Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 Grand Canyon R2R2R

Ok, this was a granddaddy run. The third time I've done a rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. Took 18 hours. Slower than I had hoped and certainly not my fastest time, but you know, it was still a good time. Went with a couple of fellow ultrarunners, Brian Beckstead and Tara Tulley. Neither had done this run before although Brian has done a couple of single crossings. Started about 4am. Three hours to the river. We just took our time, took pictures etc. Took a break at the Phantom Ranch, then headed out for the north rim. The run up Kaibab canyon is an awesome one. Right next to the creek for about 8 miles. Took a short break at Cottonwood campground, then started out again. The trail turns up into a side canyon at the caretaker house and a couple miles after that is Roaring Springs. This is indeed an awesome sight. Water gushing out of the side of the cliff, and not just a little bit. The trail here really starts to climb up towards the north rim. Steeper and not as runnable. When we were about 3 miles from the top, we encoutered snow, and lots of it. There was 4'-5' of it at the north rim trailhead. Pretty much the last mile was done on snow.

Got to the north rim at about 1:15, so about 8:45 for a time. I left the north rim at 1:30 with the goal of running as much of the downhill to the Phantom Ranch (13.6 miles away) as I could. Took me 4 hours to go those miles. Once you get to the caretaker house the trail becomes a cruiser. Just the right angle for good effortless downhill running. Passed lots of backpackers on the way down, and even a couple of other runners.

Got to the rach about 5:30 and left with Brian at 6pm. The goal was back up to the south rim in 4 hours or less. This is a little more than 9 miles with 4800'+ of gain. We were tired so making it in that time was going to be tough. We got to Indian Garden in 2 hours pretty easily. That's about half way up. Once you leave Indian Garden, the trail gets steeper and we get more tired. Still, we managed to do the last 4.5 miles in 2 hours, arriving at the south rim right at 10pm. Tara got up to the top a couple hours later.

We had a great time. I definitely recommend this run for any ultrarunner. We saw a bunch of R2R2R runners on our trek, including quite a few from the SLC area that I know. Everyone was having a good time.

The weather was perfect for it for me. About 30 at the start and in the low 80's down at the Phantom Ranch. Felt like the low 60's at the north rim. It was defintely cool by the time we got back to the top, probably in the low 40's.

Fun, fun, fun and ready to do it again.

I posted pictures at my Facebook account for those of you who are Facebook friends.

1 comment:

  1. That's an awesome run- sounds like you had a great time.