Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Fun Begins with Statistics

Our packs are laid out, food is organized and plans are being finalized. Sunday evening we leave for the canyon and will spend the night in a lodge so we can get an early start on Monday.

Our itinerary is Bright Angel camp ground Monday night (9 miles), Clear Creek Tuesday/Wednesday (9 miles), a day trip to Cheyava Falls on Wednesday (10 miles), return to Bright Angel on Thursday (9 miles) and back to the South Rim on Friday. A total of 46 miles before side trips.

Julie took the lead in planning the food. She did not buy dehydrated meals but put together a varied menu that seems perfect to me. I got curious and researched caloric needs for this trip.

May basal caloric need is 1,770 calories. Hiking nine miles on level ground would require 1,410 additional calories. The nine miles climb out of the canyon on Friday with an elevation gain of 4,600 feet will require 1,730 for a total of 3,180 to 3,500 calories per day. Julie will need 2,224 to 2,744 calories per day. I didn't include the weight of our packs when calculating these figures so we'll get to eat more. We've packed 16 pounds of food for the five days.

Normally before a trip I weigh our full packs but not each item. This time I weighed things separately.
    Paul - 39.4 pounds total
  • Pack - 5.6
  • Tent - 5.4
  • Sleeping Bag - 2.2
  • Thermarest Pad - 1.2
  • Stove, fuel, water filter, first aid kit, lantern, metal food sack - 4.8
  • Food - 16
  • Water - 4.5
    Julie - 15.2 pounds total
  • Pack - 6
  • Sleeping Bag - 2.2
  • Thermarest Pad - 1.2
  • Pillow - .4
  • Cooking Utinsils - 1.2
  • Water - 4.2
There are a few items omitted from the above: change of socks, camera, treking poles, two water bottles, etc. Tuesday will be the heaviest day because I'll double the water plus a little. However, we'll have eaten Monday's food and we have only a thousand feet climb. Since there's no shade or water across the plateau we'll start about 4:30 AM and avoid the hottest part of the day. The last day will be our lightest since we'll have eaten most of the food.

The high temperatures on the South Rim will be about 80 degrees, on the river 99 to 101 with lows at night in the upper 50's. I'm assuming Clear Creek will have a high of about 95 degrees and a night time low of 55 degrees.

I doubt there will be much if any water at Cheyava Falls since it's late in the spring and it's dependent on the snow fall on the North Rim. It would have been better to have taken this trip a month or six weeks ago but work schedules came first. The term ended last week so Julie is off for the summer. This is the earliest we could plan. Regardless, it will be enjoyable to watch a few drops of water fall 800 feet. Even if we decide not to go to the falls there are Native American ruins in the area to be enjoyed from a distance.

Statistics, numbers, details! They may sound boring but they are part of planning a safe and enjoyable trip.


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Happy hiking.

5/10/2009 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger graceonline said...

I love seeing the details. Makes the vicarious pleasure of following the trip all the more satisfying.

5/11/2009 02:16:00 AM  

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