the rest of the day. Walked and power hiked most of the rest. Finshed well after dark. No Head Lamp needed. The moonlight lit the trail and a large crowd of other folks were hiking back up the trail as well.
To recap the stats:
5:30a to 8a SK TH to P Ranch (7130 ft. down to 2600 ft.) 7 miles,
8:30a to noon P Ranch to N Rim (2600 ft. up to 8120 ft.) 14 miles,
12:30-3p North Rim down to Phantom Ranch (8120 down to 2600 ft.) 14 miles,
3:30p - 9:30p P Ranch up to Bright Angel TH (2600ft. up to 6500ft.) watch died
Before watch died, total moving time was 13:33:41 and final GPS recorded an erroneous 51+ miles