Awesome end to an awesome trip!
Today was the long, steep climb out of the Canyon via the same rough, beautiful trail we came down. The relentless downhill was now relentless uphill—4600 feet of climb over about 9 miles. I was worried that the heat would be miserable, but we left early, and got up to reasonable altitude by the time we got out of the shadows—the weather was actually very pleasant. I was kind of worried about my wonky knee on the ascent since uphill seems to be the trigger, but it only tweaked a couple of times, and was otherwise solid. I much prefer steep uphill to steep downhill—especially on a trail as rough as Tanner. We made really good time, and made it to the top in almost exactly 6 hours, which is about 90 minutes faster than it took us to get down on Monday.
Oakes threatened to do a bag check to see who had food left over at the end (i.e. who carried more food/weight than necessary). It turned out to be an empty threat, but I think I did pretty well, considering I planned to be out until dinner time tonight … all I unpacked was a bag of jerky and a few crackers. I’m not sure how the others fared, but we all ate pretty well while we were out, and I’m 100% positive no one had any alcohol left!
Parker wins husband of the year (again) for meeting us at the trailhead with ice cold beer and hot pizza! I can think of no more perfect end to an epic hike.
This trip was a total blast – I saw parts of the Grand Canyon that most people will never even know exist, the views were just amazing. Whippet, Oakes and Brent were the perfect hiking partners—and very forgiving of my novice skills. I learned a ton about the Canyon, about hiking, and about myself. I’m very grateful to Whippet for inviting me—it was a trip like no other I’ve done before.
p.s. One thing I learned is a handy mneumonic for the rock layers (top to bottom) in the Canyon: Know The Canyon’s History, Study Rocks Made By Time … Kaibab, Toroweap Formation, Coconino Sandstone, Hermit Formation, Supai Formation, Redwall Limestone, Muav Limestone, Bright Angel Shale, Tapetz Sandstone. I cannot begin to tell where one layer begins and another ends, but it’s interesting information while hiking, and—who knows—it may come in handy in a trivia contest someday … thanks Oakes!