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South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough?
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Thinking of doing this in December and was wondering if any of you have done this hike before.
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [mdiet22] [ In reply to ]
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If you can do a sub 4-hour marathon and have good prior trail experience, you should be fine. (You don't have to run to do the down/up South Rim effectively, that's just my fitness guideline).

If you can generally just keep up a solid, motivated walking clip both down and up - not even running - it's just a good fun day. I did it with my mom when she was around 60 y.o. (though she was far from an average 60 y.o.).

December can make it interesting. It's good because you don't have to worry as much about heat and hydration. I did it in winter as well. At the top you can have snow and ice, and it can feel like you're heading off to an arctic expedition. But then it doesn't take very much descent at all before the temperature can go up by 20F or more. But the top sections can be icy. I brought lightweight microspikes to put over my trail runners for the first couples miles down/last miles up. You might not need them - all depends on the timing of snow storms.

Start early. Have smart clothing layers. Have hydration and nutrition plans. Don't make dumb decisions along the way. Good to go.
Last edited by: trail: Sep 20, 20 16:35
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [mdiet22] [ In reply to ]
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I think there is a youtube video by the "mediocre amateur" doing this hike - and royally screwing it up. Like, dangerously heat stroke screwing it up. But he made it.

Just by posting, I think you are showing a bit of prep, and should be A-OK. Please post a follow-up when you finish, with advice for future readers.
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [mdiet22] [ In reply to ]
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I did most of this in March a four or five years ago. It's really going to depend on what you mean by going down and up. Do you mean going all the way down to Bright Angel Campground or just going down to a good vantage point to look back at the South Rim?

The two main trails down are the South Kalbob trail and the Bright Angel trail. Research them and you can figure out what you want to do.

During our hiking we had snow and ice at the top of both trail heads, so crampons were extremely valuable. If you don't own crampons, you can wait until you get there to see if you need them and then pick up an inexpensive pair (basically one-time use) in the park store. I think they were $20 or $30.

But in general, if the snow/ice is not too far down the trail and you are in reasonably good shape you can do it in a day.

It will be warmer the farther down you go. We wore jackets as we started and then put them in our hiking backpacks when we took them off.

You'll also need to carry at least one water bottle (there are places to refill along the way - again you can research).
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [mdiet22] [ In reply to ]
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I have done it 5 times plus rim to rim. If you are in reasonable shape and go during the winter it is not hard. My preferred route is down South Kaibab (no water), cross the bridge, fill up on the other side, cross back and up Bright Angel. There is water about half way at Indian Gardens. Ice near the top of Bright Angel is a bit slippery but I have used regular shoes. A very special place and so beautiful when you see the river.

Andrew Inkpen
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [LEBoyd] [ In reply to ]
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LEBoyd wrote:
. Do you mean going all the way down to Bright Angel Campground or just going down to a good vantage point to look back at the South Rim?


You ain't "down" until you're at the river.
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [trail] [ In reply to ]
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I mean hiking down South Kaibab Trail, soak my toes in the river and hike back Bright Angel trail in one long day.
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [mdiet22] [ In reply to ]
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December will be cold, and the water will be off in most locations. U can fill in the river and maybe phantom. Down SK up BA would be a good way. Your quads will be trashed from the downhill. I would bring poles for the hike up. BA seems to never end lol.

http://www.TriScottsdale.org
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [Sbernardi] [ In reply to ]
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Anybody have a r2r2r GPX file they'd be willing to share, or a r2r version that I can double. I found one online and its r2r2r had 32k elev gain. I was very skeptical of it since doing plain math, river to rims, was like 10k feet.
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [DV8R] [ In reply to ]
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Went w a group 10-13k gain was the range. Prob closer to 10,5. I can send mine

Whatever u do do not stop ur Garmin. Use auto pause. I stopped mine and it had a hard time finding satellites after.

http://www.TriScottsdale.org
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [DV8R] [ In reply to ]
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My North to South r2r hike file showed a hair under 8k of climbing, but is missing the last 40 mins or so up Bright Angel because the watch died (moving ~8.7 hours, total time 10.7 hours + 40 mins, 28 miles + about 1 mile). So I would say 9-9.5k climbing would be a good guess.

Matt Leu, M.S. Kinesiology
Endurance Athlete and Coach
Consistency/time=results
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [ironmatt85] [ In reply to ]
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That is probably total decent plus ascent. Total r2r2r is 10-11k climbing.

http://www.TriScottsdale.org
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [Sbernardi] [ In reply to ]
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Right, sorry. Hand calculated total ascent on the south rim 3485, plus last missing mile probs around 4k

Matt Leu, M.S. Kinesiology
Endurance Athlete and Coach
Consistency/time=results
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [Sbernardi] [ In reply to ]
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Sbernardi wrote:
December will be cold, and the water will be off in most locations. U can fill in the river and maybe phantom. Down SK up BA would be a good way. Your quads will be trashed from the downhill. I would bring poles for the hike up. BA seems to never end lol.

Water is on at Indian Gardens in the winter, at least it was for my 4 SK-BA hikes on Jan and Feb. Phantom is on year round.

Andrew Inkpen
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [AndrewPhx] [ In reply to ]
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AndrewPhx wrote:

Water is on at Indian Gardens in the winter, at least it was for my 4 SK-BA hikes on Jan and Feb. Phantom is on year round.

I wouldn't count on Indian Gardens in winter. They close it when pipes are in danger of freezing.
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [DV8R] [ In reply to ]
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This is the one I’m basing our attempt next weekend. You’ll see it says 10,900 up and down.

https://www.trailrunproject.com/...-to-rim-to-rim-r2r2r

Dave Jewell
Free Run Speed
Running Shoe Insight

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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [DV8R] [ In reply to ]
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DV8R wrote:
Anybody have a r2r2r GPX file they'd be willing to share, or a r2r version that I can double. I found one online and its r2r2r had 32k elev gain. I was very skeptical of it since doing plain math, river to rims, was like 10k feet.
Grand_Canyon_Rim_to_Rim_to_Rim.gpx
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Re: South rim down and back up in 1 day...how tough? [SDJ] [ In reply to ]
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It’s amazing how near the end any downs hurt more than ups lol.

Have a blast. It’s amazing

http://www.TriScottsdale.org
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