Descending Into Middle Earth

I have been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and I have lived to speak of it. I am being a bit facetious with my melodrama, although many have and will die venturing into the canyon. It is not a trip to enter into unprepared, but its rewards are spectacular.

I have been a member of Karl’s Extreme Things Adventure Club for a few years now. We’ve been many places and tried many things, yet this was our first collective trip into the Grand Canyon. I had only been once over a decade ago and had only spent a couple of hours at the rim. This time we would backpack down to the river, spend the night, and hike back up the following day.  The canyon is roughly a mile deep. The hike to Bright Angel Campsite at the bottom is roughly 7-8 miles. The hike back out via a different trail would be 9 miles…all uphill. The air temperature topped 100 degrees during the middle of the day. Heat exhaustion is a serious concern, especially with 40+ lbs. on your back. This was the first Extreme Things event I’ve been on where Karl felt it necessary to turn down participants he didn’t think were physically capable. Backpacking the Grand Canyon is a great—albeit arduous—trip, but it is beyond the capabilities of many.  Do not attempt it if you are inexperienced. We saw several people hiking down with little or no water. My hope is they turned around before they exceeded their personal thresholds.

I could write more about the trip and eventually I may. I will also post a GoPro video eventually. For the time being, enjoy some of the photos. If you want to see even more, check out my Facebook album.

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