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Rim to Rim with Desis and Anglos!

Updated: Dec 22, 2019

Once is enough!

- Such was the sentiment right after we made it out of the canyon


Stats:

24 miles; 5000+ ft elevation gain; started at 430 am and most finished at 945 pm .. exception: Kelly and Mark were up by 635 pm


Hikers:

Arizonans: Anupa, Mark, Krishna and myself Texans: Sam, Raj, Naveen with Sunil as our driver/philosopher

Canadian: Kelly


We missed Haider who broached the R2R idea .. he and Sanam just could not make it..


Why did we do it?

It was a challenge!


How’d we do?


Actually quite well! We persevered and made it safely out of the canyon! All of us had fun .. so much camaraderie .. most were first timers .. so plenty of photo-ops!


But then .. slowly the pain began .. here’s a litany ..


- Knee pain

- Leg pain

- Nausea

- Dizziness and low blood pressure .. enough to lie down

- Cramps

- Headache

- Shoulder pain .. most as we probably didn’t have the best backpacks

- Shortness of breath

- Extreme exhaustion

- General fatigue .. All


I just think anupa and krishna who probably suffered most are the real heroes as they kept going inspite of all the pain .. anupa had bruised both legs a few days before, and almost cancelled the hike .. she was just a great hiking partner.. without any complaints!


All of us started at the north rim Kaibab trailhead at about same time .. with headlamps flickering, over two hours of our journey was in the dark until the first bridge half down the rim .. At phantom ranch I and anupa were 2 hours behind others due to knee issues .. 0.7 mile below south rim we caught up with krishna, Sam, naveen and raj after a slow/steady climb .. we also passed 3 other groups who were struggling and informed the park ranger .. after Indian gardens krishna and others just slowed down and couldn’t maintain pace as I thought they might ... we knew Mark and Kelly would be out of the canyon much earlier as they were the fittest!


Could we have done better?


Sure!


More practice, proper intake of electrolytes and energy food, better gear


Those who had prepared did much better!


But dang it .. inspite of all the pain, we did it!!!


An achievement that very very few people get to do .. in this great natural/spectacular wonder of the world: the Grand Canyon!


Ps:

- the long 6 hr ride to n rim with 6 other desis in a suburban with Bollywood and Ghulam Ali and pankaj udhas songs blaring, jokes and banter and discussions on social security (hey those are republican talking points .. most of us here are commies 😊) and vegetarians (why would you hurt and kill a living being for food for entertainment when you can get all your proteins otherwise); this was one of the smartest, wittiest, friendliest and most enjoyable group I’ve ever encountered

- A surprise birthday party where we serenaded Kelly and got the whole saloon to join in!

- Meeting an older couple; asked secret to their fitness .. response: 25000 miles and 100 miles elevation gain pe r year .. 3 months in Italian Alps/Dolomites every year! Will need to check out their website and stay in touch!

- I kept my commitment to stay with the slowest and assist with getting all of us out safely!




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