Saturday, March 06, 2010

Anticipation Growing

One week, seven days, a mere 168 hours, and I should be standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Last night I researched the condition of the dirt road to the trailhead. The news was not encouraging.
The winter of 2010 has brought much snow to the rim of the canyon resulting in the heaviest snow pack in recent memory. March brings a continued threat of these strong winter storms, warmer daytime temperatures and a marked degradation of dirt roads.

Hikers attempting to reach the South Bass trailhead via Forest Road 328 have been experiencing major problems....avoid vehicle travel altogether any time after mid-morning. ..night time temperatures dip into the low 20's...allowing some well equipped four wheel drive vehicle to reach the trailhead between the hours of 4 a.m. and 7 a.m....

Extraction equipment like a shovel, tow strap, tire chains and a winch should be carried...
The report ended with this pessimistic note.
Most backcountry areas from Tanner to Royal Arch are full during the month of March so it is very unlikely that the park will be able to shift your itinerary to a new location. Hikers wishing to cancel their permit...
There's an interesting conundrum here. Should we trust official publications from any governmental source? Given our propensity to want to assign blame it is understandable that officials wanting to avoid responsibility and repercussions will overstate the situation. Here's an example, a sign above the urinals in the men's room at the Backcountry Information Center. The sign says something like "Nonpotable water. Do not drink." (Hmmm? Are there similar signs in the women's room? Or is it just men that....OK, let's stop here.)

Dehydrated mixed vegetables.
Two pounds of mixed vegetables after dehydrating. 32 ounces reduced to 5.8 ounces.

The weather forecast for the canyon is what I expected for this time of year.
  • Today: A 10 percent chance of showers after 11am.
  • Tonight: New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
  • Sunday: High near 47. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
  • Sunday Night: Rain and snow before 11pm, then a chance of snow. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
  • Monday: Snow level 6300 feet rising to 6800 feet.
  • Monday Night: A slight chance of rain and snow showers.
  • Tuesday: A 30 percent chance of snow showers.
  • Tuesday Night: A chance of snow showers.
  • Wednesday: A slight chance of snow showers.
  • Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 23.
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 55.
  • Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 27.
  • Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 58.
Since we're starting on the south rim there will probably be snow in shaded areas near the top so crampons or Yak Traks are a must.

But, there's always a positive in every situation. With all the rain and snow, we'll find plenty of water and won't have to carry excessive amounts.

The average low in the inner Canyon during March is 48 degrees and the average high is 71. Sounds like perfect weather. So the real challenge is get to the trailhead and make it below the rim into paradise.

Tonight at six-thirty my son arrives at the airport. The final planning, preparations and fun begins.


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

Forget trying to "reach the rim" of the canyon via a vehicle if they never saw fit to pave a road to the area, and just have a helicoptor drop you off. Or parachute in. If you have a rich buddy with those resources, that is....hehe.

3/06/2010 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

All of the best on the whole adventure.

3/07/2010 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger graceonline said...

Enjoy, enjoy enjoy! The anticipation, the pleasure of final preparations with your son, the drive, the adventure. May your trip be eventful only in the best of ways.

3/07/2010 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...


Have a wonderful time with your great adventure!

I'm already looking forward to your postings after your return.


3/07/2010 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Savor the moment. Safe journey to you.

3/12/2010 08:09:00 AM  

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